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Milky Way Season

Milky Way Season

Yesterday, as Montana's afternoon came with the instinctual realization that there isn't quite the level of light in our sky as there was three weeks ago, I hiked over five miles to a remote, alpine lake to watch the world spin into darkness and photograph a piece of our home galaxy there. On the shores of the lake, with a beautiful view of a thousand-foot rock face, I sat alone as the sun fell out of sight, its rays inching up the mountain in front of me until, with a final gleam of gold at its summit, they were gone. 

I built a small fire near the obsidian shards of prehistoric hunters who had doubtlessly looked up into the same sky I'd come to view. I waited, swatting the occasional mosquito, straining to hear the final calls of birds bidding the day goodbye, watching the stars appear in a sky that drifted from the color of brushed aluminum to a velvety black. 

I took the photos I'd come for between 11:30pm and 12:30am, then loaded more than 50 pounds of gear onto my back and, with the aid of a headlamp and random songs played from my phone, walked through the wilderness back to my truck.

It's Milky Way season out here in Montana - that time of year when the core of our galaxy is visible over the southern horizon for a few hours immediately after complete darkness. I've been photographing it from one end of this state to the other, showing life here contrasted against a sky where it's hard to imagine that there isn't life somewhere. I hope that you enjoy these images, all available on my site, and that while looking at them you feel some of the wonder that I do. 


"Badlands Midnight"

"Schoolhouse Rock"

 "Worlds Collide"



  • Nate

    Beautiful work Jake.

  • Patty

    Gorgoeus pics as always.

  • Stephen Moulton

    Great photos as always. Got to love Montana. What a place!!

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