I take the Rollei with me every time we go exploring. I don’t think it’s necessarily ideal for photographing landscapes, though. Maybe I just need to learn to do a better job of managing larger scenarios with this particular format; regardless, I’m finding some pretty interesting subjects within a more accessible focal range. Not far from the entrance to Avalanche Gulch, we came across the remains of what must have been a pretty grisly scene. Two large fur beds in the shapes of deer with a bone debris field scattered in a 50-foot radius. Coyotes, I’m guessing, dragged the lifeless bodies of their kill into this scrubby bit of brush so they could enjoy their meal in a more secluded spot.

It’s hard for me, someone who’s grown up in the city, to digest the reality that plays out in the wilderness. I’ve watched hundreds of nature shows, and I still get upset when one animal falls victim to another – doesn’t even matter where they are on the food chain, it just hurts my heart. I can’t even watch Disney movies with animals in them because I get so upset if they get lost, hurt, or … you know.

Now that I live in a place where I’m confronted by the reality of the natural world on a daily basis, I’m starting to allow myself to appreciate the rule of animal instinct. I see that trying to ascribe my tender sensibilities to their inherent need to survive is, well, ridiculous. While it’s possible that an underdeveloped part of my thinking is starting to evolve, it doesn’t mean I don’t hurt when I see things like this; I am, however, learning to appreciate how each species must function in this wild and oftentimes harsh environment just to survive.