14 thoughts on “Morning Has Broken!

    • Blackbirds, and other birds as well… There has been an interesting ecological benefit from reintroducing wolves – still controversial here in YNP – back into the system. Elk no longer graze down by the rivers because wolves can ambush them easily there. Thus, Cottonwood trees and willows proliferate more than previously, and they provide refuge for an increase in songbirds, beavers, all sorts of creatures.

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  1. Don’t have your mountains, but I do enjoy sunrises and sunsets over the lake we live on … two totally different light shows and both inspiring … you do have to catch them at “just that moment.” Interesting how the natural world recovers when we interfere … one way or the other … there is a balance and order that we keep screwing with and it does move both directions.

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    • You speak of “just that moment” and to photographers that is known as the “golden moment.” It takes climbing out of bed early, however, no easy task for me when here in Montana the sun peeks over the ridges around 5:30 – 5:45 am, and I have to get up at 3:30 just to make it to the Park by then!

      And this idea about the natural world recovering and regaining balance… Every day I see thousands of blackened lodgepole pines burnt dead, some still standing others toppled and scattered on hillsides by the fire of 1988 that destroyed 36% of Yellowstone.

      And yet, Life goes on… Beautifully.

      Here’s a summary of that seminal event in Yellowstone history:

      A total of 248 fires started in greater Yellowstone in 1988; 50 of those were in Yellowstone National Park. Despite widespread misconceptions that all fires were initially allowed to burn, only 31 of the total were; 28 of these began inside the park. In the end, 7 major fires were responsible for more than 95% of the burned acreage.More than 25,000 firefighters, as many as 9000 at one time, attacked Yellowstone fires in 1988, at a total cost of about $120 million.

      Ecosystemwide, about 1.2 million acres was scorched; 793,000 (about 36%) of the park’s 2,221,800 acres were burned. Sixty-seven structures were destroyed, including 18 cabins used by employees and guests and one backcountry patrol cabin in Yellowstone.

      Surveys found that 345 dead elk (of an estimated 40,000-50,000), 36 deer, 12 moose, 6 black bears, and 9 bison died in greater Yellowstone as a direct result of the fires; 2 radio-collared grizzly bears were missing and were presumed to have been killed, (although one turned up alive and well several years later).

      Most of the animals that died were trapped as fire quickly swept down two drainages, and were discovered when biologists subsequently observed scavenging grizzlies, coyotes, and birds feeding on the carcasses.

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  2. I must say without question this is the spectacular, this is the day break, these unveiling seconds into minutes are all that make the troublesome parts of any voyage entirely understood. I wept seeing this. If I felt it was like a present for my own day I can imgine you standing in it, crisp air wafting against you and the early heat of sun, this glorious reward not just for the trip itself but for a path well chosen. Breathtaking, John.
    I think I even see a rainbow off on the left. That band of rust colored foliage along the bottom is brilliant. This is the wolves home. The bears and birds you photograph there, the elk, mountain goats, fox. Lamar Valley, they all look like their home, don’t they. And all that endless space for the human heart, too. The header is equal to the main photograph, but the central one, well it made my heart stop. Well done.

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    • Thanks, Barbara. I felt really lucky to capture these moments. You know as well as I that we have awesome moments all the time, but capturing them – well, that’s a bit problematic. Oh how I would love to see your canvases should you ever spend some time here! Painters can penetrate deeper into a scene or a moment that photographers, I think.

      Yes, that rainbow is what caused me to stop and jump out of the car in the first place. I wish it would have been more dynamic, but that was not be (even with photoshopping). 😦

      ‘Tis a wonderful life I am privileged to lead out here, and not for a moment does that fact escape me!

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    • Yes, great metaphor for recovery, and certainly has centuries of biblical symbolism behind it too. To tell the truth, I also like the destructive aspects of Nature. Anything that knocks us on our ass can also awaken our sense of awe.

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