From Water to Earth

A red-legged frog sits on a rock beside duckweed-filled water

This red-legged frog had been sitting in the duckweed before hopping up onto a small rock. I wanted to convey a sense of the frog emerging from one world to another, so I placed it at the bottom of the frame with the top third green water, the middle third transitioning from water to earth, the bottom third solid ground.

My Kingdom, My Kingdom

Our cat Templeton sniffing the air while laying down in our backyard

All of our cats are indoor cats, but during the warmer (and drier) months I let them outside into our fenced backyard for some supervised outdoor play. Templeton didn’t just enjoy his time in the backyard, he held court. I love the display of his proud and regal air to the minions who deign to share his kingdom.

Of my many pictures of Templeton, this remains a favorite.

A Change of Plans

A close up view of a large redwood tree on the Simpson-Reed Trail in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, the left half showing moss-covered bark with the right half showing the exposed red pulp

On my journey to the redwoods, I expected to work mostly with the widest angle of my lens, highlighting the immense size and height of these ancient trees. However, my plans changed instantly the moment I stepped on the trails. I was struck both by the myriad colors and textures of the trees as well as their tenacity in hanging onto life despite fire and storm damage. This is one of my favorite pictures from the trip and also one of my earliest, I stopped off for a quick hike around the Simpson-Reed Trail in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park before continuing on to my hotel in Crescent City.

The bark of this redwood was colored green by moss, while on the right of the picture where the bark has been stripped away, you can see the red pulp that gives the redwoods their name.

Sign of Sanity

A Douglas' squirrel sits atop a tree stump on the Hoh River Trail in the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park

While visiting Olympic National Park in 2004, my wife and I escaped the crowds of the Hall of Mosses Trail and walked down the lovely Hoh River Trail where we met this Douglas’ squirrel. When you spend time photographing something as common as a squirrel at a place as special as the Hoh Rain Forest, some of the other tourists look at you with a mixture of curiosity and pity, as though you’re either slightly mad or slightly a moron.

Both of which might be true, but I enjoy photographing squirrels and do it no matter where I am, especially species like this one that I see less often. While the squirrels I see in my yard in the city are invaders from the east, the Douglas’ squirrel is one of the native tree squirrels in the Northwest.

At Least One of Us is Sleeping

Our cat Scout sleeping on the window seat

We arrived home late at night after a week-long trip to visit family in Mississippi and I knew I wasn’t going to get much sleep. Whenever I return from a long absence, Scout wakes me up throughout the night in 30 to 60 minute intervals to pet her and reassure her.

Even though we had a friend pet sit while we were gone, Scout doesn’t like strangers or disruption in her life and stayed hidden for most of the week. That first night back, however, she let me sleep more than I expected. She made up for it the next couple of nights and by the weekend I was pretty worn out. After she was satisfied that life was back to normal, she returned to her favorite haunts like the window seat and slept a peaceful sleep.