Long Draw Rd

Trap Lake

Roosevelt National Forest

Long Draw Reservoir, Rocky Mountain National Park

One year ago Colorado was battling the worst forest fire event in its history when the East Troublesome and Cameron Peak fires merged, consuming 400,000 acres. This is the Long Draw area bordering Rocky Mountain National Park, which was also heavily damaged by the fire. I’ve taken a lot of wildlife photos here – moose, elk, deer – decades of thrilling memories. On this day the area should have been crawling with hunters, fall photographers, fishermen, enthusiasts, but it’s eerily silent. No wildlife, no people, very little water in the reservoir. In the course of the universe, this is a small blip that is good for the land in restoring it from the blight of the beetle, but I probably won’t live to see it. In the course of my lifetime, it’s a massive loss, yet I can learn from the resilience of the forest and know that life will go on. There is still beauty to behold.

Cameron Peak Fire, Colorado