The Family Procyon Lotor

[These images were shot in under-exposed conditions and required more post-processing than usual. I took some artistic liberty with selective desaturation to deemphasize the contrasts, etc.] Just a few days into my Seattle relocation, the friends who generously housed us, pointed to some ruckus in a tree. Since ruckus in a tree often signals animal activity, I grabbed my camera and crept into the shade of a Northwest canopy. Overhead I saw this ... a family of four North American [...]

2018-02-13T03:56:28+00:00 August 13th, 2014|Blog, Mammals|11 Comments

Meadowhawk Cleared for Landing

I'm taking a summer break from my writing here at the blog, to finish some creative projects.  I'll be posting some of my favorite photos and photo-tunes in this spot. (Ziggy Marley, today). Thanks, my friends, for sticking around and for giving this space a little heartbeat. :) Variegated Meadowhawk on approach • Sympetrum corruptum Olympus OM-D E-M1 + Zuiko 50-200mm • 1/4000 • f4.0 • ISO 500 Dragonflies and damselflies like to return to [...]

2018-02-14T17:34:29+00:00 June 9th, 2014|Blog, Insects|0 Comments

Postcards from a Freegan Raccoon

If I had a photography motto it might be "follow the crows." As sentries of the canopy, crows know what's going on. So I pay attention. If it mattered at all to crows, they could tell me who shattered my car window last month and who stole our Christmas tree (with decorations) back in 1995. What obviously does interest crows is those pesky interlopers, especially during prime nesting season. Around here, that interloper is most often a Bald Eagle. [...]

2018-02-13T04:14:50+00:00 May 20th, 2014|Blog, Mammals, Pollution, Uncategorized|1 Comment

North American Beaver … Eating Lily Pads Like Enchiladas

It's like waiting for a geyser to erupt ... or an eclipse. There's a start time to this endeavor. At 6:45p, we're told, a North American beaver or two (or more) will swim into this stew of lily pads and systematically take them down for dinner. They have a lodge not far away, this family of four. It's plain good fortune on our part, taking a spontaneous walk on the shoreline trail, that we encounter a local photographer [...]

2018-02-14T17:34:07+00:00 May 13th, 2014|Blog, Mammals|11 Comments

Living in Your Own Private Cryosphere

Albedo is the reflectivity of the earth's surface. Ice, white and bright, has a high albedo, reflecting back the sun on itself, whereas water draws the solar radiation deep into its hues. Water is always in flux, mutable -- liquid, vaporous, frozen -- evaporating, condensing and expanding. This fluidity of form and purpose fuels life with its hydrological rhythms. And, it stores life, even as deep as 4000 meters below the East Antarctic ice [...]

2018-02-15T21:49:10+00:00 December 12th, 2013|Blog, Photography, Weather|9 Comments

Rilke in a Seattle Autumn

I first read Rainer Maria Rilke one autumn in "Letters to a Young Poet" -- a book handed off to me with pages stained by office carbons. Rilke's letters to Franz Kappus, published by Kappus after Rilke's death, are sympathetic and inspired. There's a reason this collection finds its way to the paws of young writers, as it did mine that fall day. Everything is gestation and then birthing. To let each impression and [...]

2018-02-15T21:59:45+00:00 November 25th, 2013|Blog, Flora|9 Comments

Welcome Home, Seattle Ducks!

I spotted my first migratory ducks on the urban shores of Elliott Bay last week. The new arrivals are on edge -- wary and easy to flush. Lifting my lens is enough to send them skittering to the middle of the bay, and I can only imagine what sights and sounds have jarred them into high alert on their long journey home. I think of how far the winter ducks soar, finally dipping into Puget [...]

2013-11-15T22:27:24+00:00 November 15th, 2013|Uncategorized|0 Comments

Gull Chicks and Gateway Birds

"When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it's your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not."~ Artist Georgia O'Keeffe Gulls are among the birds I call "gateway birds." They're common and accessible. They [...]

2018-02-17T07:42:14+00:00 August 1st, 2013|Birds, Blog|22 Comments

The Magical Mystery Tour of Tent Caterpillars

When I saw the first signs of tent caterpillars outside our flat, I kept the sighting to myself. We have a neighbor, a home owner just up the hill who screams at crows -- and who dead-heads her plants to the point of denuding them. I knew if she saw this tiny tent on the fir tree, she'd make short work of the squirmers inside. This spring we had what's called an "outbreak" of [...]

2018-02-17T07:53:11+00:00 July 14th, 2013|Blog, Insects|11 Comments