Sunday, April 10th, 2011
Nature Deficit Disorder

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It’s no secret that among kids, outdoor activities in the natural environment have taken a back seat to television, video games, the computer, and a demanding schoolwork and extracurricular schedule. As a result, there is an increasing disconnect between them and nature. Richard Louv, author of ‘Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder’, argues that as our kids become more and more enslaved by a sedentary lifestyle, it becomes even more paramount to set them free in the outdoors, and let their imaginations do the work. I am happy that our son Florian enjoys time in nature, like here with his friend Sadie Jenkins, drifting down Peterson Creek on an ice floe near Outer Point on Douglas Island. Besides the obvious health benefits of playing outdoors, we hope that by fostering an appreciation for the natural world around him through unstructured play Florian will learn to care about the environment. Because how could he grow up into an adult citizen who advocates for the natural world if he has no direct knowledge of it?

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Friday, March 4th, 2011
Remembering John Haines, Alaska's Most Honored Writer

Earlier this week, John Haines, former Alaska poet laureate and literary lion, passed away in Fairbanks at the age of 86. To me, John Haines is Alaska’s finest writer and one of America’s great poets. His vision of life and art deeply resonates with me, and his books have always had a prominent place in my library. Here’s an excerpt from his autobiography, “Living Off the Country”, a collection of essays on poetry and place: “I believe that one of the most important metaphors of our time is the journey out of wilderness into culture, into the forms of our complicated and divided age, with its intense confusions and deceptions. The eventual disintegration of these cultural forms returns us once more to the wilderness. This journey can be seen both as fall and reconciliation. And place, once again, means actual place, but also a state of mind, of consciousness. Once that place is established, we carry it with us, as we do a sense of ourselves.”

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Thursday, February 24th, 2011
Fritz Cove At Dusk

We continue to be blessed with clear and cold winter weather. The light is beautiful throughout the day, and even about 30 minutes before and after sunset, the landscape basks in soft colorful light which is extremely favorable to photography. The absence of shadows greatly simplifies contrast problems, and the colors are vividly saturated. I took this image at dusk yesterday evening at Outer Point on North Douglas Island, looking north over Fritz Cove and the Mendenhall Peninsula towards the Coast Mountains.

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Tuesday, February 1st, 2011
Hoarfrost

Hoarfrost

The recent cold spell created some very beautiful patterns of hoarfrost on the landscape. I was looking for a unique object where the ice crystals had deposited, and I found it on a pebble beach near Outer Point on North Douglas Island. The presence of small ice crystals on the small rocks make them appear like sea urchins, especially in this view taken with my fisheye lens.

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