Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Saying Goodbye to a Friend

Recently a friend of Great Meadows (& mine), Rev. Kevin Crispell was suddenly and unexpectedly called home to be with God.  Besides being a follower of Christ, Kevin was an avid birder.  Weekly he published an email newsletter that combined observations about birding, life and faith often inspired by his frequent visits to the refuge.

We met at Great Meadows NWR.  I was there frequently as a photographer, Kevin as a birder.  We both became regular participants of the weekly bird survey.  While the main purpose of the survey is to identify and count the various species of birds present, it is also a time of conversation, stories, sharing life and laughter where friendships grow.

Many don’t know but Kevin was an avid fisherman.  His style was “catch and release”. The bait was the intriguing story.  To the unsuspecting the story would slowly draw you in.  Once the hook had been set, he would reel you in, until it was time for the PUNch line and the realization that once again, you had been had.  Talking with Kevin always kept you attentive.  You had to listen carefully. You never knew when he was sharing something important or whether you were being set up again.

I looked forward to Kevin’s weekly emails.  They were like Kevin, not slick and polished, but plain and down to earth, but with great substance.  He used his appreciation of nature and birds in particular to help the reader slow down and appreciate the world around you.  Kevin also offered observations on life, beauty and how nature connected you to its creator.

Light Chronicle | Photography: Warblers &emdash;

Like the alewife, snatched from a river by the Osprey, Kevin was snatched from us suddenly and unexpectedly.  We all wish that we could spend a few more moments with him, to tell him what he meant to us, to be caught by another one of his stories, or to just enjoy the beauty of God’s creation together.

Light Chronicle | Photography: Osprey &emdash;

Often when Kevin was unable to attend a survey it was because he was performing a funeral.  The last few days I’ve wondered what words of comfort and wisdom Kevin would want to provide in one last newsletter to those who remain.

I am sure that he would remind us that for the Christian death is not the end, but the beginning of something greater.  As the apostle Paul says “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

To those who remain and grieve he would want to share from the Psalms, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

Light Chronicle | Photography: Loons &emdash;

Friday, January 22, 2016

A Couple Videos

Life is what happens while you are making other plans. Some how life has been squeezing photography out of the schedule. Things like health issues you own or family members, work, weather always seem to keep getting in the way. When I do get my camera out I've been shooting move video than stills. Video takes longer to process & is tougher to share. With all those sucking sounds on my time, blogging had totally disappeared. That doesn't mean that I haven't been getting to Great Meadows, just not as often as usual, and mainly to participate in the Thursday bird census, rather than photography

Back in November; back before the impoundments were filled with ice; back before snow covered the ground; back when if you saw your breath it was only until the sun crested the horizon I did go to Great Meadows to capture the morning departure of the Canada Geese. The day before I had been there for the bird census. The days had been warm, but cold over night so mist was covering the impoundments. The next day had the same forecast, so I arrived expecting the same conditions. Alas there was no mist, but lots of wind. That's a bad combination for still photography, but not so bad for video. Here's a short video I compiled of Great Meadows awaking that morning.

That seems so long ago.  Today it is the middle of winter. This morning was freezing cold. The impoundments were mainly ice with just a few open patches of water. The members of the bird census were moving quickly to try to stay warm. At the far end of the lower impoundment we encountered the beaver whose lodge is nearby. Ever the diligent engineer, he was working against the elements to keep the water open, trying to break up the ice that would trap him until warmer days

Monday, May 25, 2015

A Moving Day At The Refuge

I decided to reward myself for two days worth of chores around the house, with a morning of photography at the refuge. Today, I decide to focus on improving my video skills. I What I am finding is that using your camera for video is even more challenging than still photography. There are so many more ways to make mistakes - audio, motion, etc. I editted down the keepers to a short video of my visit.