TOBIN Factoids: Wirehaired Pointing Griffon from Maine. Has human eyes and a human heart. AKA: Tobes, Magobs Idiosyncrasies: Swims every chance he gets. Always the first one in, last one out. He’s known to use the ladder getting in and out of the pool. Will come running from afar if he hears an apple being cut. Favorite Snack: Frozen broccoli. Loves all foods save almonds and dates.
So honored to have received the 13th Julia Margaret Cameron Award for documentary and reportage series for my current ongoing project “It Takes a Village.” Currently on view until November 17th, 2019 at the FotoNostrum Gallery in Barcelona, Spain.
Peter Lindbergh, a great master and one of my favorite photographers, has died at 74. Peter Lindbergh was unrivaled in his ability to get to the raw material, and embraced perceived flaws revealing them as beautifully honest. There is something relatable and tangible about his portraits. The angst, struggle, vulnerability, and acceptance that he delivers in an unapologetic way. He instills a sense of courage and integrity, that can only be seen with the truth.
Everest and her younger brother Gunner, couldn’t come up with a name so Snakey became the default. Gunner has the impression that Snakey belongs to him, but Everest says he is misinformed and making false claims, and that Snakey belongs to her. Often when people see this portrait, their reaction is to recoil, preferring to look at more palatable pet portraits I have of domestics. #dogs. I find perception fascinating, as everything is about perception. When I witness people flinching at Everest and Snakey, I am taken aback, as I find their relationship beautiful. During the shoot, there was trust, and a clear bond between the two; several frames with them nose to nose, communicating a mutual admiration. This was not something I expected from a cold-blooded reptile, and it was fascinating and touching to witness how Everest handled Snakey with such reverence. Our reactions to things is based upon our biased classifications, and this gives me reason to pause. I too, have been enlightened through meeting Everest’s pet rats Rufus and Banks, which allowed me to overcome my own prejudices and “tail fears” about rats. Now I realize, how awesome rats are as pets.
I could never understood the dark irony of stalking a majestic wild animal, who, using every skillful instinctive tool it possesses to survive, and being quite deft with those skills on its own, with all the endeavor that daily survival entails, is suddenly in one defining moment, taken out of existence. More befuddling, is once it’s been extinguished and devitalized, it is taken to a taxidermist, who then tries to make it look as lifelike as possible.
I could never understand, the bragging rights for the spoils of an ambush, of a harmless animal that wanders (or is baited) into a fatal frame and taken down by a high powered something or other. What is the takeaway, of receiving a bounty for an arena of your own design, with a player of one? There is no squaring off. There is no even playing field. There is not even awareness, from the other opponent, that they are even participating. We could also equate this scenario in kind, with the plight of our planet.
There is no point for preservation, if essence is lost.
More and more, I’ve been met with experiences that bring to light, just how delicate, precious, and fragile life is. What this brings to me, is to be grateful and incredibly aware, of the seemingly insignificant things in life, which in fact, are the most profound.
I picked up this little bird, and before I laid it to rest, I studied every last miraculous detail. I found a spot that would honor and echo, its brief existence in the world. A delicate place replete with beauty. At the very moment I placed it back into the earth, my wind chimes rang with ferocity. A fitting chorus, to Its final song.
Farmer ingenuity. A repurposed car wash brush, is used as a scratching post for farmer Allen’s herd.
Who doesn’t like a massage? And that includes the bovine’s at Whippoorwill Farm in Lakeville CT. Farmer Allen, runs a humane and sustainable farm that is AWA complaint. AWA standing for Animal Welfare Approved, which upholds the highest standards for ethical and humanely run farms that raise livestock for food. Farmer Allen goes the distance when it comes to doling out some extra special comforts, such as, repurposing a used car wash brush as a scratching post for his cows when they become itchy from shedding their hair coats.
During the warmer months, Allen’s often found in the field giving massages to a few choice cows, who lean into him for more, just as my dog Ernie does. It is commonly thought, that livestock raised humanely and with compassion, produce more tender meat, vs their sad counterparts who live a life of stress and despair in factory farms. Considering fresh air, space, and a clean and beautiful environment, are essential to all walks of life.
As I got off the train yesterday and walked towards my car, my eye was caught by a landscaped area by the bike racks . It contained a large mass of prickly pear that seemed to have met its demise in a brief but dramatic thunderstorm that hit the area a couple of days ago. It was a sad sight, but at the same time, quite beautiful. There was much going on as pill bugs and snails were at the scene, doing their due diligence and taking advantage of the carnage. Nature is efficient, she is resourceful, and she is not wasteful. She self grooms in these storms, recycling energy back into her intelligent systems that humankind can’t fully comprehend. What can we glean from her wisdom? There are infinite resources in observing nature. How can we learn from this paradigm of decay? In our disposable society, we generate so much toxic waste-soiling of our own nest. If we do not have the discipline and understanding to make better choices for ourselves and our planet, then we need to cultivate solutions that do not cause further harm, and provide solutions to our damaging ways. Nature, has the answers. We just need to ask the right questions.