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      Mt. Rainier throws an upside-down shadow onto the sky (PHOTOS)

      For something that will jolt you awake faster than a 5-gallon gastank of espresso, try these arresting images of Mount Rainier from last week. Morning risers took the photographs as the sun began to ascend from behind Seattle's signature stratovolcano, casting a bizarro shadow onto the cloud ceiling that appeared to stretch out to infinity.

      This kind of topsy-turvy chiaroscuro is chiefly a fall and wintertime event, according to KOMO News meteorologist Scott Sistek:

      It only happens when the sun rises farther to the south as we head toward the winter solstice and has to be in the exact position to where Rainier blocks the first rays of morning light. Having a nice cloud layer around can sure act as a canvas as well!

      Chuck Graham captured the above photo from nearby Roy, Wash., and put it on YouNews; here are a couple more shots of the incredible floating shadow last Wednesday.

      Luv2lrn, also in Roy, caught this image of the geologic sundial, saying, "I love waking up in the morning to see Mt. Rainier casting [its] shadow into the sky!" The glacier-shrouded mountain is not actually visible, but it can't hind the enormous footprint it casts on the ether:

      And here is the view from JPuyallup's pad in Tacoma, Wash. Says the photog: "My husband called from his commute and told me to look at the sunrise. The colors were beautiful, then all of the sudden a shadow from Mt. Rainier started to spread across the sky. I ran and got my camera. It was just Amazing."

      In this case, improper use of a capital A is quite acceptable!