Monthly Archives: February 2017

In Place

Flathead Lake, Montana

I’m a devotee of Instagram where I follow the work of more than 350 photographers from around the world. I deliberately choose photographers from all across the globe, and it’s much different than viewing travel photography. From Turkey, from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Iran, Scandinavia, everywhere people are offering glimpses of their lives. I see their favorite coffee shops, their families, the paths they choose through nearby woods. In turn, I share photos like this one — new leaves glowing in the spring light of a place I visit regularly. Over this vast planet we are each in a place where we find intimacy, delight and wonder. This quiet preponderance of beauty and appreciation is what really makes the world go ’round.

Brave New Shoots

Yellow Bay, Montana

It’s not yet spring, but in anticipation, let’s consider first arrivals. Given the unpredictability of seasons in transition, isn’t it strange that Nature’s opening gambit is not the massive or heavily-armored, but the delicate and vulnerable? All I have studied of evolution has not explained why this is so. Year after year, despite temperature swings, in snow or sleet or sudden heat, the catkins shrug off their casings, the leaves unfurl, and the spring beauties appear like fallen stars on the forest floor. Perhaps there is a reasoned explanation, but unquestioning delight is enough for me.

Silent Record

Wallowa, OR

As much as anyone, I get caught up in news — the latest pronouncement, the newest scandal — but some of the most profound reports are silent. This fallen log, split along its length, is a record of good times and bad times. Times of moisture, times of drought. The slow building up of strength and the stealthy invasion of predators. While the life cycle of the tree played out, smaller scenes in the lives of borers were etched in darkness, revealed only when the tree split to its core. I’m not for tuning out our own life histories shaped each day in the news, but let’s leave some band-width for the silent changes happening all around us.