I’m probably best described as a wanderer who’s come full circle. Like most people who are passionate about a particular subject my fascination came to light at an early age. In my case it happened at the ripe old age of four. I was playing in our backyard when our next door neighbor discovered a big garter snake. I’m sure he sought to encourage a youthful scientific curiosity when he showed me the reptile but my horrified mother quickly banished man and serpent to the woods behind our house. Enormously disappointed, I waited in agony for my father to come home from work. As soon as he pulled in the driveway I insisted we journey into the woods and find the astounding creature – and much to my father’s dismay we did. The snake lay there curled up under a log exactly where it had been released as if waiting for me to come back.
That serpent opened a passion for animals that led me to devour every book I could on the subject. I collected frogs, toads, snakes, salamanders, insects, you name it. If it lived it upstate New York and was not human I had to get my hands on it. Eventually it led to a job as Curator of Hoofstock under Jack Hanna back in the seventies and a degree in biology. I’d found my life’s work.
But life takes unexpected paths. Instead of a zoo I found a home in the Army. For 23 years it was my life and profession, and might have been for 23 more were it not for a peculiar set of circumstances while stationed in South Korea in the late nineties. While still a soldier I found myself working with elephants and rhinoceroses. The passion still lurking under the skin exploded back to life.
Less than two years after I “retired” I headed to Saudi Arabia. A year after that stint I was in Afghanistan where I pretty much stayed for three years. The wildlife adventure did not stop just because of a little war. I got some great shots over there and I think I might have even discovered one or two additions to the world of wildlife. I am home now in the great Northwest. But this time I intend to do my best to stay put. I hope you enjoy the natural beauty I have found in some likely – and unlikely – places.
It’s been many (too many) years since the sight of that garter snake. At last I’ve returned to it again, but this time I’m staying, fascinated like you by all things animal and forever trying to learn. I hope that through this website I can give something back to that snake, those elephants, and all the animals and people who’ve meant so much to me.