… down on the stones behind the fences of the Black Land the air seemed almost dead, chill and yet stifling…. The land all about was dreary, flat and drab-hued…. South-eastward, far off like a dark standing shadow, loomed the Mountain. Smokes were pouring from it, and while those that rose into the upper air trailed away eastward, great rolling clouds floated down its sides and spread over the land. A few miles to the north-east the foothills of the Ashen Mountains stood like sombre grey ghosts, behind which the misty northern heights rose like a line of distant cloud hardly darker than the lowering sky.
– The Lord of the Rings. Vol III: The Return of the King, Book 6 The End Of The Third Age, Chapter 3: Mount Doom