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beehive basin, big sky, jake mosher, milky way, mountains, night, sky, snow, stars, winter -

August seems like more than a long time ago tonight. It hangs deep in my mind, next to childhood memories of summer that resonate with more emotion than detail – feelings that during those extended evenings when chimney swifts and nighthawks carved erratic flight paths through the sky and the Earth radiated warmth below there was unending hope. A sense of carefree joy and ease of life not yet tainted by fall’s first frost or the acrid scent of industrial cleaners used to prep a graded school’s carpet. I take a step, supported for a moment by my snowshoe, then drop...

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I am haunted by disappearances. A seeker by nature with an innate drive to find things, the idea that something can simply vanish, swallowed by the relatively finite confines of this world, runs completely contrary to my sense of order. I’m not sure why I’m thinking about it this morning, a day after I’ve first noticed more light in our late-January sky - the opening salvo of a far-off spring - but the life of a nature photographer is nothing if not solitary, providing ample time for contemplation. Perhaps my thoughts turn here because I’m heading to Yellowstone National Park...

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So much of being a nature photographer involves being in the right place at the right time. I would trade all the technical know-how, all the best equipment, and every ounce of artistic interpretation that I possess for the luck of being “there” when something happens. If there’s a formula for predicting the events that, without needing more than framing the scene, produce the photographs that keep me plugging away at this endeavor, I’ve not found it. About all that I’ve figured out is that it consists of countless excursions into country of possibility, hundreds of foot miles with faith...

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We are only a day from the winter solstice, the day during which night encroaches further than any other, making deep inroads at both ends of the sun. All around me I feel the tangible tiredness of a world largely asleep, the quiet lull of a slumbering Nature. There are reminders of seasons passed - a corn husk skittering across packed snow on top of a stubble field, a hardy goose standing defiant on the shores of a frozen pond, and a mullein plant whose seeds top out at four feet high, confidently proclaiming that they will remain above any...

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It is silence, pervasive all across the land, which first belies the swing of summer into fall. As I walk along a dusty, lowland trail, the sun as hot on the back of my neck as any day of the year, I try to convince myself there are more months ahead before the snow flies. While heat waves slither across a patch of sunflowers, blurring yellow and green into an underwater-like scene, it still feels like mid-July. But my ears know better, and even though I can’t say exactly what it is that I’m not hearing I know that we...

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