Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Bridges are wonderful things.  They help us to go places.  They also help us to leave places and cross over things.  Sometimes, they are the only path available.  Crossing bridges; maybe there IS, something better on the other side.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Brighter Path

We all follow paths through our lives.  Some offer a clear direction; others, not so much.  Sometimes, a path presents itself that is quite unexpected.  The path looks brighter, warmer and, just kinda seems right.  Starting down this new path is exhilarating.  Every footstep, more intriguing than the last.  Let's see where this path goes.

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Restful Woods

The cool, heavy air makes things quieter in the woods.  With the pungent smell of decaying leaves, the sound of squirrels scurrying through the leaves gathering nuts for winter, the north wind and an impending rain, I can tell that Autumn has us firmly in it's grasp. You can hear a single leaf fall from the tree all the way to ground if you listen hard enough.  Yes, the woods is going to sleep.  Sleep well my friend.  I'll check on you from time to time, until you awaken again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Friends come from many different places.  Family comes from just as many places.  New family can come into your life unexpectedly.

I remember the night this little "Rat" adopted my family.  He showed up at our door step, barking and jumping high enough that I could see him through the door window.  Being dog lovers and having two little girls at the time, there was no way he was getting "shooed" away or left out in the cold.  We tried to find his owner, but no one answered the adds and no one from the neighborhood recognized him.  So, he moved in, just like he had lived here all his life.  He couldn't have weighed more than 8 pounds but had the personality and attitude of a 80 pound Rottweiler.  I think he had been abused because he was very skiddish at times and was very sensitive about being touched on his side.  But he was so loving and friendly, I can't imagine anyone wanting to hurt him.

I loved the way he would tunnel under a blanket to stay warm.  He did not like the snow, especially when it was deeper than he was tall.  But he still patrolled the yard to make sure no one had interfered with his domain.  Any time I was in the recliner, watching TV or napping, he had to be right beside me.  When he wanted his neck rubbed, he would sit up with his  front legs on my chest.  Then he would bow his head, as if he was praying while he thoroughly enjoyed his neck massage.  And he always found a sunbeam to lay in to keep warm.  Feeding time was always an exciting time too.  I've never seen a dog get so excited.  He would jump constantly, a couple of feet or more off the ground, until I had his bowl set on the floor for him.  Then the food would be gone before he even tasted it.

Such great love in a small little being.

Yes, family can come into your life unexpectedly.  It can also leave it, just as unexpectedly.

Rest in peace, my little rat buddy.  I'll have a treat for you next time I see you.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Enjoying the View

I know I've said it before, but Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me.  Here we are in one of the worst droughts in many years and she throws me a curve ball.

I went out to the Fen the other night.  As I walked back and came up over the hill overlooking the lower fen, I was greeted with so much amazing color.  I almost couldn't believe it.  I continued around the edge and down into the fen, stopping to examine all the different varieties of late summer bloomers.  Once I finally reached the spot I was going to, I just stood there and took it all in.  So many colors, everywhere.  I don't think I've seen an explosion of color here, like this, at any other time of the year.  As I stood there in amazement, thinking it couldn't get any better, it did.

This little six point wandered out on the far side, about 130 yards away from me.  Luckily, I had one of my longer zooms already mounted.  I snapped away furiously while he let me.  The distance and the diminishing light gave me all the challenge I could handle, especially while handholding.  When he turned and moved up the hill out of site, without even flagging, all I could think was, Wow!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ultimate Breakfast

This snapshot may look like a simple breakfast of fried tators with onions, biscuits and gravy, and it is.  But good sausage gravy doesn't just happen.  It takes time, practice and patience to make it right.  And a good teacher is a big help too.  Yea, it's a simple, hardy breakfast, and much more.  It's a memory.  Many memories as a matter of fact, that come back every time I make this.  Memories of times spent with good friends in wonderful places doing things that we loved to do and lived for.  Also the memory of a Man who was our camp cook at many a deer camp.  He is more than just a camp cook.  He is a teacher, a guide, a mentor and a good friend.  He is the one who taught me how to make good sausage gravy.  Always a smiling face.  Always a good story or tale to tell, about life, past experiences and laughter.  Always, living life to it's fullest.  I haven't seen this man for a couple of years, and that's a shame.  He was a big influence on many aspects of my life, and I need to rectify the absence.

Here's to you Pedro, the ultimate breakfast!  Thanks for the memories.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summertime Beauty

I think I like the summertime wildflowers best.  There is always something in bloom, somewhere, and usually several varieties at once that compliment each other with their colors.  Spring is definitely my favorite time of the year.  The wildflowers are beautiful and fairly predictable.  Summer tends to bring a little more unpredictability, to me.  Take this beauty for instance.  It is a Blackberry Lily.  I've never seen it before this season, even though there were dozens of them blooming in a place I frequent quite often.  I suppose it was meant to be on an evening like this one.  With Barred Owls calling from the tree line across the field, and deer jumping and blowing at almost every turn in the trail, how could I not expect to find something new and unusual to finish off this beautiful summer day.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Summer Sunset

I love the view from my backyard.  Especially on a cooler summer evening when Mother Nature brings all of her elements together.  The nice soft breeze from the north-west; slow moving, interesting clouds in the sky; the colors of the setting sun highlighting everything that it touches.  If it weren't for the sounds of cars and shopping carts at my friendly neighborhood Wally World, it might be perfect.  As the sunset gives way to the moon and stars and planets, and the noise gives way to the sounds of Katydids and Crickets singing through the night, I have to wonder, who else is enjoying Mother Nature's symphony tonight.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Rushing Waters

I love moving water.  Sitting by a small rushing stream or creek is one of the most relaxing things I can think of.  So many sensations to experience and refresh.  The sounds of the water as it moves past, over the rocks, the birds singing, the leaves rustling in the breeze, the coolness of the air, and the never ending patterns of the water itself.  Even as the water rushes by, as life also does, time seems to freeze for a while in moments like these.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Early Summer

As true summer gains it's foothold on the area, walks in the woods and fens become more adventurous.  Not only can the heat and humidity zap your strength, but the mosquitoes and deer flies will zap your blood.  These nuisances are but slight obstacles to be overcome so that the peace, tranquility and coolness of the inner woods can be found.  Color is scarce except for the infinite shades of green.  But it is there if you look for it.  If you live in the moment, the moments that matter will find you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Grass Pink Orchid

In my last post, I mentioned that I was going out to a special place for the afternoon.  It's the time of year when the orchids bloom and a tour was being done to show them off.  This place is a State Nature Preserve and is highly protected because of it's fragile nature and many threatened and endangered species.  It is open to the public, as it should be.  There is an extensive boardwalk network covering just over a mile that leads visitors through all the different micro-environments of the "Bog".  Visitors are REQUIRED to stay on the boardwalk to protect the various species, some of which date back to the ice ages.  The trouble is, that some people just cannot help themselves and will venture off the boardwalk to get a closer look at some of the more interesting species, ie: rare orchids in bloom.

The paths are very noticeable, which I'm sure encourages more people to venture where they shouldn't.  The damage is not as noticeable, but it is done.  Plants are trampled.  Some rare.  Some possibly endangered.  When I went back out on a week night to make this image, the paths were even more extensive.  The worst part was that it was clear that some of the orchids had been taken.  They won't last but a day or two and the plants will not grow without their perfect environment.  So they are lost forever.  What these people are doing is not only illegal but also immoral.

As a nature photographer, I feel a responsibility to the land, plants and animals I photograph.  I photograph them to preserve them in my images.  Most people who take photographs do the same thing and SHOULD feel that same responsibility.  These wonderful plants, animals and places help give us the joy of practicing our craft.  Of expressing ourselves in this art form.  We owe it to them to help preserve their homes and environments.

It has been said to "take only pictures and leave only footprints."  Well, even footprints are unacceptable in some places.  Please don't be one of, THOSE, people.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Understated Beauty

I'm heading out to one of my favorite places this afternoon.  It is a wondrous place of delicate, understated beauty.  I would imagine, a lot of people who go there miss so many things the first few times they walk the boardwalks.  After the senses become attuned to the surroundings, it will suck you in and bring you back many times through the years and different seasons.  It is an ever changing place.  A true gem to be preserved for ALL, future generations.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Golden-backed Snipe Fly

The diversity and variety of God's creatures never ceases to amaze me.  It is hard to imagine, what purpose, each individual variety of creature has on this earth.  It would seem at times, that certain creatures are here merely to annoy or cause problems.  While others provide overwhelming joy and comfort.  Maybe, some are here just to remind us that unique beauty can be found in the smallest of places.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Wedding

I had the pleasure and honor, of being a part of two very good friends' wedding yesterday. They asked me to photograph the evening for them and I gladly agreed. Over-all, I'm happy with the outcome of my images. I think some were very good and some, maybe not so much. The lighting during the ceremony was very difficult to figure out on the fly, and I don't think I got the best shots, even though everyone else is more than satisfied with them. But it was a great evening for everyone. Met some new friends and fun was had by all. It was an honor to be a part of this celebration of life's journeys.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Rue Anemone

I love Spring wildflowers. They are so delicate and diverse in their beauty. Even the simplest and plainest wildflowers have a personality to them. Of course, being in the woodlands and wetlands during Spring just makes life more grand. There is a spiritual rebirth that goes along with the rebirth of the plants, tress and wildlife this time of year. I'm not sure what grand plan there is for us, but I am glad that I've discovered this part of it.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cherokee Sunset

My Cherokee Sunset Dogwood. One of the most beautiful dogwoods I've seen. The blooms are almost fully open and in full splendor. I have nursed this tree since the day I planted it. It has struggled. I've changed it's location a couple of times, trying to find a spot that suites it. I think it may be where it needs to be now. I guess changes through trial and error, along with lots of hard work are what is needed to thrive in many aspects. Further nurturing, to continue.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Rainbows can be found in unexpected places. They always come with the hope and promise of something new and good. As things move into the past, better things will reveal themselves. Sometimes, they'll be somewhere you're not even looking. Other times, they're right in front of us. Remember the promise of the rainbow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Yep....It's Springtime!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Order from Chaos

Natural arrangements are hard to come by in life. Things just don't seem to fit most of the time. But with a little planning, a little trimming here and there, a good foundation, and a lot of hard work, things will come into the natural order they were meant to be in. You just have to get started.

Friday, February 10, 2012


How does one go about re-inventing themselves? Where does one start? How do you go from living a life that you must, to living a life you want to live? We all put down roots. Roots that create new paths and lives around us. Lives that are affected by us, that are a part of us. So many things, growing in parallel and, in different directions. What happens to those things when one makes a change? Surely they will be supportive and nurturing. But where does one start?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mid Winter Curves

There is nothing like an unseasonably warm, mid winter day, to force one to change the routine and get outside and enjoy the day. The warm sun gives life to the sleeping woodlands and makes things glow in the bright amber morning light. It does great things for the inner spirit too, I must admit. Wishing for Spring won't get it here any faster, but days like this make the wait a little more tolerable.