Author T.A. Barron and acclaimed nature photographer John Fielder spent a month exploring the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness near Aspen, Colorado, trekking more than 200 miles through the spiritual heart of the Riocky Mountains. With Fielder's large-format camera and Barron's notepads and pens, the two have recorded what may well be one of the most sensitive and insightful accounts of life in the wild ever published.
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For me, writing is exploring. Whether it's the surprising connections among people, the wondrous patterns of nature, or the mysterious wellsprings of the spirit-the universe beckons. I love to explore it, whether by foot or by pen.
Writing is both the most joyous-and most agonizing-labor I know. And it is by far the best way to travel-in our world or any other. Ever since my youth on a ranch in Colorado, I've felt passionate about nature-and about writing. I wrote and published my own magazine as a kid, called the Idiot's Odyssey, which sold about five copies an issue (including the ones my parents bought). I kept writing during my college years at Princeton, and during my years at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. During that time at Oxford, I composed stories and poems while hiking in the Scottish highlands, while sitting beneath the boughs of an English oak I named Merlin's tree, while backpacking through Asia, Africa, and the Arctic; and while participating in a traditional roof thatching in Japan. Even during my years managing a fast-growing business in New York City, I often rose before dawn to write.
Finally, I followed my dream to write full time. In 1990, I moved back to Colorado and started writing in the attic of my home, with the help of my wife and our five young children.
I am currently writing a five-book epic about the youth of Merlin. This epic gives me a chance to add a new dimension to the rich lore about this enduring figure. Why am I spending almost a decade writing about Merlin? Because he is much, much more than a great wizard. His story is, in truth, a metaphor-for the idea that all of us, no matter how weak or confused, have a magical person down inside-waiting to be discovered. If you would like more information about the epic or my other books, please visit my official tabarron website.About the Author:
John Fielder is Colorado's best-known nature photographer, publisher, teacher and preservationist with 39 exhibit-format books and guidebooks to his credit, including John Fielder's Best of Colorado and Colorado 1870-2000. He is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the Sierra Club's Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography (1993) and the Aldo Leopold Foundation's first ever Achievement Award (2011). John Fielder's photography has influenced people and legislation, and he has worked tirelessly to promote the protection of Colorado's open space and wildlands.
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