Monday, September 26, 2011

Getting a closer look

 I manage to spot tiny things that are extraordinary when you focus on them. Maybe it's because I have been near-sighted for most of my life. Or maybe it's because I notice something and then photograph it.

 Some are less tiny but I want to get closer. 

 Others are larger still but still beckon me to take a closer look.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Stepping out of the stream of life

Great blue heron, Frye Cove-Puget Sound
I just finished reading James Herriot's "All Creatures Great and Small" and started "All Things Bright and Beautiful." Given how much I love nature and creatures great and small, it's a little surprising I haven't read the much-loved veterinarian's books until now. He also wrote children's books, several of which I read with my son when he was little. Two favorites are "Only One Woof" and "The Christmas Day Kitten." I could never make it through "The Christmas Day Kitten" without a quavering voice and a few tears.

Something that strikes me about Herriot's writing is a sense of balancing work with play, sadness with happiness. In "All Things..." he writes about stopping the car on the way to a veterinary call, just to enjoy the beautiful Yorkshire countryside:

"This form of self-indulgence had become part of my life and still is: a reluctance to come down from the high country; a penchant for stepping out of the stream of life and loitering on the brink for a few minutes as an uninvolved spectator."

Nisqually Reach - Puget Sound
Some of my best images were captured when I stepped out of the stream of life, rushing to work only to be stopped by an incredible sunrise. So, of course, I photograph it.

December sunrise - Mount Rainier
When I photograph something in nature - a beautiful scene or a wild eagle plucking a fish from the river - I am a spectator documenting, often without thinking. Later, when I'm downloading and editing images, I allow myself to experience the emotion I would have if I wasn't trying to capture a scene. I have several favorite images to share in my online Places Gallery.

I hope you will take some time to step out of the stream of life and enjoy.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Eagle's roost

The nest is empty but my favorite eagle extended family has returned from their summer fishing trip. This pair and some of their kin roost in the grove of trees near the nest. They have been gone for a few weeks, though. I assume teaching junior how to hunt. I have seen mama eagle flying over our house the past couple of mornings, headed for the Nisqually ridge and delta. I have also had glimpses of junior.

Tonight on our walk papa eagle was perched in a favorite snag. We watched for a few minutes, then continued on our walk. When we rounded the corner, he flew to a nearby tree. That's when I noticed that his mate was in the tree.

Later in our walk, I spotted four eagles flying off toward the delta into the setting sun. I will be adding to my Talons gallery soon.

I have been busy working on a program and publicity materials for Feels Like Home, the alumni art show I have been coordinating with a couple of friends from high school. The opening, which unfortunately I will have to miss, is September 30 in my hometown of Bordentown, NJ.