In Ancient Groves
I hear somebody stirring and open my eyes. Pat is back after scanning the early morning sky. "Clouds," he says. "But they are good clouds." I curl back into my sleeping bag for a moment and groan. It's time to get up.
A nature photographer's day begins in darkness and in waiting. Waiting for the landscape to take shape out of the night, waiting in the mysterious clarity of early morning shadows. Each dawn is different: some diffuse the light through a cloudy haze, others mold the land like a sculptor, touch it with new life and meaning.
This day is beginning in the high mountains of the Lagodekhi Nature Reserve, in a small cabin by the snow line. Soon the sun will rise above the mountain shoulder, and light up brown alpine meadows still patched with ice. All around us mountain ridges rise to sheer rock faces, and up into the white silence of the snow.