Jack Wills Photography: Blog http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Jack Wills Photography photog001@msn.com (Jack Wills Photography) Sun, 16 Feb 2014 16:54:00 GMT Sun, 16 Feb 2014 16:54:00 GMT http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u1073222641-o489352219-50.jpg Jack Wills Photography: Blog http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog 117 120 My Beautiful Companion http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/2/my-beautiful-companion Nature photography can be a solitary experience, but fortunately I have a beautiful and talented companion most of the time when I am out in the wild.  Her name is Cindy Cannon and over time, I have taken a few photos of her.  The following pictures are a sample:

Cindy at Smith Rocks State Park in Central OregonThis is Cindy's favorite place. It is beautiful, but it is also a place of torture...my torture. She loves to hike up aptly named "Misery Ridge", a climb of over 700 feet in 3/4 mile. The trail continues around a magnificent rock formation.





This is a picture in Cindy's favorite place, Smith Rocks State Park.  The hike is beautiful and it is a place of torture...of me.  It includes a 3/4 mile trek up 700 feet to the top of the ridge, but the adventurer is rewarded by a view of the magnificent rock formations and the surrounding landscape.  A breathtaking...literally...experience!














This is a photo of Cindy with her hands on her hips, wondering why I am so far behind.  My excuse, she is not carrying a camera.



                                                            It was a beautiful day in Bryce National Park and Cindy is carrying a camera. It was a lot easier to keep up with her.                                                     


It was a beautiful day in Bryce National Park and Cindy was carrying a camera.  It was much easier to keep up with her.


   On the edge.  Many of our photographs have been taken near a precipice.  It is a little nerve racking, but rewarding.  This photo was taken from the Canyonlands National Park plateau rim. The drop on the other side is at least 1000 feet.




Another precipice.  And Cindy is focused (pun intended) on capturing the drama.











 Yep, another precipice.  This is on the Crater Lake rim.  A great trip around the edge of the lake with numerous views.








This photo of Cindy captures her adventurous spirit.  The location of this ruin is not on the map.  We met a professional photographer at the "House on Fire" ruin about an hour or so earlier.  He informed us that he had found this ruin in one of the canyons nearby, but added that very few people knew of it, and that the trail there was primitive. 

It was primitive indeed, and the ladder up to the ruin was no less primitive.  He informed us that he had constructed this ladder out of found logs and some string he had with him.  The results you see in the photo, whimsical and perhaps a little sadistic.  The last 6 feet was a scramble, but we did it, and the resulting experience is shown in the photos below.















That's Cindy sitting near the edge of this cave complex.  The primary ruin is to my left. The cave is huge.  We referred to it as "the Ballroom."



I hope to have more photos of Cindy to add to this blog in the future.  She makes photography more fun and she often sees aspects of a scene that I do not.  I'm glad to have her as a companion.






































photog001@msn.com (Jack Wills Photography) Central Oregon Misery Ridge Smith Rocks State Park hiking http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/2/my-beautiful-companion Sun, 16 Feb 2014 16:53:38 GMT
McKenzie River Ramble http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/mckenzie-river-ramble McKenzie River Cascade

Rapids on the Mckenzie River in the Oregon Cascade Mountains


Recently I posted on climbing the South Sister with my youngest daughter.  Today I am pleased to post on a sojourn with my oldest daughter, BriAnne Wills and her husband, Chris Miller.  Although the trip occurred in October, since Bri and Chris are leaving for Kiev, Ukraine soon, I thought it appropriate to acknowledge them with this blog post.  My sweetheart, Cindy, and I led the two of them on a loop trail around the McKenzie River beginning near Koosah Falls and passing Sahalie Falls before crosssing a footbridge to circle back to the car.  I was shooting with my new camera and lens and was always last to get going after stopping at a photo opportunity.  I did not bring a tripod (cardinal sin when doing landscape), so I was pleasantly surprised some of these photos actually were OK.  I will share some here:

Bri and Chris enjoying the dramatic beauty of the upper Mckenzie River


Daredevil!  The water is cold, but Chris has no fear.

Sahalie Falls

Koosah Falls


Unnamed falls between its better known sisters.


Abstract patterns in cascade wave action on the McKenzie


Sahalie Falls Sahalie Falls


A romantic finale to a delightful sojourn.


[These photographs (except the people photographs) will be displayed in the "New Photos" gallery and at the time of the next blog post they, they will be distributed between "Limited Edition/Landscape" and "Landscape" galleries.

photog001@msn.com (Jack Wills Photography) Cascade Mountains Cascades Koosah Falls McKenzie River Oregon Sahalie Falls falls http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/mckenzie-river-ramble Sat, 12 Jan 2013 00:56:19 GMT
Climbing the South Sister http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/climbing-the-south-sister The Three Sisters-South Sister on the rightThree Sisters mountains, Oregon Cascades

                                The Three Sisters...the South Sister on the right.


This blog is about summitting the South Sister with my youngest daughter.  The mountain and surrounding Cascade peaks and lakes are beautiful.  I have included several photos of this journey.  I hope you enjoy taking this trip through my blog. 


Jackie and I awoke at 7:30 a.m. September 5, 2012. We were beginning our day of climbing, hiking, scaling the South Sister, sometimes called “Charity”, the 3rd highest peak in Oregon. The day was beautiful, a crisp clear Central Oregon day, a day for which we had hoped. The information I had read recommended this kind of day for climbing the South Sister, because of the potential for dangerous weather at the top. I considered this fortuitous.


We were staying in Sunriver with my partner, Cindy, and her mother.  Jackie and I had a robust breakfast of eggs, Torfurky sausage, orange juice and I added toast to my feast, easily justifiable due to the strenuous nature of our trip. Soon afterward we set about to organize our backpacks. This required packing a daypack for the actual ascent of the mountain as well as the typical items for a backpack. Even though we had planned a one or two night stay at Moraine Lake, many items are the same as a weeks journey; sleeping bag, pad, stove and fuel, etc. Additionally, since I did not know the quality of Moraine Lake water, I decided to pack in tap water as well as the filter for water on location. This added 150oz or about 10 lbs in weight plus two 12 oz bottles of Gatorade for each of us. The Gatorade was for the mountain. I had heard that it helped to replenish whatever was exhausted by the climb. (I think it may have helped.) I weighed my pack after the trip and it came in about 58 lbs sans the Gatorade and a couple of other items. I was also carrying a DSLR camera (Canon 5D Mark II), two lenses and a tripod. In other words, too much! Especially for an old back, old legs, old…oh well you get the idea.




                               The packs are heavy, and my denial is low, but we're going anyway.                

                                (Jackie's bag looked bigger than mine...must be the camera angle.)


Admittedly I was apprehensive as well as excited about this adventure. The journey to the summit combined two legs (no pun intended). First, we were to backpack into Moraine Lake for the night. This is a trip of approximately two miles with an elevation gain of about 1700 ft and a loss of about 200 ft to get to the lake. With a backpack on for the first time in several years, I think eight years, I was wasn’t sure how well I would do. Jackie also was loaded down and she had not backpacked in awhile as well. Secondly, we were going to scale (notice the presupposition) the South Sister the following day. I’m not sure which concerned me more, hoisting a 60-pound backpack plus camera gear to Moraine Lake or taking a daypack plus camera gear up over 3500 ft and 3 miles to the summit of South sister. Both seemed daunting to this nearly 66 year old man.  Jackie was carrying a similar load...with nutrition bars...an important part of the story.   I was glad to have my 24 year old daughter as my companion.


Packing and loading the gear for this trip was quite involved, but we were finally ready for our adventure by midday. In actuality, the trip up the first leg of the journey was fairly uneventful.  The trail was rated difficult, and it was, but we knew what we were facing.   We obtained our wilderness permits and headed off.  We had to adjust my backpack several times, a bit of an embarassment for a veteran backpacker.  My pack was ancient, and obsolete.  I use past tense, because I doubt I will ever use it again, either because I am working on ancient myself or because I take it to Goodwill for some other intrepid soul.  Earlier in the day I had made some attempts to make the backpack trip worthy by tying up (literally) some loose ends.  Anyway, my sleeping bag and pad along with my tripod had a tendency to slip to the back of my knees.  Jackie was patient and helpful, and after some adjustments, we stumbled over roots and rocks to reach the plateau above Moraine Lake. Whew, the first part done.  Well almost.  We still had to find a camping site, but since it was the middle of the week, we found one quickly.  So far, so good.


Our campsite was was great. We overlooked Moraine Lake from over 100 ft above on a terminal moraine bluff. The lake is at 6,400 ft elevation and is surrounded by an alpine environment of krummholz in exposed areas and larger, sometimes dead trees along with wildflowers that had blooms or had already bloomed. The South Sister loomed on the other side of the lake.





Photos: 1. Jackie negotiating a section of the trail.  2. Jackie preparing a meal. 3. Us, with the South Sister in the background.


Preparing dinner was next.  The disadvantage of having such a beautiful vantage point is that we had to haul water several hundred feet back to our campsite from the lake.  Once that was accomplished, (Jackie and I taking turns carrying the rubber bucket full of lake water),  heating the water and pouring it into our dried dinner packets was easy.  After dinner it was time to prepare for the first photographic adventure.  I say adventure, because I had not seriously done a time-lapse photo before.  I was somewhat prepared with knowlege from the Internet and from photographic magazines, but my confidence level was low.  My main concern was that I might not have this opportunity again.  I was at 6,500 feet and the sky promised to be clear with the stars having no compitition from artificial lights.  So I began with Jackie's help...initially.  The demands of the hike and the tedium of taking time-lapse photographs quickly lured her back to her tent and sleep.  I was determined to continue my fledgling efforts to capture the night sky.  My first effort was to attempt to capture a number (nearly 50) 30-second photographs of the area of the sky above the South Sister (an approach that would enable "stacking" on my computer), that included a portion of the Big Dipper.  I was not impressed.  The light from the fading Sun reduced the light of the stars in contrast with the sky.  After numerous and clumsy efforts to precisely time my shots, I began to notice the area to the right with the Milky Way and what appeared to be the North Star or Polaris.  With my increasing frustration in my initial attempt at time-lapse photography and the advancing hour of the night, I decided to make one last attempt to achieve my goal. I turned my camera toward the area to the right of my previous photographic target.  Again, I tried to arange my subject in the dark with a flashlight.  I enabled the noise control and set the timer on my iPhone to 30 minutes and pushed the shutter.  The night was quickly becoming colder and my thoughts were turning to climbing the South Sister early the next morning.  


At about 11:00 p.m. I heard the welcome sound of the alarm on my phone.  I was done and could go to bed.  Not so fast.  I had forgotten about the noise-reduction process on my Canon 5D Mark II.  I had to wait another 30 minutes for the camera process to finish.  Apprehensively I pushed the LCD button.  Voila!  The results are below.  Now I could go to bed.  Or so I thought.

Axis Mundi

I call this time-lapse photo "Axis Mundi".  I was fortunate to capture this photo with a portion of the tree pointed toward Polaris, which remains fixed in the night sky while the other stars show streaks as a part of their apparent moment as the Earth rotates.  Axis Mundi translates roughly as "the center of the world".  This is often presented as a special mountain or a giant tree that expresses the connection between sky and earth.  (See Wikipedia)


There was a slight breeze that night.  In addition to making the evening feel colder, the wind seemed to take delight in shaking my tent.  Each time I began to fall asleep, rattle, shake and I was awake again.  I did enjoy looking at my photo of the night sky each time that occurred, but I was not well rested the following morning. 


The morning was as promised, cold, with a clear sky, and a large mountain looming in the background.  Despite my lack of sleep, I was exited wtih anticipation of finally being able to complete the adventure that had colored much of my thoughts, and driven most of my exercise during the summer. I tried another feature of my camera, video, with limited success but with some enjoyment. 


I rousted Jackie out of her cocoon. Sleepily she joined me as we treked up the few hundred feet for sunrise photos of the area.  The Cascade Mountains in the background and foreground, everywhere you looked.   

                                                         Broken Top at sunrise


The South Sister behind Jackie as she prepares for the adventure.  2. The South Sister at sunrise.


Around 8:30 am we had finished our breakfast, and packed our daypacks filled with water and bottles of Gatorade.  The mountain was farther than it appeared, but around 9 am we reached the base and began our accent.  I respect the knowledge and the information provided by William Sullivan, but I think he omitted some of the more difficult sections of the climb.  He mentions the section of cinder scree near the summit, but there are three sections that I would label scrambles.  Maybe it is good I didn't know. 


We actually passed some hikers.  One woman I was impressed by in particular.  She didn't make it, but she tried.  Other people completed the climb in gear that was clearly inappropriate, but they were young, fit, and maybe a little crazy.  I was happy to have serious hiking boots, gaiters, and trekking poles.  Jackie was too. This brings me back to the "nutrition bars".  I had frequently reminded Jackie to bring several "Powerbars" on this trek.  Fortunately she did.  But I didn't.  She shared 1.5 nutrition bars.  I lost weight on this trip, but it could have been worse.

                                      "What did I get myself into?"  (One of the challenging scrambles.)


                                                     Jackie and Lewis Glacier (Lake's name unknown.)


There was no time either of us thought about turning around.  But there were times I questioned the wisdom of this adventure.  When we reached the top, those thoughts were as thin as the air.  The view was exceptional and exciting.  To view several mountains below us was amazing.  I know that others have tackled and achieved much, much more difficult adventures, but this was my Everest. This was what I had prepared for and planned for through the summer.  It was a great experience for Jackie, too.  I could see it in her face...tired but delighted.


We did it!  Photos: 1. Jackie with Mt. Bachelor in background. 2. Me with Bachelor in background. 3. Us with the Middle and North Sister in background. 4. Broken top from edge of South Sister summit.


After lingering for a short time (we had a long way to go) we headed down the mountain.  We shortened the trip by an hour.  We had gravity on our side, and we used a semi glissade or plunge step going down the scree sections.  We were in a hurry, because we had decided to try to pack our camp gear and hike out the same day. The trip up the mountain was a little over 4 hours.  The trip down was about 3 hours.


We reached our campsite around 5:30 pm.  We took a little time to patch Jackie's toes with moleskin.  She told me recently that the top of one toe blistered and the other is still bruised.  My toes were a little sore the next day, but, somehow, I suffered less damage. (I had special liners, which I believe helped).  We started our hike out at about 6:30 p.m., or so I thought.  My packing was a bit hasty and again my sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and tripod quickly became unwieldy.  I attempted to ignore the problem, but when my tripod began to bang against the back of my knees, and Jackie was laughing behind my back, I decided to stop.  After two more comical (sort of) attempts to secure the gear, I finally achieved a reasonable arrangement. 


The trail is steep going down from Moraine Lake.  Not nearly as steep as the mountain, but steeper than most trails.  It was dark before we reached the end.  Fortunately we each had headlamps that allowed for reasonable vision.  We had little concern about encountering wild animals, but we did see a Western Toad.  This is a very large and impressive toad. I think we surprised it and it shuffled clumsily across our trail.  An omen perhaps.  (Toads have been considered lucky in some mythology.) Shortly afterward we reached the vicinity of the end of the trail, but we could not relax.  We still had to cross a small creek with a makeshift "bridge", complete with large gaps between the differently sized dead limbs.  Thoughts were; "Will one of us fall in?"  It wasn't dangerous,  but I was in no mood to get soaked...let alone my camera gear.  Unsteadily we reached the other side.  We were tired, very tired, but we had made it.


The next day, the next three days, I was walking funny.  But I had a smile on my face.




photog001@msn.com (Jack Wills Photography) Cascade Mountains The Three Sisters central Oregon http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/10/climbing-the-south-sister Sun, 21 Oct 2012 23:56:36 GMT
Wild book review: "The Swamp" by Michael Grunwald http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/7/wild-book-review-the-swamp-by-michael-grunwald Florida Alligators First, my apologies.  I have been missing in action.  No blogging for several weeks.  My day job (psychotherapy) and the demands of family, friends and especially yardwork (I care for the lawn, aka pasture, and lawn within the garden designed by my sweetheart, a master gardner.)...very demanding during spring...has interfered with my photographic and wildlife interests.  I hope to be more consistent.  I know, if hopes were dollars, all of us would be rich.


On with the real nature of my blog.  I want to turn you on to a very good book, in my opinion.   The Swamp is a book about the history of the development of Florida and about the degradation of nature, in particular the Everglades.  It is likely that many long time residents of Florida would take issue with the suggestion that early Floridians were less than conscientious in their care and concern for the environment, but in fact they weren't very careful in their interaction with their environment .  It was more adversarial than not. The book chronicles a different era (maybe not), an era when manifest destiny was at it's peak in influence of the American mind and spirit.  The sky was the limit in terms of develoment and engineering of natural Florida.


Nature was considered the enemy in early Florida, perhaps in all of early America.  Grunwald does a thorough job of describing various and persistent attempts to subdue natural Florida.  As a journalist he describes the influence and impact of significant historical figures such as Henry Flagler in his attempt to create a transportation system through Florida.  Reading this book, I felt a mixture of admiration and revulsion.  The admiration is about the tenacity and perserverance of determined individuals in an effort to create a system of transportation through the challenging environment of Florida, and my disgust is over the rapacious nature of the anthropocentric arrogance of humanity's dominance over nature.  This is a pattern in The Swamp.  The attack against nature reaches it's apex (if that word is reasonable under the circumstances) with the U. S. Corps of Engineers' attempt to control the flow of water through Lake Okeechobee, ending with disasterous results. Nature and humans suffered incredibly as a result of efforts to change the path that nature had created over millennia.


Grunwald also heralds the defenders of nature and wildlife.  Florida had it's share of people willing to confront the unconscious development and distruction of Florida's natural envronment.  Marjory Stoneman Douglas stands out as a dogged advocate of nature.  She demanded and received respect in the politics of Florida.  She receives mine as well.  The book also describes politics associated with the management of the Everglades National Park and particularly the flow of water (or not) into the park.  It also includes the conflict within and among environmental organizations, as well.  This was an eye opener.


This book is about the history and development of Florida at the expense of the natural environment.  It is also about the relationship of humans with our environment.  Grunwald presents his information with a fair amount of objectivity, but it is not difficult to detect his concern for nature and his sense that we often do not respect the environment that surrounds us and in which we live and derive our sustenance. 


I share his concern.  I also recommend "The Swamp".   This book is about Florida, but it is also about America.  More importantly, it is about us, you and me.  Grunwald makes you think, not just about history, but about evolution.  No, not in the sense that one adaptive inherited trait is more succesful than another (that may apply as well), but in the sense that we are developing a different relationship with our environment, nature, our fellow creatures, our resources.  And this may be a better us.  I don't know that this was Grunwald's goal, but it was an outcome of his in-depth journalism. 


I love the Everglades.  I have stood by the side, or back of alligators, and I am still in one piece.  I have watched the beautiful flight of the Great Egret, the Snowy Egret, the Great Blue Heron. I have stood above a pod of baby alligators with the mother nearby (she hissed, I backed up).  I have marveled at the interwoven strength of the mangroves and the long vistas of grass that encompass the Everglades.  I have been there and I have left changed...for the better.  So, this book is about more than history.  It is about our relationship with nature...and, in the end, ourselves.


This book is well worth reading if you are interested in Florida history, American history, nature, environment, wildlife, human nature, and in the final analysis, our evolution as humans, if any of those subjects interest you, please read this book.


As I have stated elsewhere, I welcome feedback, comments and disagreement regarding content of this blog.






photog001@msn.com (Jack Wills Photography) Everglades Florida Florida History Lake Okeechobee Michael Grunweld The Swamp development environment http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/7/wild-book-review-the-swamp-by-michael-grunwald Mon, 30 Jul 2012 05:27:39 GMT
Photographing wildlife in motion http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/6/photographing-wildlife-in-motion  


Deer Crossing Stream


I decided to talk about something less controversial for this blog post.  I'm sure I will return later to discuss issues related to factors threatening wildlife, but today I wanted to discuss the challenges of capturing wildlife in action.  Since action photography is a complex subject, and I'm not writing a book, I will discuss it briefly and in installments. 

Photgraphs of wildlife are interesting and beautiful, but action in photographs adds another dimension.  In a recent trip to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon, I was accompnied by a close friend who is a periodic wildlife photographer.  He has many challenges to creating quality wildlife photographs, including learning the nuances of a relatively new camera.  So he asked me to help guide him through the photographic variables of depth-of-field, shutter speed and ISO (International Organizational Standards set for grain in film or digital cards).  It actually helped me to hone my skills helping him with this.  I thought I would share a photograph I took of a mule deer crossing a stream in the refuge to help illustrate some of the challenges of photographing wildlife in motion.  For those readers who either have no interest in the technical aspect of photography or who are experts in photography, I apologize.  I hope you enjoy the photograph (there are more on my website) anyway. 

Normally, the most essential factor in action photography is stopping action.    Yes, some photographers achieve interesting results by blurring motion, but positive results usually are obtained by freezing the moment.  To accomplish this, the shutter speed must be fast enough to stop the action.  Shutter speed is impacted by several other factors, available light, the speed of the subject, lens focal length, and whether your cameral is hand held, on a tripod or the lense has vibration control, etc.  I expect to talk about these at another time.  Anyway these photographs were shot at 1/320 of a sec.  I would recommend a minimum shutter speed of 1/300 of a second, but faster is better unless you have to increase your ISO to any unreasonable level.  A shutter speed of 1/1000 will help to avoid blurring. Panning, moving your camera with the motion of the subject, also helps.  If you have your camera set on automatic, this does not improve your chances to stop action.  You may be lucky and the camera will choose a high shutter speed, or it may not.

The photograph of the deer crossing the stream may have been improved by a higher shutter speed, but low light presented a problem.  This emphasizes the need to be prepared. It is a good idea to practice on local birds and active pets or people to learn the behavior of your camera, your skills and the challenges of the moment.  Then try to find the right moment in nature. 






photog001@msn.com (Jack Wills Photography) action photography camera deer light motion refuge shutter speed wildlife http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/6/photographing-wildlife-in-motion Mon, 04 Jun 2012 01:02:10 GMT
Response to Al http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/3/response-to-al Hi Al, Thanks for the comment.  I have reviewed your thoughts and decided to respond.

  •  My reaction to your first question: (excerpt: "what does justify killing of wildlife?") You are on to something when you say "survival" may be a reason for killing wildlife. 
  • You go on to say that survival or subsistance hunting is  "obviously not an issue in our country", but some people might disagree, especially during this economic downturn.  Unfortunately for animals and wildlife, as of July 2011 there were 311,591,917 people in the United States (census Bureau), and according to the world clock, there were 7,003,026,301 (and counting as of 03/26/12 20:47) in the world.  The answer gets more complicated when you consider "prey" animals versus "predators".  We have killed many of the predators and have actually encouraged the populations of animals we hunt.  Now we (I use "we", as a label for us as culture, but I acknowledge that our culture may be changing, albeit slowly) look at predators as competitors.  According to Cornell University, Wildlife Control Information page, there are approximately 20 million deer in the US, a 15.5 humans to 1 deer ratio.  
  • Again this issue becomes more complicated when I consider poaching.  In a part of the McKenzie River watershed in Oregon the deer and elk population was recently decimated by a poaching ring.  Although the area is off limits to legal hunting since the discovery of the poaching, these animals are seldom seen, now. You are right about it being more of an issue in other countries where as population grows, more wildlife is killed to make room for people and to feed people. 
  • I realize this is a bit rambly.  As I wrote, I became increasingly aware of how complicated these issues are.  I did come up with one answer: Killing of wildlife might be justified for self defense. 


I appreciate your thoughtful comments on my first blog.  I hope you continue to respond and I will continue to repond as well as present new blog thoughts.  I also invite others to join in the conversation.  Just click on "Leave Comment"  or "# Comment". Usually one or the other will be highlighted.

photog001@msn.com (Jack Wills Photography) http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/3/response-to-al Mon, 26 Mar 2012 21:17:54 GMT
The Great Egret http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/3/the-great-egret Egrets in late afternoon light

I am presenting this first image as an example of the beauty of the Great Egret.  It's hard to imagine that in the 1800's these beautiful creatures were shot nearly to extinction in Florida.  This travesty was in the name of beauty for high fashion women of that period.  The highly sought after feathers of the Great Egret were used to decorate hats!  Not only were birds shot for feathers, but orphaned chicks were left to die from malnutrition and predation after their parents were killed.  (I tend to use "shot" and "killed" instead of euphemisms such as "taken" and "removed".)  Birds were not the only victims. In 1905, Guy Bradley an Audubon warden assigned to the area was shot and killed by poachers in the Everglades area.  Two other wardens were killed by plume hunters before legal steps were taken in New York to ban hats decorated with plumes.  Bradley's death helped to bring about these changes.  In 1935 The Everglades National Park was founded (without funding). Today these beautiful birds can be found in abundance, although development and climate change represent a serious threat for their future. Talking points: 1) Does vanity justify the killing of wildlife?  2) Does it take violence toward humans who are protecting wildlife to change our understanding of the value of wildlife and motivate us to protect wildlife through the strengthening and implementation of laws?  I encourage everyone to present their thoughts on these "talking points".  All comments are welcome, whether related to the "talking points" or not.

photog001@msn.com (Jack Wills Photography) Darling Ding Egret Florida Great Refuge Wildlife birdlife http://jackwillsphotography.zenfolio.com/blog/2012/3/the-great-egret Sun, 04 Mar 2012 06:27:59 GMT