Nature poses herself

Happy Earth Day!
photo: © David Moenkhaus - all rights reserved 773 612-4166

© David Moenkhaus

















old weathered conifer – Wyoming


 Graflex Crown Graphic 4×5 camera on  Fuji Velvia transparency film


Early one stormy September day in The Snowy Mountain Range of the Medicine Bow National Forest in southeast

WyomingI made this image at an elevation of around 10,200 feet.


To say the state of Wyoming is windy is putting it mildly and up in the Snowy Mountains where I made this image, the wind is almost constant.

I remember thinking that the wind has been polishing the trunk of the old pine tree for way longer than I’ve even been on the planet!

The surface of the pine tree felt like old leather.


 “One day’s exposure to mountains is better than cartloads of books. See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographers’ plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul.”

– John Muir  –  from John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir












If you’re into topographic maps that help you get into the backcountry, try this cool and easy to use United Geologic Survey Viewer.

Or try the fun to use US Forest Service Interactive Visitor map

As a photographer and film maker, I find the Interactive Visitor Map And the USGS Viewer really useful for

planning shoots and scouting locations. For example, I’d almost forgotten where I photographed the pine tree

above. But I was able to find this topo map of Brooklyn Lake Campground, in the Medicine Bow National Forest,

and pinpoint where I made this image using the Interactive Visitor Map.






“Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grass and gentians of glacier meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of Nature’s darlings. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”

John Muir  



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