Landscape Photography | North Country River Runs And Life Reflections

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I am sure it was meant to be a trick, but it worked. I am hooked.


Earlier this spring a random magazine started being delivered to the house. I don’t know how or why (no new incurring charges to the credit card, addressed to us, no one claiming it as a gift), but I am in love. It’s as if they are writing specifically to me. I never even heard of Outside magazine before, but right off the bat I loved the writing style and stories they tell. I have spent the summer learning things about ticks I didn’t even know (if that’s possible), about the humanitarian issues with the sherpas who guide on Everest, best road trip loops in Alaska, about the personal struggles of a western fishing guide, and how to live your best life with the outdoors. All I can guess is that it was part of a marketing scheme to send me free issues in hopes I would subscribe. Well you know what Outside mag, you got me. It worked. I am hooked. Subscribed. In love.

Seriously, check ’em out if you get a chance, I love that they write educated, thoughtful stories. Not the kind of chalked-full-of-bs kind of stuff a majority of outdoor magazines are inundated with. Their latest issue, “How to live your best life” was sprinkled with truisms. For instance,

Adventures when you’re young are the most vivid of your life, and what you do in the future will be based on them.

(Ian Frazier)

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I think that statement is so poignant. My father used to take us to the Michigan sand dunes when we were kids. He liked to lead us on a little excursion up a stream that cut through the dunes. I remember my little toes squishing through the clay beds and getting all mucked up in the sand afterwards. I think back to those memories almost every time I step foot in a stream. When I was in college (I can’t believe that was 10 years ago now) I spent some time on the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California conducting surveys of insect drift patterns in those island streams. That was wild to me, the furthest I had ever been from home, the first time I had really been removed from people, electricity, phones. Removed from it all.

It was for me. 

Hooked for life on the places that few step foot on. Addicted to the untamed. Fascinated by the rhythm of the wild.

I don’t need to go to Everest to get that high, to feel that pulling. There are plenty of places that surround us, places that most people don’t ever go (places like the river pictured, I have never run into another human there, like ever). Why? Too busy, maybe. Or maybe they just never feel that pulling, never had those early experiences that would forever shape their outdoor future, forging the kind of relationship they would have with the wild.

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River runs remind me of the treks up the streams that cut through the sand dune with my dad. They remind me of the beginning of my relationship with field biology because it was in those island streams I stood in, collecting aquatic insect data, that left a permanent sense of place on my heart.

A place that calls to me when I am stressed, overwhelmed, lonely, trying to figure out life. It calls me back and reminds me: everything has its place, it’s order, it’s flow.

That place, my sense of place, the wild.



Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing a print of any of the images featured above. 


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