Posted by: Bruce Proctor | June 17, 2008

Evening One: Wyoming-Vernal photo trip 06-08-08

Dusk, 1st Night, Flaming Gorge Reservoir

I drove in at dusk to a remote bay in Flaming Gorge Reservoir, then over sagebrush flats to the water, antelopes in small groups eyeing me with curiosity.

The most striking thing about setting up camp for the first time in a season is the wide silence of the land, punctuated by the yipping of coyotes, the quiet shuffle of a rabbit, the plop of a fish.

To the west, in a gap between bluffs on the far side of the bay, the sudden, dramatic blaze of a falling star for two seconds, then blanking out. The moon I’d forgotten about in the city I find half full as night falls. I know now that every night of my trip the moon will grow and brighten, rising almost an hour later each night, and dominate more and more of the night, possibly affecting sleep. And the sunset is very late after a tremendously-long day, setting far to the north-west, with light lingering long on the horizon afterwards. I know it’ll rise only a few hours later just a few skips to the north-east.

As I get out to relieve myself through the night, I watch the stars’ sky gather to a mighty dominance, and the mighty belt of the Milky Way overhead rotate each time, the natural cycles we hardly notice in town reassert themselves. I’m back in the sacred wheels.

While I photographed in the relaxed morning, geese squabbled now and again. A magnificent, blindingly-white pelican with bright orange beak and legs glided over water. A cloud of insect whine gradually grew around me, though no biting. I wonder what they get out of being around me. Time to leave.

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