Sunday, August 5, 2012

Side-Note: Birds of a Feather

Image © Maya Greywolf, posted by permission
     This has nothing to do with cartooning or editorials (notwithstanding the recent hatching of thematically-related panels), but I wanted to spotlight the excellent work of a couple folks who have both been taking some truly spectacular photographs of birds. Above is one from Maya Greywolf (Wordpress photoblog here, SmugMug site here, and Flickr Photostream here). A former Alaskan that now resides in North Dakota, she's been picking out unique perspectives and interesting compositions in that neck of the woods.

"Honk if you feel lost"

     I passed through that area during our migration from Maine back to Alaska earlier this year: here's a candid shot from a side-trip taken in Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge, where we saw quite the feathered multitude, and shared no small degree of empathy with this other pair of displaced Northerner hobos. I have to say, after several other road-trips through the Dakotas (albeit on the Interstate) I'd previously had nothing but disparaging remarks to say about the place. That all changed after this last experience from getting caught up one of the all-time top three spectacular sunsets ever in my entire life. Since we were driving west-ish it was an epic, slow-motion unfolding of a mind-blowing pastoral landscape that stretched unbroken across the entire horizon line. For hours. Amazing.

"Truckin, Im a goin' home. Whoa whoa baby, back where I belong"

     Posted below is sample from the alternate ego of Wickersham's Conscience, from the Frozen Feather Images website (link here). He is migrates internationally with gear in hand to capture fascinating and intimate portraits of some diverse species. Work like this shows not just a skilled eye and serious gear, but it's done with a passion and patience that really sees the subject matter, and makes me want to take a longer look. For those of you in the 'Banks, there's a show of his work at Denali State Bank (Airport Road branch) for the month of August + an opening this 1st Friday.
*Update: see here for a virtual tour.

Image © Frozen Feather Images, posted by permission


  1. I found your change of heart about the Dakotas familiar. A few years ago I was on my way to Montana to spend the summer. I planned on spending less than one day driving across North Dakota - basically getting out of as quickly as I could. Then I discovered the prairie potholes, thousands of wetland areas created by glacial activity and some of the most important waterfowl breeding grounds in North America. It provided for some of the best birding (AND storm activity!) I've ever encountered traveling about the states.
    These wetlands are now in jeopardy for a number of reasons, one of which is that they had some measure of protection under the farm bills offered to subsidize agriculture but, due to an increase in agricultural prices the landowner's are not taking subsidies from farm bills and draining these areas.
    It was estimated that there were over 100,000 Snow Goose frenzy photo I took last year... I hope it's not the last time I see them gather like this.

  2. Phenomenal capture of the King Penguin. It's such an interesting composition.