There is something mysterious about light no matter how well you understand the science behind it. It varies throughout the seasons. If I had to pick a single time I like to photograph outdoors it would have to be January. The light of this season has a paradoxical cool-warmth to it—a yellow-blue tone that seems to give everything it touches a dreamlike quality.

January always feels like an in-between time—a time of rest before things start waking up and getting busy again. This is what I was thinking about as I arrived at Laity Lodge this week to shoot. I wanted to capture that light and the surrounding quiet. What does stillness look like?

I heard that a kingfisher had taken up residency at Black Bluff, and I’ve looked for him over my last few visits. He has always eluded me. Finally, on this visit, after a long time spent watching and waiting, I spotted him, eating on the side of the river. But before I could make my way down, he flew away. At least I caught a glimpse.

It was time to leave. While heading out, I stopped to shoot some of the last light on the river and there he was. I may have had a brief conversation with him about punctuality! Then it hit me; maybe I should just rest in the quiet and find joy in the unexpected. To receive things as they come. To enjoy the light.

Wendi Poole is a photographer who regularly shoots Lodge retreats. In recent months she has made periodic visits here to capture photographic surveys of the place in the absence of events and crowds. This trip occurred on January 12, 2021.

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