Do your part…

#stayhome

[ˈsōSHəl] [ˈdistənsing] social distancing

avoiding large gatherings and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from other people

It’s time.

Time to think about each person your actions could affect. We’re being bombarded by information and staggering numbers of deaths and infections–worldwide. I believe that we will all lose someone dear to us. We still have many ways of communicating available to us.

Let’s use those methods. Call your family and friends. Check in with them by phone and see if they need anything that you can safely provide. We will need everyone possible in the health care industry healthy so that they can provide care. Let’s not risk their health by not taking the steps outlined for social distancing. They are among the most valued going forward.

There isn’t much that we can do. But we can do that one small thing.

Wouldn’t you rather have done too much than not enough? Be kind, be patient, remember to breathe. We CAN do this.

Nature’s message…

from the atmosphere.

sundog over clouds with crepuscular rays

[pärˈhēlēən] parhelion

a bright spot, sometimes called a sundog, in the sky appearing on one or both sides of the sun, formed by refraction of sunlight through ice crystals

Sometimes when you hear news, whether it’s expected or a bolt from the blue, it’s tempting to look for a sign. Some kind of a message that gives hope that all is not black and white. That there are things we just don’t know yet. On that morning after, I chose to find a message high in the atmosphere. No accompanying halos, one lone sundog. Bright and beautiful, just as she was.

After the freeze on a mountain lake…

pattern [ˈpadərn]

a repeated decorative design

Nature tells us everything that we need to know if we take time to study it. This might be one of my favorite ice views, sculpted by bitter cold and intense winds. Well worth the icy fingertips…

As the year…

is winding down.

winding [ wahyn-ding ]

something with twists and turns

And what a year! This post brings my total of years blogging to five. It’s been a good practice for me and a joy to connect with people from all over the world. I so appreciate the feedback and I love sharing my natural world with you.

New for this month because you know I like to be in full swing of new projects by the end of the year. Focused and already in a routine by the first…

I have 18,340 words written for my book. I am one quarter of the way to my goal! It just means getting up a little earlier, and this time of year that means the day’s writing is well under way by sunrise.

What are your goals for the new year? I’d love to hear them.

Happy New Year and thank you for reading and following it’s (almost always) about the water!

Images…

as words.

delicate [ˈdelikət]

easily broken or damaged, fragile

I’ve long had a love affair with words. And when images can speak a single word they’ve done their job.

Few things can be as delicate and fragile as a snowflake, but life is, from beginning to end.

We plan for a time that isn’t right now, never considering that our time is right now. This moment, not one that may happen years from now.

Change one thing today and always tell the ones close to you how much you love them.

Ethical photography…

we need to make a shift.

Any tool can be used for good or bad. It’s really the ethics of the artist using it.

John Knoll

It was a beautiful winter day. The snow had stopped falling and the temperature had inched up to just past the point where it was no longer holding the landscape in its frozen clutches.

I decided to go for a drive and check out some local parks. It seemed like I was not alone with that idea and it gave me some insights.

The biggest being just how disruptive some photographers can be. Often I will park my Jeep and just sit for awhile, watching, getting a feel for the space, seeing what animals may be in the area.

If nothing appears, I might head out in search of sign: I love to photograph tracks and fresh snow is such a perfect opportunity to do so.

The internet is full of stories about staged wildlife shots: animals glued so that they remain stationary and the photographer can then get that “perfect” one in a million wildlife shot. I was surprised at the lack of consideration shown for the wildlife on this day. Drivers speeding by, others leaping out, cellphones in hand and in the process scaring the animals.

I think as photographers we need to become more respectful of the environments that we’re photographing in and give animals a little space, keep the wild in wildlife. Become more respectful too of other photographers who may be waiting patiently for wildlife to naturally enter their frame.

I almost always travel with my telephoto lens on my camera and a wide angle in my pack. If something of interest appears, I can easily grab the shot without disturbing the wildlife and if nothing appears I can switch over to the wide angle for some landscapes.

A national park recently began not publishing bear spottings because of the hoards of people that would show up and stress the animals by following them and invading their space.

Each year we hear of animals having to be euthanized because of their habituation to humans. Something to think about…

Note: The image above was shot with a telephoto from inside my vehicle.