Whether you are a world traveler, or you wander the back roads of America, or your travels are made on your hands a knees with a camera in your own backyard, moving from place to place brings a new discovery with every mile driven, step taken, or every inch crawled. In fact, if you are physically disabled, you can do your wandering and make your discoveries, with a computer or a good book. Wandering can be within the mind, and discovery within the soul.
Probably 50% of my traveling during my adult years was done alone. I would say that 90% of my traveling for nature photography was done alone. When nature is your primary focus, you are never alone. Nature’s critters, her plants, her land and water and even her skies were my friends and companions.
I can be a quiet sort of person, and there have been times when I was traveling (wandering) when other than to confirm a dollar amount to a gas station attendant, I haven’t spoken to another human being for two days. Just the same, I was never lonely when I viewed the land and its inhabitants, periodically stopping to create images. I am however of the human species, although some might take issue with that, and I was always on the lookout for those “little moments” with someone who appeared interesting along the way. Some of those little moments turned into long-term friendships. But mostly, it was the moment I was looking to fill. That “moment of discovery”. We learn from each other and sometimes a stranger along the trail (being careful of course), can in five minutes impart unto you things that your life long friends have not, in 20 years. I have written on the pages of this blog about the old Mississippi Riverboat Captain, the young couple in the Rocky Mts., or the young school teacher I met in Rocky Mt. N. P.. Then there was the Australian painter/photographer on those New Mexico sand dunes.
As much as I treasure those moments and those people, most of my friends along the way have come straight from nature. Those White-tailed Prairie Dogs, that one Swainson’s hawk in Colorado, that little Canyon Lizard in Texas. The entirety of the high desert, or the Northern Cascades..
The most important aspect of the art of wandering, is to always remember that all art is personal. It is to you, what it is to you. It is not defined by geographic locations. You can wander to India, or you can wander through a great piece of literature. The most important part of wandering (to me), is to embrace the art of discovery. Revelation is the sustenance that keeps the wanderer nourished and moving.
The pictures below have nothing specific to do with the theme of today’s post. I have not included any exotic pictures from any famous places. Just the same, it was the heart of the wanderer that brought me to each subject.
I love photographing flowers. I have found no other subject that allows to me to place my personal DNA over the images I create, than flowers. They lend themselves to more compositional choices than anything I have ever photographed.
The second and third pictures below have never been shown before. That was because I thought their quality might seem dubious and in the case of third one, too abstract, but alas, my time is here to share whatever I feel I should.
In this part of the world winter means birds of prey. The Snowy Owl in the two pictures below was the last of this species to grace my camera lens. As you can see by the top photo, I generally start early.
I photographed this pretty roadside Red-tailed Hawk many times over several years. It us unlikely that she still lives but she was one of those friends that I shared my love of nature with.
Sometimes wandering your own backyard will produce great new friends.
The world in miniature, will keep the wanderer supplied with an endless supply of discoveries.
No matter where you are or what your life is like, never let the wanderer inside of you die.
God Bless, Wayne