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It is not the dead of winter, but it is the shortest day. Night bleeds into it at both ends, allowing the sun its briefest appearance from its most southerly traverse of the sky. Like the Milky Way that I photograph in early spring when it hugs the horizon, our nearest star scribes so low an arc that even at high noon its light is soft and devoid of warmth. Still, where rays cut through the limbs of a dying fir to paint the ground, I change course to walk through these beams. In them, I feel a summer gone....

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On my June 13 birthday this summer, it snowed in the mountains of Southwest Montana. It was winter’s last volley, fired blindly into the Rockies, striking the Madison but not the Bridgers, falling on the tallest peaks of the Absaroka Beartooth but missing the Gallatin.  What in the hell has happened since, I ask myself this morning as I look out at an unseasonably-warm November day? My giant, Russian sunflowers lie shattered and brown when it seems only moments ago I rejoiced at the sight of their oblong leaves poking from the soil. They grew to eleven feet this year,...

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On June 6, 1981, Vermont’s Green Mountains were enveloped in steady, warm rain.  I woke to it pattering against the window of my bedroom, the swirly glass in the hundred-year-old pane blurred further by streaks of water washing down old cobwebs and the tiny bits of last fall's iridescent fly wings that they contained. I glanced out at the distorted world – a view cleaved by leaden sky and indistinct, early-season green, then came down the stairs of the farmhouse where I grew up two at a time. I was a week away from my tenth birthday, and a day...

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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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