Natural Inspiration

Like many, I’ve always held that the natural world is the manifestation of an underlying, spiritual reality. The patterns, the color, the behavior we see in living creatures points to activity on a grand scale. I’m reminded of Walt Whitman’s piece, “A Child Said, What Is Grass.” The poet muses over possible answers to the question, including this one:

“Or I guess it is the handkerchief of the Lord,
A scented gift and remembrancer designedly dropped,
Bearing the owner’s name someway in the corners, that we
may see and remark, and say Whose?”

For me, the question of “Whose?” has a clear answer. As I contemplate the creatures or the scenery I’m privileged to capture on camera, I do not see a random act, but an intentional expression of a higher intelligence with its owner’s signature stamped in every corner.

This page is devoted to another of my interests–nature photography. Though I have given my life to the study and teaching of spiritual principles, I’ve always had a keen interest in the creatures of the natural world. As a youth, through my school’s reading programs, I would order books on birds and insects, and wait with great anticipation for their arrival. Some of these books remain in my library today.

With the advent of digital photography, software processing, and online access to instruction from some of the greatest wildlife photographers in the world, I have become an active enthusiast keenly interested in learning more about the principles of photography.

As a novice, I consider the body of included images as a work in progress. I post some, not because I think they are great, but because they are the best I have at the moment. I intend to replace the lesser with the better as my skills increase and as those magic opportunities arise.

Birds do not normally sit for long, especially if they are close enough for a good portrait (with my setup, that’s about thirty yards, more or less). Nor do they always face the best light or come from behind the twig that blurs their pretty little faces. Or, they’ll strike that perfect pose right as the cloud drifts over the sun and the best light is lost. Patience and a refusal to give in to disappointment are essentials in the tool kit of the nature photographer–amateur and pro alike.

Photography enables me to capture and bring home fleeting images of nature unique to that instant I snap the shutter. I can then share with others a moment that would otherwise be lost forever. Photography has made me attentive to everything that moves. That flutter in the brush would normally go unnoticed, but now it has the potential of becoming a photographic jewel. If I were without a camera, that nameless bird would remain so.

Capturing the image of a species unknown to me is itself an interesting journey of discovery of name and habit. I was unaware, for example, that there was a Western Bluebird until I photographed one.

I hope you enjoy the photos I share on this site. Some are taken in the back yard, others in local and State parks, and still others were shot along the side of a road. As Henry David Thoreau boasted, “I have traveled a great deal in Concord.” He took time to see what other residents of Concord, preoccupied with more pressing matters, had missed. Today we read Thoreau, oblivious to these “other residents.” This should tell us something. It’s not where you go that matters. It’s what you are willing to see that makes the difference.

Every aspect of our world “bears the owner’s name someway in the corners.” When we ask, “Whose?” our eyes may be opened in that instant, and that’s a great time to have a camera.

The link below takes you to my Google photo gallery, which contains my latest and growing collection. I started this project in late Fall. We’ve just passed the winter solstice, so I’m looking forward to warmer days and increased bird activity. I’ll be replacing images with better shots as I get them and adding new birds, animals and landscapes that I capture. These photos are “mounted” as Power Point slides and saved as pictures. Click on any image to enlarge it and start a slide show.

Go to Gallery