As memories of summer days fade, the green hills of the Laurel Highlands continue the cycle of death and rebirth.
Fall brings beauty before the gray slumber of winter and in mornings, when the sun creeps over the Alleghenies to shine on misted valleys of orange, red and yellow, The Highlands shows its splendor.
I come here when the calendar flips to October, searching. I leave Greensburg in the cold darkness of early morning and drive into the mountains, unsure of what my camera will find. Landscape photography is a journey requiring patience and timing.
Sometimes 100-mile drives produce nothing worth capturing, leaving me exhausted and defeated.
Still, I come back. Standing beside my tripod in the blue morning mist, I feel my aloneness. The solitude of the mountains before dawn is beautiful but haunting.
Then the sun crests the ridge, giving life to autumn's warm hues, and I realize that after more than 1,000 miles and countless hours, I have found what I wanted.
As the vista disappears in my rearview mirror, I am happy.
Guy Wathen is a Trib Total Media photographer based in Greensburg.
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