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When you live in places where urban sprawl abounds all around, immersing yourself into nature can be a daunting challenge to say the least. As a kid growing up in the inner city, I can vividly remember spending hours upon end exploring my backyard with the same excitement, curiosity and wonderment as Lewis and Clark must have had traversing the great western expanses of the United Stated in the early 19th century.
My backyard was my refuge; it was a place where I found solace and discovered all of the tiny miracles of nature set before me. It introduced to me to life, death and the rebirth of which emerges as winter gives way to spring each year. I can honestly say that my infatuation toward nature started at a very early age, and has never once abated over the many years and distances I have since traveled.
As an wildlife photographer, working a full time job, raising a family and simply paying the bills each month, the idea of heading to the local airport to journey to far away destinations each weekend is but a lofty dream at best, but still; I have been blessed to have visited many enchanted places nonetheless.
I have come to realize that my love of wildlife is not confined to the great savannas of Africa, nor the steaming jungles of the Amazon. Nature as it may is all around us. It resides in our very backyard; it resides across the street in the park where your kids play; it resides downtown where years ago they planted mighty Sycamore trees, now fully grown and adorned with countless sparrows raising their newborn hatchlings. I have been fortunate enough to have taken many a great wildlife pictures in all of these type hidden sanctuaries, and continually strive to keep my senses on high alert and camera at the ready, for when that next moment reveals itself before me.
Traveling along a congested highway, I will not hesitate to pull over to get a shot of a red-tailed hawk posed stolidly atop a fence post, seemingly out of place, but amazingly adjusted to the surroundings to which he now dwells. The interminable patience of a Praying Mantis awaiting his next quarry still captivates me as much today as it did so many years ago, and I suspect it always will. To some, I may seem odd and out of place in relation to this apparent new world order we live in today, hence I readily admit to the fact of one being from another era. A long-ago time where men were men and readily went out into the abyss fraught only with the exhilaration of what new discoveries they would encounter on their never ending journeys. Yes, I am one who walks along a different path……but would have it no other way.