Peterson’s Fifth Edition

I’ve been telling everyone who comes to pose for me to bring a book that means something to them, so I can add them to The Book Club. My model had a bit of trouble and had to reschedule, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t done my own shot for the gallery.

I putzed around a bit with some spotlighting, and I’m still not thrilled with the shot. Perhaps I’ll give it another go at some point.

Meanwhile, I had some trouble deciding what book I wanted to use. There have been many books that have meant something or been important to me at various times during my life, and the pile on the pillar here is a small sampling. But the Peterson’s Field Guide to the Birds of Eastern and Central North America (Fifth Edition) is a special book among special books to me.

Way back in 2009 (I know, back in the olden times) I picked up my first real camera for the purpose of taking pictures of my daughter’s high school graduation. It was the very bottom of the line of Canon DSLRs, the Rebel XS, and I got a cheap 300mm lens for it. I carried it everywhere for several weeks, practicing, shooting everything I could to prepare for the graduation. I was finishing up my first year of college at the local community college at the time, and in between classes I’d stick it in the face of anyone who’d hold still. I shot the architecture. I shot the plants. I shot classmates and friends and instructors and strangers.

I was a Biology and Biology Education major, but at the time wasn’t sure what field of biology most interested me. Primate sexuality was at the top of my list, but just below that were birds. My Biology I instructor, Doc, was an Ornithologist who’d studied Brown Pelicans, and he was sort of nudging me in that direction. One day just after buying the camera, I noticed a bird that I didn’t recognize and took a (horrible) shot of it to identify it later. I showed the shot to Doc and asked what sort of bird it was. He reached up on his shelf, pulled down his Peterson’s, and with a grin demanded, “You tell me.”

And that’s the exact moment my love affair with bird photography was born. I’ve come a long way since that first blurry shot of a Northern Mockingbird, I think.






Red-tailed Hawk



Mute Swan


I can’t wait to get to Kiptopeke this year, for Fall migration.



To repeat the disclaimer, this is a project about re-discovery. It’s about remembering who I am, what I’m about, what I love and what I do not. Fair warning, this project will be posted here rather than at my SFW site because there will be nudity from time to time. Some of it will be of me, some not, some artistic and pretty to look at, some just raw.

I don’t intend to think of something every day and then shoot it, though I may do that sometimes, too. But sometimes I will just shoot, and then find something about myself in the frames and post about that thing, whatever it is.

All my #365SelfDiscovery posts will be filed here.