Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

River Otter at Salt Creek with a starry flounder. 

Merry Christmas from the Olympic Peninsula. May the world always bring you the gifts you need.

There are many themes circulating around Christmas, including the idea of peace and hope in the birth of Christ, but the theme of gift-giving is by far the strongest and brightest in America - and we all know how that's exploded into a banquet of excess.

Once again, the natural world reminds us to keep in touch with the necessities in life, and how the Earth can provide for us all. 

What truly matters most? Food, shelter, warmth, love, family, friends, and of course a few indulgences like chocolate or wine. But if we have more than we need, perhaps it's a good idea to just stop, or perhaps share what we have with those who lack. Generosity can be a beautiful thing.

There is enough to go around, and around, and around...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My First Drop-tine Buck

Rutger in 2014

Rutger in 2012 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Black Friday for Wildlife

While hordes of shoppers stormed the shopping malls along Westnedge Avenue in Portage, Michigan this past weekend, I was literally a block away walking along the Portage Bicentennial Trail in search of wildlife. And I might as well have been in a parallel universe given the contrast.

While the rest of humanity was possessed by their material wants (and perhaps some justifiable needs) I was able to capture a couple of fellow creatures completely caught up in their diligent pursuit of some life essentials: A red squirrel packing up on protein for the winter and a pileated woodpecker either hammering away at grub, or chiseling away at a future nest-hole.

That's one of the great gifts of wildlife photography and observation: reminding ourselves of the core essentials of survival and how so much of the material accumulation of life is really just clutter and distraction.