Same Time, Same Place, Next Year
2 Nov 2011
The first time I laid eyes on Swauger Creek canyon, nestled in the High Sierra, was October 1994. It was autumn as I had never seen it. That day there were remnants of an early snow, the light diffusing shades of gold and yellow. The vista was cradled between the canyon hills which dropped into a forty acre meadow surrounded by aspens. A for sale sign hung on a fence at the road.
Anyone who's ever driven along Highway 395 and the Eastern Sierra this time of year knows its awesome beauty. Still, this pocket of radiant yellow stopped me cold. I just stood and watched and listened as the crystal wind drove the leaves to applaud, even as they fell to the ground, a migration of sorts. Everything was the color of farewell and, at the same time, hello.
We ended up with that property, built an off-the-grid cabin, and while we don't live there full-time, we never miss coming in the fall. This is our great, good place. I have come up the road, rounded the granite outcropping to see that meadow hundreds of times, and I am captivated by it still.
In 2003 I picked up my first digital camera. Around that same time, the local newspaper began a fall colors photo contest, and boy, did I think I could bag that, what with the gold mine I had to work with at Swauger Creek!
Well, I never did win, and eventually the newspaper quit having the contest altogether.
The other day, I came across my Swauger Creek fall collection and thought one of the shots from each of the last eight years might make an interesting photo essay.
All the photos were taken right here on our forty acres.