Author Archives: Mike Cavaroc

Orion and Comet Lovejoy

Orion Firing Comet Lovejoy

Orion and Comet Lovejoy

While Comet Lovejoy, C/2014 Q2 has already peaked in brightness, Jackson Hole has only just gotten one of the only clear nights of the season so far. I took this opportunity to capture the comet before it leaves our skies.

With the comet higher in the sky, I couldn’t help but notice its position relative to the constellation Orion and how he appeared to be firing the comet out into the night sky from his bow. Of course it’s more accepted that rather than a bow, he’s actually holding a shield, but given the circumstances I prefer to think of the comet as a fiery arrow he just show from his bow. I expanded the view on my camera and began capturing this scene.

Orion is one of the most well-known constellations in the North American night sky, and for good reason.
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Jackson Hole News and Guide Close-Up with Mike Cavaroc

Jackson Hole News and Guide Close-Up Feature

Jackson Hole News and Guide Close-Up with Mike Cavaroc

If you’re in the Jackson Hole area, be sure to pick up the current weekly edition of the Jackson Hole News & Guide! In the weekly section, Close-Up, I’m currently featured for my efforts in getting Jackson, Wyoming and surrounding areas to be dark-sky compliant. I’m very honored to be featured so prominently about my work that coincides so directly with what I love.

The article goes into a lot of depth about my past and how I got to where I am now, and also brings up the issues I’m working to raise, such as the marketing potential that Jackson is letting slip by, particularly with the upcoming 2017 Total Solar Eclipse and many other nighttime activities.

For those that don’t know, over the past year I’ve been working with Wyoming Stargazing and the Teton Photography Group to bring more awareness to the Jackson Hole region about the dangers and inefficiency of light pollution.
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Stormy Winter Sunset over Jackson Lake

Twelve Favorite Photos from 2014 and a Short Documentary

January
Bull Elk and Tetons in Black and White

I had no idea just how much my life would be shaken up through 2014. It all started much the same way as 2013. I was frequently showshoeing up Blacktail Butte in the frigid dead of winter to see what new tracks awaited me, and if any critters would be out while I was.

On an especially windy day, I was exploring late in the day and noticed on the other side of the butte a lone bull elk, likely noticing me as well. With the wind howling over the Teton Mountains behind him in late afternoon light, I knew I’d have at least a decent black and white image. The wind and snow blowing off the Tetons came out beautifully and the ridgeline and the mountains in the background did a great job of dwarfing such a majestic animal.
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Fog Over Frijoles Canyon

Discovering Bandelier National Monument

Fog Over Frijoles Canyon

During my trip to the southwestern United States this past fall, one of my destinations was Chaco Culture National Historic Park, or more commonly known as, Chaco Canyon. Turning off the highway overrun these days with traffic for the oil and gas industry, I began the winding journey down the back roads to Chaco Canyon, only to find 15 miles in that the campground was full. An amazing thing about Chaco Canyon is that it’s in the middle of nowhere. A downside to Chaco Canyon is that it’s in the middle of nowhere. The nearest lodging, assuming I wanted to go that route, was over two hours away and I wasn’t quite sure just how far back the oil industry was destroying our beautiful BLM lands, so camping anywhere nearby was out of the question. I pulled out my atlas and found two national monuments still in northwestern New Mexico, but neither of them terribly close, either being a good bet for camping though.
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Free Roaming Films

Introducing Free Roaming Films

Free Roaming Films

With work officially underway on my documentary, I’ve decided to set up a sister site to this one to focus on the film itself, as well as other related projects. Naturally, I’m calling the site Free Roaming Films.

Currently the site is just getting underway, but I have a few blog posts to populate it, along with information about the short film I released a few months back. For now, the social media presences still point to the Free Roaming Photography accounts I have set up, but that may change in the future.

While this site will continue to focus on still photography, more of my film and video endeavors and updates will be documented on that site. The URL is simply, www.FreeRoamingFilms.com.
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Juniper Log and southern Wyoming sunrise

Southern WY Along 191 and Dinosaur National Monument

Juniper Log and southern Wyoming sunrise
Juniper log resting below a fiery sunrise near Highway 191 in southern Wyoming

I’m currently catching up my connected life in Moab, Utah where I’m having a delicious sandwich at Pantele’s Desert Deli (thanks for the recommendation, Bret!), downloading photos, and going through emails. Thus far, the trip has been great! My only regret is not getting a quick interview from a guy named Steven that I met in Dinosaur National Monument when he told me about someone going door-to-door in Grand Juction, Colorado offering to pay residents to put up shielded lighting and having the vast majority of them refuse, even though it came out of his pocket and would cost them nothing. Lesson learned. Thanks for the great conversation regardless, Steven and Bill!

Night sky above dead juniper tree
Stars and night sky spin above dead juniper tree, southern Wyoming

After a late start on Tuesday, I found myself driving south along Highway 191 in southern Utah, a spectacular high desert region blanketed with juniper trees with the occasional bare spot exposing millions of years of erosion along ancient seabeds in the form of badlands.
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