photo: © David Moenkhaus - all rights reserved 773 612-4166

winter light II


tall grasses – Illinois


Around this time of year it’s pretty quiet where I live and with the new snow on the ground, it’s even quieter. The low sun and soft winter light makes me yearn for warmer weather. The 1st day of spring is only 36 days away.

The day I made this image, it was unusually quiet outside. There was no wind what so ever. And because I was in the north-western suburbs of Chicago – out in the cornfields – there was no highway sound at all either. So I clumsily made my way into the 7′ high forest of dry, tall grasses to make this exposure and I found that if I froze and didn’t move a muscle, I couldn’t hear a single sound. It was dead quiet and calm. And calming.

I know some people can’t stand it but I’ve always found peace in those rare moments of the complete absence of sound.

It’s probably because I experienced that a lot when I was a kid exploring the landscapes of northern Michigan. Later in my life I also found “dead-quiet” moments while travelling through parts of Wyoming, the Badlands of North and South Dakota and other spercial places in the American West.

One night a few years ago, I found myself standing under a completely clear, deep black sky with the Milky Way sparkling directly overhead in all directions. I was in Wyoming, near Saratoga on 130. The temperature was about 75 degrees and there was no wind – not even a light breeze. Ocassionaly I could hear a bird or coyote in the distance every so often, but mostly it was still and silent. And drop dead gorgeous. I stayed as long as I could in that beautuifully quiet and clear place along Wyoming 130. Then, I drove on in to Saratoga for a night at the Wolf Hotel and a soak in the hot springs.




Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the Gods.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson









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