Life and Death
River of Fallen Trees, Yellowstone, MT 2010
In mid to late October, Yellowstone National Park often sees its Autumn rust colored grounds dusted with the first snow of the coming winter season. The ever-changing cycle of the seasons is a constant reminder of the circle of life that is a constant in nature. This image, River of Fallen
Trees, captures the essence of the changing landscape colors as well as the felled trees that eventually return back into the Earth to re-start the growth process all over again. At the left-rear of the image you can also see some of the steam from one of more than 10,000 thermal features that constantly spews from the ground in the Park, as it has for thousands of years.
Just prior to shooting this image, I had run into a couple of photographers at Old Faithful who had recently spotted a fairly large bear not too far away. With this information fresh in my mind, I spent as much time framing this scene in my camera, as I did looking over my shoulder. Luckily, my day was uneventful, other than temperatures in the 20’s and snow that closed the interior park roads. Sometime after this image was made, a hiker was actually killed by a Grizzly in Yellowstone, which is a very rare occurrence (and often a result of a perceived threat to a mother’s cub).
Hence, both that incident and the continuous cycle that exists in the natural world, reminds me of the ongoing inevitability of…life and death.