A golden snub-nosed monkey hugs her baby, offsetting the cold of their forest home high in central China’s Qinling Mountains. (Photograph from this issue's cover by Qiang Zhang)
IS TIME PLAYING TRICKS? In all the tumult and grace, trauma and gratitude that many of us have experienced during these multiple pandemic months, time seems oddly out of sync, with some days feeling endless and some months flying by in a blink.
The beauty of nature offers healing respite from such unsettling times, so I hope this issue featuring the winners of our 2021 photo contest (A Year of Staying Close) will give you some moments of peace. Perhaps curl up with a cup of tea and take time to absorb the images, which reveal the warmth, power and fragile beauty of the wildlife and wild lands we all hope to protect.
Such beauty often exists in our own backyards or city blocks. When one photographer was stuck at home during the lockdown, he set up camera traps to capture portraits of the wild visitors to his yard (Trip the Light Fantastic). The cell phone in your pocket can also make memorable—and superb—images if you learn a few tips (Visual Gems—from Your Phone). Inspiration can even be found in the most unlikely places, such as in a massive landfill in Assam, India, where local communities, inspired by one dedicated biologist, are working to save endangered greater adjutant storks (Seeing the Gem).
If you love photographing nature, consider entering our 2022 photo contest, opening January 12. Who knows? You may have a stunning image that passes the test of time.
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