The Forth Season : First Storm

Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2009. All Rights Reserved.

A cold bitter sting was in the air, the environment we had been searching for any sign elk had completely changed. The tables were turned in our favor, guesswork had turned to clear cut tracking.

In the midst of running a herd of elk across a deep ravine, I crossed a beautiful six point shed antler. It would take me almost two hours to circle back around to the elevation where I had seen it, take this photo, and pack it out as my only souvenir for the season.

Elk shed their antlers each spring, the large bones break off against rocks, trees and often times while sparring with other bulls.

Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley.

River of the Lost Souls.

Photographs © Jeremy Wade Shockley 2009. All Rights Reserved.

A cold snap dropped the colors early this fall as our train cars rocked back and forth on their slow ascent up the canyon. Following the Animas River into the granite cliffs above Durango and into the Weminuche wilderness.

The warm light that poured into the closed train cars was as welcome as the warm coffee in our hands.

The river below runs through rock cut from centuries of runoff, turned an iridescent green by the minerals it carries with it. The coal powered train steams forward, unaffected by the change of seasons, loss of fall foliage or the years which have redefined it’s very purpose.