But back home.
With remarkable speed we found ourselves no longer upon the granite hearth of Yosemite, no longer greeting the dead-quiet evening chill of summer becoming fall along the Merced, but instead standing beneath the same stars in the waning hours of an Illinois summer. Along the banks of the river and beneath El Capitan, the nights were so still I could hear the climbers shout to one another from the stone above. Under the same stars and back home the oaks were alive with cicadas and tree frogs. I sat upon the porch amidst waves of absolutely symphonic and jubilant sound, and I reflected for moment on what the last few years have meant to me and what lies ahead.
Suffice it to say that this short post is in no way a proper accounting of those thoughts. Instead consider it an opening salvo, an introduction to what I hope will become a series of posts containing new photographs from the past three years in California—a series that will represent best the reasons I started this website and the reasons my feet still carry me out the door on cold and beautiful evenings.
It's raining outside my window here in Austria (more on that later) and I am heartsick to see family and friends and autumn and oak trees and all that, but I find my mind drifting back to the valley again and again. I suspect it will always be that way, indeed I know it will be so. Grown gray and long past my night-hiking years I will look back upon our trips to the valley with the same overwhelming fondness that I now harbor. In memory Yosemite will become a luminous backdrop against which silhouettes of our younger selves are thrown. This was an iconic piece of our lives in California. I submit these few photographs as a better window into my heart than my words will ever be.