Showing posts with label conservation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label conservation. Show all posts

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Remembering the monarchs

Cluster of Monarch Butterflies at Dawn, Pacific Grove, California

It was the spring of 1980 and one of our final kindergarten projects involved watching a pair of caterpillars transform into monarch butterflies. For weeks, we watched them feed on milkweed leaves and then disappear into their chrysalises. When they finally emerged as butterflies, we took them outside to the playground and set them free.

That experience in the classroom near Seattle, Washington, was one of my favorites in school and helped give me an even greater appreciation for nature. It took nearly 25 years, but I finally got a chance to photograph monarchs in their wintering grounds in Pacific Grove, California — butterflies that were perhaps 100 generations removed from the ones we helped raise.

That winter in California, I found clusters of monarchs so dense they somewhat resembled leaves. Since then, the numbers of butterflies have plummeted, each year reaching a new record low.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Land Almost Lost: Help save these national monuments

Rainbow Over Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona

I’ll never forget the first time I experienced the feeling of nature lost. Oddly, I was on a hike on a trail that’s one of the more beautiful in the Central Cascades of Washington state.

For a couple of miles, I wandered through forest, catching occasional glimpses of the waterfall that was my destination. And then I came across a giant Western red cedar stump. It was at least three times the diameter of the biggest living trees I had seen along my way.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Horsetail Fall: Spectacular or spectacle?

Horsetail Fall at Sunset, Yosemite National Park, California

As the red light of sunset reached the waterfall, applause erupted across the Yosemite Valley. Normally I work in quiet solitude, but this is a special waterfall and it drew an energetic audience of hundreds.

The question is, is that a good thing?

Friday, July 31, 2015

The thrill of the hunt

Atlantic Puffin, Close Up, Iceland

It may be hard to believe, but there are still a few wondrous places on Earth where animals aren’t afraid of people. With word this week that a hunter with more money than compassion brutally slaughtered a lion from one of these special places, I’m afraid we’re about to lose another.

I’ve never photographed a lion in the wild, but like most nature photographers who’ve ventured very far off the beaten track, I’ve had my share of absolutely magical encounters with wildlife. One that has had a dramatic impact on my view of animals and our relationship with them happened nearly 10 years ago on my first trip to Iceland.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Wow! Is that Niagara Falls?

Horseshoe Falls in Mist, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada

As I was packing up my camera after photographing from the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, two men came up and asked if they could see what I was shooting. I said, "yes," and pressed the play button on my camera to display the last image I took that morning.

Without asking, one of the men rotated the jog dial on the back of my camera to see the other images I captured that morning. But he rotated it clockwise, and instead of seeing an earlier image, the camera displayed the first image on the memory card — one I took four days earlier.

"Wow!" he exclaimed. "Is that Niagara Falls?"