This is the peak of Cotacachi, a volcano that pierces the sky at 4,944m (16,220ft) above a village that bears its name.
According to local legend, Cotacachi is the wife of nearby Imbabura, who fought a long battle with another volcano to capture her love. Imbabura, who has been given the name Manuel, has since pre-Incan days been seen as the region’s sacred protector, or “Papa” Imbabura. Likewise, Cotacachi, who also goes by Maria Isabel, is often simply referred to as “Mama”.
It’s said that when Manuel and Maria spend the night together, Cotacachi is draped in snow the morning after. When Imbabura has a headache or feeling ill, the area is veiled in clouds.
When I snapped this photo, the afternoon breeze was filled with promise.
For the record: today’s Pic du Jour, the 442nd (!!) straight, was taken on 28 March 2015 from the Parque Condor near Otavalo, Ecuador.