As the sun goes down the colors our eyes perceive, as well as what a camera records, changes. These Sitka Mountain Ash (Sorbus sitchensis) berries were along the paved path at Picture Lake last Saturday. I photographed them about 7:00 pm, which was just a few minutes past sunset.Â However, the sun had descended below the adjacent ridge long before, plunging my subject into deep shade.Â With a digital camera it’s easy to compensate, but in this case I left my camera’s white balance set to daylight, letting the color go a little blue.
Is this an accurate representation of what my eyes saw? Probably not, but color memory is a fickle thing so it really doesn’t matter.Â If the color of the berries was far around the color wheel from red then we’d know something was wrong. But since they’re red then we accept the color as more or less correct.
Mountain Ash is in the rose family. The fruits are reportedly edible, sour but becoming sweeter after a frost. I’ve never tried them. One website even talks of making Mountain Ash Wine. I suppose one can ferment almost any fruit so why not this one. The berries are certainly abundant this time of year, more so than the huckleberries for which so many people go foraging.