The Long Night

December 21, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

TOWN SQUARETOWN SQUAREJackson, Wyoming Hello, darkness, my old friend...

This being the winter solstice, tonight will be the longest of the year: for night owls, a red-letter event. If you're not in that camp, rejoice knowing the long days of summer are on their way back beginning tomorrow.

Everyone's happy!

I'm a daylight kind of person but will admit I've softened toward the long nights over the years. To everything there is a season - and as a nature photographer I don't mind a little break from work days that start at 0-dark-30 and never seem to end. Besides, thanks to the seasonal delicacy also known as holiday lights, nights are anything but dark. I don't know how all those twinkling displays can be considered anything other than magical. 

There's still time to get out there and capture these enchanting scenes before they disappear. Check schedules: some big-city light shows and displays will remain lit for a week or so after New Year's; you might have a little bit of a cushion if your schedule between holidays is packed. I can't think of a better antidote to a post-holiday letdown. Besides, who says you've got to stop making merry once January rolls around?

If a municipality near you is going to sponsor New Year's Eve fireworks, it might be something you'd like to try to capture with your camera. Next week I'll run through a refresher course. Whether it's been a while since your last rodeo or if you're new to shooting pyrotechnics, this will help prepare you to make some photos of the show.

Meanwhile, best wishes to you and yours for a very Merry Christmas!

In Local News

A few of you asked whether Jackson Hole Resort was successful in setting the new world's record for skiing in blue jeans. They crushed it! The place was a sea of denim; the final tally was 3,114 people.   

Yellowstone National Park is now open to oversnow traffic. 

Sleigh rides on the National Elk Refuge began on December 16th and run through mid-April, conditions permitting. It's a unique way to get close to these beautiful animals: the largest migrating herd in North America. 

If you're thinking about visiting either Yellowstone or Grand Teton next summer and camping is on your radar, don't delay. Campsites are available on a rolling six-month calendar (with smaller camping areas like Signal Mountain already pretty well booked for dates through late-June). 

Since we're in an El Niño weather pattern this winter, snowfall here in the Tetons is projected to be much lower than it was last year. That said, fresh powder is expected in the mountains on both the 23rd and 24th. Grand Targhee is 100% open. Total-to-date is 125 inches with a 45 inch base at the summit. Jackson Hole is reporting 124 inches-to-date with 37 inches at the summit.

Santa Claus will make his annual appearance at Jackson Hole Resort on Christmas Eve, when he'll repel from the Aerial Tram at about 4:20pm. Ho, ho, ho!


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