story was inspired by an early morning photo shoot in
Denali National Park.)
by the light of the rising or setting sun, even the most tired landscape
inspired. A photographer, my
husband Ron, is always chasing this “magic" light.
dawns with a hint of blue sky and the sun waits patiently just below the horizon
begin its graceful rise upward. The
air is crisp and filled with the energy of a new day.
I listen as the quiet forest comes alive with the sounds of songbirds and
scampering feet of snowshoe hares playing their games of hide-and-seek on the
forest floor. My eyes, alert for movement, are amazed when they come to rest on the
elusive black wolf not more than twenty feet away.
Joining the morning symphony, the wolf’s howls echo forlornly off the
valley walls. The haunting sound
vibrates through the air with a tension that heightens the senses.
by the luring howl, the sun rises over the horizon and bathes the forest in a
soft yellow-orange light. The
wolf’s black coat, still full from winter, is backlit and glows orange as if
on fire, and with each howl a faint yellow mist curls upward from his mouth.
Spellbound, I watch and
The black wolf’s siren call draws a gray wolf from the forest.
As if old friends reunited, they greet each other affectionately.
Tenderly they nuzzle, nose to nose, their black and gray fur a pleasing
contrast edged in an electrifying orange light.
Playfully, they begin to paw and jump at one another until distracted;
the black wolf looks skyward and lets out another series of long forlorn howls.
Reluctant to join the others, a third wolf hesitates at the forest’s
fills the valley and surrealistically the day has begun.
The sun continues her graceful climb into the sky and the wolves go their
separate ways. The morning light has
worked its “magic.” The
photographer smiles, satisfied.
Here are more
photos of wild wolves.