Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • I was living in Jackson, Wyoming one summer.
    It was a bad year for fires, and they seemed to surround the valley.

    I can remember leaving work one afternoon and a light ash was falling in the center of town. It seemed apocalyptic, and the horror stories on the news made me nervous, but it was also magical. I knew that there was real danger to some nearby towns and cabins. And that lodges, real lives and possessions and livelihoods were threatened. But at that moment there was an enjoyable beauty to the contrasts of a sunny day, the dark plumes of smoke colliding upward, and the ash sifting through the sky.

    With an afternoon free, and camera in tow, I headed North, up the Rockefeller Parkway twisting around the folds of Jackson Lake. I pulled over along the shore, stunned at the vista. The Tetons were surrounded by several dark plumes, and large flames were visible across the lake. Big flames. Lots of them. Eating up the steep slopes rising from the lake.

    I listened, but there was no crackle or crash. No jarring sound effect explosions. It was ominous, but the many yards of soft ruffling lake waters in between offered comfort. Just the sound of the water hitting land.

    I took many shots of the mountains and the valleys with fire and smoke that afternoon. But this image - the fire and smoke reflecting in the blurred ripples of Jackson Lake was the one that was most meaningful to me, and the strange beauty of that fire season.
    • Share

    Connected stories:


Collections let you gather your favorite stories into shareable groups.

To collect stories, please become a Citizen.

    Copy and paste this embed code into your web page:

    px wide
    px tall
    Send this story to a friend:
    Would you like to send another?

      To retell stories, please .

        Sprouting stories lets you respond with a story of your own — like telling stories ’round a campfire.

        To sprout stories, please .

            Better browser, please.

            To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.