Last Gasp Of Winter Assignment Winner Dawn Wilson

Congratulations to Dawn Wilson for winning the recent Last Gasp Of Winter Assignment with the image, “Shoots Of Grass In The Snow.” See more of Wilson’s photography at

View the winning image and a selection of submissions in the gallery below. And be sure to check out our current photography assignment here and enter your best shots!

“Pikas don’t hibernate but rather survive on caches of food called hay piles during the winter,” says Wilson. “Because of their high-elevation habitat, they can be hard to photograph in the winter in Colorado because of limited access and therefore they’re not frequently photographed in snow. In most years, Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado opens to hikers and bikers for a couple of weeks before the road opens to vehicles for the season on Memorial Day weekend. This short window of time is a great opportunity to hike up above the treeline to find pikas in snow. I found this little guy at about 11,500 feet enjoying some fresh shoots of grass poking through the snow. I’m sure those were a refreshing meal after a winter of dried grass. Unfortunately, this year the park remains closed—for now—due to the coronavirus pandemic and there will be no time spent with pikas in snow.”

Nikon D5, Nikon 80-400mm lens. Exposure: 1/4000 sec., f/8, ISO 640.

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