TIME FOR WOLVES
Admired and respected as example of freedom, intelligence and social cohesion; hated, demonised and relentlessly persecuted - the wolf has always elicited a mix of contradictory emotions in us.
Despite being one of the most charismatic and studied species in the world, we still know too little about the “real” wolf, worried as we are chasing so many other imaginary wolves. Certainly the renowned elusiveness of these animals makes them puzzling subjects to observe. Only with great patience one can hope to get a glimpse of their private life.
Armed just with curiosity and persistence, for six years I have followed the tracks of Italian wolves through the Central Apennines. In order to get enough variety of images I had to invest an insane amount of time into this project. My goal was to document the life of this incredible species and to show it as it is, without embellishment nor prejudice: a formidable and opportunistic predator, keystone in the mountain ecosystem.
When I started, I did not know that I was embarking on an amazing adventure.
Cold, wind and rain with maybe even fog or snow added, constitute “time for wolves” in Italian folk wisdom, where the words “time” and “weather” have the same meaning. These miserable weather conditions are thought to be favourable for “packs” of wolves to set out hunting and to “come down from the mountains” to get closer to flocks of sheep and human dwellings, spreading fear and destruction. This is the weather in which it is better to stay home, warm and safe… On the other hand, I have discovered that the time for wolves is something quite different. The difference lies all in that word for. In my world, the time for wolves is that precious part of life for which it is hard to find space in a hectic modern life, a time that is devoted entirely to the search for a direct experience of wilderness. This time for wolves became the time of sweat on my back in the mountain sun and of cramps in my legs during long walks in the snow. It was the time of nights spent outside and of the alarm that goes off at impossible times; of boredom during long waits and of the uncontainable joy when discovery came. In retrospect it is both the time of solitude and of shared adventures. It’s the time of rapid heartbeats and of delusions; of the here and now, without the weight of the past nor thoughts of the future. It’s the time of youth and, maybe, it was the best time of my life.
Time for Wolves is also a book, featuring my images and first-hand stories. You can order it on my shop page