That simple sentence is the vision behind this blog. It started as a simple photography project. Last autumn while walking at Great Meadows I was thinking about the changing seasons and the different things I had noticed during the year. I wondered what it would look like if you could compress time and pull the seasons together photographically.
That led me to think about the spirit of Great Meadows. It is primarily a refuge, a "safe" place for animals, at least safe from humans, if not each other. Besides the animals, the refuge is also a changing landscape. There is a typical cycle of plant growth and death. But there's also the changing levels of water - some controlled by the refuge managers; others like spring-time flooding controlled by nature.
Finally, Great Meadows is a refuge for people. Some like the bird watchers and nature walkers are drawn by nature. Others are like walkers, joggers, skiers and snow-showers are drawn by exercise or the outdoors. Parents bring their young children to get out of the house, educate, or to fill a school vacation week with activity. Some people are just drawn by the solitude, a personal refuge, a place to think, reflect and meditate.
Personally, I want to explore the challenges of trying to tell that story photographically. I to teach myself to look more closely, to see the same things differently. I want to see what it is like to undertake a long term project and learn what can be gained from it. I also hope to continue to grow in skill as a photographer.
One way to help motivate success in any new endeavor, whether it's stopping smoking, or learning a new skill, is to make public commitments. When I was explaining this project to Alan Bragg, Great Meadows volunteer extraordinare, he asked the simple questions, "How are you going to share your photos? Are you going to put them on the web?"
Like all god projects, that was a bit of scope creep. I had not thought about that. But this blog was a result. It has turned into both a photographic and written journal. I find that writing about what I saw, heard, and sometimes smelled has helped by organize my thoughts about the visit. A little over two months into this project, I am also finding that memories are blurring together, so the chronicle of activities and events is helpful in keeping them straight.
I've made the personal commitment to post an entry for each visit. That scares me as a photographer. What if I get photographer's block and don't see anything worth shooting? What if the day isn't interesting? In life each day is different, some are sunny, breezy and alive while others are grey and boring. In the end, "It is what it is." This blog will reflect that reality.
I hope you enjoy your glimpses into my view of this refuge. Pointers and suggestions about happenings and activities at Great Meadows are always appreciated.