As I close my eyes in a place far away from windswept mountains and rushing streams, the day dream builds in my imagination like a storm, flashes of sights and sounds from a place stuck in the corner or left out of most maps. As I convert my Attu photos to black and white, I can hear the complex musical song of the Winter Wren raining down from the cliffs along Gilbert Ridge.  My careful preservation of pixels as rocks and raindrops might help others to realize what a mysterious and fragile world we live in. 

I've converted some of my images from Attu into black and white to replicate the historical images I've seen in books documenting the war in Alaska during WWII, when only black and white photographs captured the timeless beauty and texture of a land dotted with snow and sky. Viewing my photos in black and white somehow links me with these days gone by, when the runways were bustling with wartime activity and soldiers washed their hands after a long cold day outside. Turning my images into monochromatic snapshots helps me understand that this is, in fact the same place all of that history unfolded. Many lives were changed by the events that transpired here, just as my life was changing as I scaled mountains, crossed streams, reflecting and examining my own heart.

Now others can look through my lens at the rugged beauty of this island, the black and white tempting the mind's eye to fill in the color- making the landscape come to life, to imagine what it would be like to sink into the wet tundra and smell the sweet aroma of summer wildflowers. Maybe a seed has been planted inside your thought, to get out and explore the vistas of your dreams. 

Snow-covered peaks rise from the sea, disappearing into the cloudy sky

Snow-covered peaks rise from the sea, disappearing into the cloudy sky

The Pukuk sits at anchor in Casco Bay while birders explore the shores and lakes of Attu

The Pukuk sits at anchor in Casco Bay while birders explore the shores and lakes of Attu

A lone telephone pole stands from days gone by, when Attu was a pivotal position for war-time communications 

A lone telephone pole stands from days gone by, when Attu was a pivotal position for war-time communications 

A .50 caliber machine gun stands as a reminder of the bloodshed on Attu during WWII

A .50 caliber machine gun stands as a reminder of the bloodshed on Attu during WWII

Casco Bay

Casco Bay

A Snowy Owl keeps a watchful eye over all the goings on around the island

A Snowy Owl keeps a watchful eye over all the goings on around the island

The Coast Guard base officially closed in the early 2000's, but remains the most modern building on Attu

The Coast Guard base officially closed in the early 2000's, but remains the most modern building on Attu

While many structures perish with time and weather, this hut remains standing in Navy Town

While many structures perish with time and weather, this hut remains standing in Navy Town

A runway once adorned with lights and fresh paint now carpeted with moss and goose-brand fertilizer 

A runway once adorned with lights and fresh paint now carpeted with moss and goose-brand fertilizer 

A sink and shower pipes are all that still stands from this bath house in the hills

A sink and shower pipes are all that still stands from this bath house in the hills

Gutted electronics lay abandoned inside the footprint of an old building along Alexai Point

Gutted electronics lay abandoned inside the footprint of an old building along Alexai Point

A trio of Pelagic Cormorants dressed in spiffy breeding plumes sit on the rotting docks in Navy Town

A trio of Pelagic Cormorants dressed in spiffy breeding plumes sit on the rotting docks in Navy Town

A Snowy Owl surveys Massacre Valley from atop a mossy perch on Terrible Mountain

A Snowy Owl surveys Massacre Valley from atop a mossy perch on Terrible Mountain

An Aleutian Cackling Goose sounds the alarm as a dozen birders cross the rolling valleys of grass

An Aleutian Cackling Goose sounds the alarm as a dozen birders cross the rolling valleys of grass

Several birders hike past an abandoned structure along the waterfront 

Several birders hike past an abandoned structure along the waterfront 

 A relic of days gone by-- this pick axe was likely used to dig trenches and ditches on the mountain hillsides 

 A relic of days gone by-- this pick axe was likely used to dig trenches and ditches on the mountain hillsides 

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