Tangerine negative


During the summer of 2006, I took this photo and was inspired to write many poems (one included below) while on a 21 day backcountry outing as a Montana Conservation Corps crew member, working long days blazing miles of new pack trails in the Scapegoat Wilderness outside Lincoln, Montana. Our crew, which we affectionately named Gang Green, trekked 25 miles into the middle of pristine, sub-alpine (~7,000 feet) forest and were totally disconnected from the outside world. This was a richly therapeutic and refreshing experience where you are at the mercy of nature, rising with the sun and going to bed with the sun, bathing with the mosquitoes in the creek, washing clothes in your hardhat, drinking cold mountain water and cooking vittles over fires under a crisp canopy of stars. This is the path of least resistance for me…it makes you work, but you are so much more alive and aware! I have included the poem below:

Friday’s spectacular sunrise
came as no surprise,
since Friday eve the winds
did seize a newly
christened fire.

Though through the gray screen
of festering smoky debris,
a different hue began to appear –
almost as if red dye had been
cast in the early morning sky.
The resurfacing sun
did act like a heavenly orb
that reflected red, purple and
afterburner orange.

The resurrected phoenix
of technicolor out of a
black and white slumber
astounded my mind
while I sat out on high
from the lofty perch of my tent.
Though nothing it seems
could come closer in dreams
than did that offering
of blissful radiance,
warming the morning
with a light overexposing
like a tangerine negative,
which lingered just long enough
before blue could, in turn,
become its complement.

poem and photo from ‘Nostalgia, Naturally’ by Tyler Pedersen, Copyright 2007

About tyler4turtles

I am an avid photographer, poet, ecologist, bookworm, blogger, art enthusiast and runner who calls Montana home but lives in Oregon.
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13 Responses to Tangerine negative

  1. Gallivanta says:

    I don’t care for mosquitoes but some of the best times of my life were when I woke with the sun and went to bed with the sun. I felt close and comfortable with the natural world.

    • I am not a fan of mosquitoes either, but after awhile, they are just a part of your life and you begin to incorporate them into your day (especially in the wee hours of dawn and early hours of twilight). Your biological clock becomes more in sync with the circadian rhythm of the earth and you have the most sound, refreshing sleep in your tent after a hard days work. I’ve also had the most profound, strange dreams at higher elevations, so go figure 🙂

      • Gallivanta says:

        Well my experience of living in sync with the circadian rhythm was at sea level. Can’t remember any dreams, so there’s another thing to go figure. Sea air vs mountain air and its effects on dreaming.

  2. sheketechad says:

    Oh, I know this feeling so well! Alive. Vibrant. Tired. Happy. I miss it 😦

    • Thank you, my friend! The most genuine and true feelings stem from our relationship with Nature. In Mother Earth’s womb, we are re-born anew and attuned to the vibrant balance of life. I’m glad you feel the same way 🙂 Hope you’re having a wonderful day!
      Tyler 🙂

  3. In the Stillness of Willow Hill says:

    I have such gratitude for people like you who clear trails for me to ride. I always knew we had a special connection. And yes, hard work is very freeing. I can’t wait to get home and muck our horse stalls each day…after being released from a confining indoor job. Give me a chain saw…I’m happy. A shovel too…yeh!

    • Thank you, my friend! I appreciate your kind words of support 🙂 I agree…it feels so therapeutic to get your hands dirty and revel in the wildness of Nature! Hope you’re doing well…have a wonderful day 🙂

  4. The photo goes very welcome with the poem. Paints such a heavenly picture.

    • Thank you kindly, my friend! Glad you enjoyed them 🙂 Hope you’re doing well. I haven’t been on WordPress as much b/c of my job. I miss not having as much time to dedicate to poetry…but that’s life…cram as much into it as possible. How’s the painting going? You’re a wonderfully talented artist. Have a relaxing weekend 🙂

  5. Joanne says:

    Can certainly see the source of your inspiration – glorious capture!

  6. Beautiful photo and a lovely poem! 🙂

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