Chapel Hill News

Fire on the mountain: A New Year’s tradition

The sparks of the Christmas tree bonfire look like threads of red, orange and gold in a slow exposure shot as they float into the air on Blackwood Mountain in Orange County on New Year’s Day, 2014.
The sparks of the Christmas tree bonfire look like threads of red, orange and gold in a slow exposure shot as they float into the air on Blackwood Mountain in Orange County on New Year’s Day, 2014. mschultz@newsobserver.com

Each New Year’s Day, neighbors on Blackwood Mountain in Orange County gather after sundown and write any emotions they want to release, along with invocations for the new year, on scraps of paper. They place the papers in the branches of Christmas trees and set the trees ablaze, letting the flames carry their thoughts into the dark, night sky. Here, the slow shutter speed captures a ghost-like Chuck Mosher silhouetted against the fire.

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