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I'm departing from my standard format of selecting some nature writing to accompany each photo this month. For some reason I couldn't find the right words to go with these images, so I'll simply share my impressions of these scenes:

Rocky Mountain Park
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It was approaching sunset - one of the prime times for nature photography - when we were in Rocky Mountain National Park earlier this fall. As we waited for the disappearing sun to work its magic on the clouds and mountains in front of us, I happened to turn around and noticed this very simple hillside capped by some interesting cloud formations. The image is slightly reminiscent of a Wyeth painting (and by saying so, I mean no disrepect to the Wyeth family) - a setting with just a few elements in graceful combination. I was tempted to "digitally enhance" this image by adding a few deer or a tree on the hillside but decided to leave it as is. That's the view that caught my eye, and it's the one I want to share. To me, it conveys a powerful stillness.

Estes Park river
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If ever there was an accidental photograph, this is it. I wish I could say you're looking at a fast-running river in the middle of the woods, illuminated only by a full moon. But here's the truth: after the sunset session described above, we drove into the town of Estes Park for dinner. Walking out of the restaurant towards the parking lot, we crossed a footbridge over a small stream running through town. The light came from an eerily-colored streetlight. Though it was obviously an artificial scene, there was something about how the light played on the rocks in the stream bed that set me off to the car to get my camera gear. Nature photography is about the intersection of form, pattern, light, and shadow - all of which are evident in this bit of urban landscape.

If you are interested in excellent landscape photography, take a look at NATURE'S AMERICA which captures images from around the US, or PLATEAU LIGHT which contains images from the Arizona-Utah redrock canyon country, or ARIZONA: THE BEAUTY OF IT ALL. All are reasonably priced for photography books of this type, and you'll find them endlessly enjoyable.

Also, there are many resources on the Web concerning various aspects of landscape and environmental issues, and more. Among the more interesting ones I can suggest are the Bureau of Land Management's Visual Resource Management program, the National Park Service, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.


If You'd Like To Explore Some More...

There are several nature writers whose work I really enjoy reading, including Edward Abbey, Barry Lopez, Joseph Wood Krutch, and Henry David Thoreau and Everett Ruess. To see a list of their writings, please visit the Natural Escape Writer's page, and spend some time browsing through the titles.

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