Call of the Wild

Back from a couple days out "upcountry",
cold? well yes cold I have not felt before,
but strange too, as I have been there so many times you know
Sights galore, but I will show just a couple from my trip,
it’s good to be back and warm, but I can hardly wait to get back out again
Denali (The Great One) North America’s tallest Peak,
in rare winter light
IMGP0565 a Big Mac Attack

New Year’s Eve light show, via the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights)

IMGP0520 a New Year's Eve Light Show

And yes it’s sure nice to be back home,

safe and warm again, and see another coastal sunset this first day of the year.

IMGP0602 c Happy New Year!

And one of my favorite pieces of poetry about the north, by Robert Service


The Call of the Wild

Have you gazed on naked grandeur where there’s nothing else to gaze on,
Set pieces and drop-curtain scenes galore,
Big mountains heaved to heaven, which the blinding sunsets blazon,
Black canyons where the rapids rip and roar?
Have you swept the visioned valley with the green stream streaking through it,
Searched the Vastness for a something you have lost?
Have you strung your soul to silence? Then for God’s sake go and do it;
Hear the challenge, learn the lesson, pay the cost.

Have you wandered in the wilderness, the sagebrush desolation,
The bunch-grass levels where the cattle graze?
Have you whistled bits of rag-time at the end of all creation,
And learned to know the desert’s little ways?
Have you camped upon the foothills, have you galloped o’er the ranges,
Have you roamed the arid sun-lands through and through?
Have you chummed up with the mesa? Do you know its moods and changes?
Then listen to the Wild — it’s calling you.

Have you known the Great White Silence, not a snow-gemmed twig aquiver?
(Eternal truths that shame our soothing lies).
Have you broken trail on snowshoes? mushed your huskies up the river,
Dared the unknown, led the way, and clutched the prize?
Have you marked the map’s void spaces, mingled with the mongrel races,
Felt the savage strength of brute in every thew?
And though grim as hell the worst is, can you round it off with curses?
Then hearken to the Wild — it’s wanting you.

Have you suffered, starved and triumphed, groveled down, yet grasped at glory,
Grown bigger in the bigness of the whole?
"Done things" just for the doing, letting babblers tell the story,
Seeing through the nice veneer the naked soul?
Have you seen God in His splendors, heard the text that nature renders?
(You’ll never hear it in the family pew).
The simple things, the true things, the silent men who do things —
Then listen to the Wild — it’s calling you.

They have cradled you in custom, they have primed you with their preaching,
They have soaked you in convention through and through;
They have put you in a showcase; you’re a credit to their teaching —
But can’t you hear the Wild? — it’s calling you.
Let us probe the silent places, let us seek what luck betide us;
Let us journey to a lonely land I know.
There’s a whisper on the night-wind, there’s a star agleam to guide us,
And the Wild is calling, calling. . .let us go.


Happy New Year to all, from me in Alaska!

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34 Responses to Call of the Wild

  1. DeVärga says:

    It is good and makes me remember out the 8 years to me that I have master key in North * Nounavoute*

  2. Sue says:

    Wonderful Pic\’s, I cant believe the beautiful colours in your pic\’sand the words go with it all so well, you live in a beautiful part of our wonderful worldHappy New YearTake careSue

  3. jude says:

    happy new year toyou and yours from montreal….you have inspired me to take the pics that i have enjoyed alot

  4. Karolyn says:

    Thanks a lot Steve for all these exceptional pictures you share with all of us last year, and you continue to share. Northern Light is still my dream… but so cold (if YOU are saying you have not felt before…) I\’m not sure I\’ll be able one day to see this green sky.All the best for this New Year from Switzerland

  5. puzzle says:

    beautiful pictures and poem – thank you for sharing and: Happy New Year to you!

  6. Polly says:

    Stunning photoghraphs Steve..and the poetry that you have put with them is magical;;; Happy New year

  7. Beth says:

    Thank you Steve I have enjoyed your photos through the past year.

  8. Jim says:

    Wow. Nothing more to say other than Wow.

  9. J says:

    Ditto Jim Payne. Wow! Majestic Denali, wow!j

  10. Rambling says:

    J said it all. the operative word is, in capital letters…MAJESTIC! Absolutely stunning and what you have written for us to go with the photographs is just as lovely. Thank you.

  11. Aliya says:

    hithank you so much for sharin such a beautiful colors of nature with us its just amazing….GOD BLESSED U HAPPY NEW YEAR TO U aliya

  12. Kimmy says:

    Happy New Year Steve! Seeing Denali in pictures is amazing. I can only imagine what the mind sees when you\’re there in person. Thank you for sharing your view with us. 🙂

  13. Sherry says:

    I can\’t add any more then what the others have said already. Just want to thank you Steve for bringing us the beauty of your world. Without you we would never see beauty like this.Happy New YearSherry

  14. Arctic says:

    Congratulaiton Steve, you got it!they just amazing and marvelous ! i have learned from you and enjoyed the beautity via your photography in past year, wish you have a more fruitful new year!wolf

  15. Lynn says:

    Hi Steve,Really wonderful poem, I can understand you enjoying it so much…Great photo\’s also…Hope you have a really happy New Year friend…Lynn

  16. Rhonda says:

    These photos just take my breath away…the peaks ha.vs such amazing power…steadfast against the sky and the northern lights…you know how much I love them…beautiful green danicing lights. And yes, your warm sunset glow of home. The Call of the Wild…the first time I\’ve ever read the whole poem. Thank you for bringing your world to ours and hope you had a fantastic New Year!

  17. PEP says:

    Thanks Steve and Happy New Year to you also. I don\’t have to tell you to have fun because I know you will while you continue to chase your dreams. I wish you all the best in 2009.

  18. LAIRD says:

    Just love the pictures and as for the poem? Well from my recent writings you will see I have escaped the straightjacket, or showcase, and am beginning to see the world as Mother Nature intended. Your fantastic pictures will enlighten others! A peaceful 2009 up there on top of the world !

  19. catamaran says:

    Beautiful poetry…Denali is the wonderful photo…Happy new year Dorthy.

  20. Darryl says:

    Once you again you have managed to marry beautiful words with beuatiful photography Steve. Man ! It is alwasy a pleaure to stop by. Thanks for letting me.

  21. Vaughn says:

    Thanks for posting such wonderful scenes. Your pictures always offer a wonderful escape.

  22. Here I Am says:

    Amazing photos and what a beautiful poem. Talking about the wilds 2 days ago we saw a cougar from our window near the road. Next day 5 miles down a cougar attacked a dog on someones porch the owner went out and tried to break it up and the cougar attacked him. He recieved stitches on his head but I guess the dog didn\’t do well. They came in this morning and hunted it down and shot it. We have a lot here this year so I don\’t know if it was the same or a different one. Then this morning we had bobcat tracks on our driveway about 30\’ from the house..Boy its high life around here right now with the big cats… No nature walks for me for awhileTake Care Carrie

  23. Pat says:

    But I told you to stay warm!More wonderful photos – you are good to us.

  24. kevin says:

    Nice work Steve, great way to kick off the new year!

  25. JaeElle says:

    So much to catch up on here. All fantastic pictures, as usual. The ewes are so pretty. Your cat is, too. What a great picture you got of her claw…..fingers, as you call them…HA! The Auroa is beautiful as ever. Would love to see it in person, but I don\’t like the cold. I enjoy seeing your lovely state, through your eyes. Beautiful poem, Steve. Thank you.

  26. Lyn says:

    Glad you are warm again, but sure like the "cold" pictures we get to see thanks to your getting out there. Some day before I "go", I am coming to Alaska to see some of this. Hope I can still walk then.LOL Love ya Thanks Steve. Lyn

  27. Cindy says:

    So how cold was it up there? I\’m actually afraid to ask. Gorgeous pictures, especially of The Great One. The Northern Lights picture ain\’t to shabby either! Excellent as usual. Happy New Year to you Steve!

  28. Terry says:

    Just marvelous pictures. What vision you have.

  29. Kenneth says:

    and a happy new year to you Steve. Great shot of the mountains and the lights just blow me away. A very thought provoking poem also. be safe be well Kenny.

  30. Sarah says:

    TERRIFIC shot of Denali, Kuskulana, This is magnificent, and I thank you for sharing the pic with us–it transmits great strength and pride to my heart.

  31. elizabeth says:

    love the aurora steve. one of your best. great post. hugs, bb. xxx

  32. Sheila says:

    Steve!What a gorgeous sampling of the fantastic work you accomplish in such harsh conditions. I wish for you continued challenges in 2009 and hope that your call of the wild is never silenced. I hear that call sometimes in the sounds of distance, you know, the sounds you hear just as you drop off to sleep? Someday I hope to hear it louder than the local village church bells pealing overhead. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your life. As one of your many fans has already said here, without you and your need to heed the call of the wild, we would never be blessed with these fleeting moments of a view from your window.hugs friendand Happy New Yearfrom this flatlander over here!

  33. Cat says:

    I love that poem –

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