Ingmar Bergman says about his 1968 film with the same name:
"The Hour of the Wolf is the hour between night and dawn. It is the hour when most people die, when sleep is deepest, when nightmares are most real. It is the hour when the sleepless are haunted by their deepest fear, when ghosts and demons are most powerful."- In sum it is the darkest hour, where mankind seems to be lost.
We woke up early, in the “hour of the wolf”, to explore the wonders of Yellowstone Park and have the opportunity to see real wolves.
I could write, today, about the wondrous things that we, as a group, were privileged to see in the midst of the park. From the majestic grizzly bear, carefully guiding her cubs behind her, full of motherly love to the emotional tales of survival and triumph of underwhelmed packs. I could talk about the size and the numbers of Bison or about the fact that sometimes bull bison escape their females and go “party” on the road. About the large green fields, filled with multi colored flowers, clear lakes and silver rivers, brimming with animal life or even about the large conifers that witness and attest life in the park for centuries. About the hues of green, blue and yellow in the volcanic springs or the strength behind the waterfalls in the Grand Canyon. About the acidic smell of sulfur or the energy behind a geyser explosion. About team names (professional tourist, powdered milk and bison) or bonding experiences.
But I won’t speak about those happenings. I will keep them in my heart for a long time, but I will write of something more important. Sometimes when you are communing with nature, enjoying the wild, it leads to a train of thought on what Human society has changed across Time.
I will talk about the almighty, all knowing and all important photographs. Photos are a bit like memories frozen in a piece of data. To some of us, when we’ll review them, they will freshen up the memories, they will bring the little tear or the shine to the eye, and they will help prolong the feelings and the circumstances. They will show others a piece of what we experienced, and when shared in social media they can make our friends jealous – photo near a pretty scenario – one more point in the cool battle!!
The paparazzi in each one of us is delighted by the ability to press a button (or screen) and miraculously engrave the moment in bites and bits – at least till the memory card is full, or the battery runs dead. For a second we have the power to capture everything forever beating the all-consuming Time!
But somehow, sometimes, technology stops being a blessing, a weapon against our own faults, and starts to become a trammel. When someone stops living, observing and feeling the moments just to take a picture; or worse, transforms the moments into picture-frenzy time; or even forget about the group and the others to focus on a screen I will say that it isn’t capturing life, it’s not living it; it’s not fighting time, it’s wasting it.
And if we lose the moments and don’t enjoy them, if we make others feel stressed, or make them constantly wait for the end of the photo session, maybe we found the real hour of the wolf.
If you read this, you might be inclined to think that I hate pictures. I don’t. In Yellowstone I took more than 100 (but maybe I am one of the ones with least pictures taken).
But I can also say that as individuals (and as a group) we must find a way to compromise.
Bruno de Sousa –Amateur photographer, somewhat experienced life-explorer