Waxing Crescent Libation

After the libation of a waxing crescent moon and late-night aurora, my blinds came crashing down and didn’t flicker until twilight. I awoke drowsily but surely, terrified that I was about to miss it, and flew from my hammock like a bird, landing atop a cliff-line roost of sand just as the sun started to poke.

As precisely and methodically as possible given my headspace, I resumed the painted landscape en route to 1759 photographs by weekend’s end, the momentary culmination of all I’ve learned since 2020 regarding motion techniques in camera. The idea took hold last winter after climbing Pictured Rocks’ sexiest line of ice. Alone on the howling frozen cliff line looking back, I envisioned what I hoped would be. And now here I was, basking in the summer sun to start this seasonal journey.

As the sun climbed high and the shutter ceased to snap, I collapsed in the roost. Next to me lay my original Tamrac camera bag, purchased in the year 2000, frayed at the edges, useless fabric hacked off, but still strong as ever … 22 years of photography and life leading to what I feel will be the largest, most complex, most magical piece of art I’ve ever created.

Wiped out, full of vibrancy and vitality, deeply intoxicated by nature, I said goodbye to my roost until winter. During the 3.85-mile hike out, a perfect bird’s nest fell from above during a perfect calm. The biggest things often shake loose when it seems least likely that they should. During the 407-mile drive home, a beetle landed on my sideview mirror and held on for several miles in a 72 m.p.h. headwind. Its determination and grip give me hope for next year’s ascent of Pictured Rocks’ sexiest line of ice and the finger-numbing photography that will follow from a frozen roost.