Photo by Victoria Turner

Third of November

Editor-in-Chief
Graduate Division

This image won first place for the Storytelling Contest photography category. Taken in November 2020, Victoria Turner’s picture captures a thrilling close encounter with a majestic creature in nature and serves as a dreaded reminder of a presidential election driven by nasty discourse. The “surly-looking bald eagle” evokes America’s beauty and ugliness in a single frame.

This picture was taken a few months before the 2020 US presidential election, so it seemed only appropriate that a surly-looking bald eagle would appear in the trees and remind me that while I was trying to enjoy my weekend, the election was still coming. The animal was sitting on a branch near a trailhead, and I only noticed it at the last minute as I was walking back to the car. The symbolism was so potent I had to groan a little, but I was also grateful for getting this close to a beautiful wild animal. It reminded me of all the things I loved in America and all the things I would love to escape from.