Starting Over

I was out of photography for twelve years from 2000 – 2012, following a period of burnout at the end of the 1990s. I only began shooting again in 2012 to take adoption photos for a dog rescue. I didn't intend at that time to go all the way back in again. That changed with a trip to Yellowstone in June of 2013. I had some of my best grizzly encounters during that trip. All my old camera equipment was from the age of film/slides so I took the dog rescue's camera and rented a lens (if only I had my current equipment then).

 
1 - Grizzly, Yellowstone 2013, img 0772.jpg
 

One morning before daybreak this grizzly was sitting on a bluff on the far side of a bend in the Yellowstone River. Just after the sun rose, he went down to the river and swam across. Halfway across, it became obvious the current was going to place him right where I was standing on the near bank. Obviously, I got back to my car before this happened.

As he walked toward the parking lot where I and two other cars were stopped, he changed trajectory and came up between our cars. As I looked out my window to see where he had gone, he suddenly stuck his head out from behind my car and looked right at me with a sheepish smile and goofy expression on his face. After he looked both ways a few times and bobbed his head some, he broke into a happy trot across the parking lot and up the embankment on the other side of the road. I find it amazing how much bears often act like dogs. If you've ever seen a nervous dog decide to do something it wasn't sure about, that's exactly how this was.

With my cheap, rented equipment, this is the only shot that really came out okay from his swim, but now I was drawn back in. When I got back home I took all my old slides and threw them away and decided I was starting fresh from that moment. So, this is the starting point for everything I'm doing now.

Winter Art Show Schedule 2018-2019

Here is a list of juried art shows I will be part of this winter.

Nov. 23 & 24 - Sanibel Masters Art Festival - Sanibel Island, Florida

Jan. 5 & 6 - Naples New Year’s Art Show - Naples, Florida

Jan. 12 & 13 - Sarasota Winter Fine Art Festival - Sarasota, Florida

Jan. 26 & 27 - Boca Raton Fine Art Show - Boca Raton, Florida

Feb. 16 & 17 - Coconut Point Art Fair - Estero, Florida

March 2 & 3 - Downtown Venice Art Classic - Venice, Florida

March 23 & 24 - Naples Downtown Art Show - Naples, Florida

How Do You Know if a Girl Really Likes You

How do you know if a girl really likes you?

If she follows you around and rubs herself against your side, that’s a good indication. But, if you urinate in front of her and she rolls in it, then you know she’s yours. This advise is best followed if you’re a moose, and it's rutting season. I can’t be held responsible if you try any of this on your next date.

1 - Moose, GTNP 2016, img 527.jpg

the wolf also rises

Wolves lead hard lives. They fight for territory, breeding rights and to bring down potentially dangerous prey like bison and elk. Their average life expectancy in the wild is just five to eight years and many die at the hands (or teeth) of other wolves.

Early on the morning of May 13th, this wolf, along with a couple other wolves from his pack, The Mollies, were feeding on a carcass a little too close to the territory of another wolf pack, the Junction Buttes. Several wolves from the Junction Buttes charged in to attack The Mollies. All but this wolf escaped, and he then took a bad beating from the attacking wolves. He was finally able to break free and escape by jumping down a ten foot embankment into a shallow river. After the Junction Buttes didn't pursue him down the embankment, he limped from the river toward the park road where he laid down in the border of a sage field about 70 yards off the park road.

He was limping badly on his back right leg. He also appeared to have injuries to his stomach (where the attacking wolves really targeted), his back end and probably several other places. The first day, he laid there in obvious pain and only got up occasionally to hobble a few steps and drink a little water. Fortunately, since it's early spring some of this grassy area was wet and marshy providing him a place to drink. The fear was that he had internal injuries that he would not survive and we thought we were looking at a dying wolf. On day two he seemed to be a little better but was still limping and in obvious pain. Still, his short walks were a little farther than the first day, he was blinking rather than wide and fixed eyed, and he was drinking more water, so there was some hope for his recovery. Day three arrived to find the wolf gone. He most likely gained enough strength to make his way back toward his pack during the night. I never heard if anyone spotted him back with them.

This photo was taken on day two. While his crouched position may look menacing, it's actually that he's hunched over in pain around his underbelly. Probably not everyone enjoys seeing photos like this, but this is part of nature. If you spend enough time around these animals you will see some die. And, sometimes you'll see some, like this wolf, that survive.