A Photographer’s View of Vesper Meadow
By Matt Witt, Artist-in-Partnership
There are so many things happening in the world today that we have to fight against – to stop, to resist, to reverse.
We also need opportunities to create, to bring alternative visions to life, to show what we can do when we work together in community.
That’s one reason I’m grateful for projects like the Vesper Meadow Education Program.
The first time I spent a day walking with my camera through every corner of Vesper Meadow, I saw how beautiful it can be, even before the planned restoration takes hold.
Of course, for a photographer there are obvious landscape shots: the big meadow itself against the iconic backdrop of Mt. McLoughlin, the aspen groves with their fall color, the stands of big ponderosa pine.
But as a photographer I also like to look closer, to focus in on details, to appreciate the beauty that doesn’t immediately meet the eye.
On a winter’s day, small translucent ice formations decorated the creeks, each unique to that moment and that place. Even an hour later, they would not be the same.
In an aspen grove in the fall, a focus on details revealed the texture and color of individual leaves.
There were visually interesting marks left by elk that nibbled on bark or rubbed their antlers against the trees.
A group of aspen trunks made a pattern with another grove’s vibrant color shining in the background.
I’m looking forward next to photographing in springtime, zeroing in on flowers, birds, butterflies, and other creatures that emerge.
In the meantime, I’ve been enjoying images created by other photographers and artists supporting the Vesper Meadow project, including those that show a broad community of local people who come to study, document, share knowledge, or engage in restoration – for the land and for ourselves.