Happy Fourth of July, everyone!
I'm sure most of you are finishing up your early morning fishing trips and getting ready for a fun night filled with food, a good brew, and camaraderie with your favorite people. I've got my beer on ice, all my kale chopped up and veggie burgers ready to hit the grill!
But, I took a few minutes out of my day to speak up for the most American resource our country has, wild places.
I urge you to do the same. Here are a few things you can do on this holiday (and every other day) to help our greatest treasures.
As anglers, when we think of Norman Maclean, our minds jump to A River Runs Through It, about never leaving Montana, and how Jesus himself was a fly fisherman. We've all got a copy of the book; personally, I own three, one of which has never been touched. And while it will always be a special book, for me, it simply doesn't compare to Maclean's final novel, Young Men and Fire.
My copy is used, purchased second hand, for only a couple bucks. It's worn and dirty and even carries the slightest hint of smoke, probably due to being read at night around a campfire. With the news of several wildfires popping up all over the southwest, the largest being in Durango, I pulled my old friend off the bookshelf. It seemed fitting. Read More
Over the past couple years there's been a movement in the angling community to kick plastic and pick up trash every time you go out fishing. The kick plastic was no big deal, I carry my hydro flask with me everywhere, but picking up trash proved to be a challenge. It's not that I'm opposed to cleaning up our rivers, but my net is just not big enough to hold the amount of plastic bags and water bottles, chip bags, and the inevitable Miller Lite Cans that seem to be everywhere. Filling up a net usually takes me a few minutes and then I move on to trying to shove trash in my pack or waders and always walking away disappointed. Read More
It was one o'clock on Friday afternoon when I heard about the 416 fire in Durango. I've checked in with friends, kept up with the various social media feeds, and listened attentively to the local public radio station. Last night I asked the universe to kindly send our evening thunderstorms out West for the remainder of the week, but so far my request has been denied. As of this morning, the 416 fire is covering 2,402 acres with 10% containment. Read More
This morning I got an alert on my phone prompting me to be ready to evacuate my home in case of flooding or a landslide. I'm not too worried about the flooding part. We live on a hill, and while we may not be able to leave the house, we'll be okay. But, I've been surveying my neighbor's yard all morning and reminiscing about all the trees they've cut down over the years. I packed a small bag that's in the car, just in case. Read More
It's been raining here in Western North Carolina for two straight days and we've got three to go. Last week we went through the same predicament. I'm not talking about soft, delicate rain, but hard rain, the kind associated with thunderstorms and hurricanes and tropical depressions (insert Alberto). It's dark and wet, a feeling of seasonal depression has started to creep back into my being.
I was fifteen years old when I decided I wanted to be Bonnie Abbzug when I grew up. This is also when I learned about feminism. When I started dreaming about living in an airstream, in the mountains, not tied down to anything. When I first learned of the American Southwest. And, when I decided, that one day I would blow up a dam. I was fifteen years old when I first read The Monkey Wrench Gang. Read More
When you're staring at a computer screen for multiple hours straight you begin to get dull ache behind eyes that are strained and on the verge of crossing. I had just reached that point. January 2017, sub-folder, Davidson, sub-folder, 1-23-17; then on to 2016, 2015, and so forth. Some part of me had no idea how many photographs I had acquired over the years, another part was fully aware, which is why I'd been putting this project off for so long.
I was asked by the Carolina Cane Gathering to give a talk on photography and fly fishing, and I needed to pull all my thoughts together in a visually interesting way. Look for triangles. Avoid direct sunlight; remember, all things on the river are reflective. Don't hold a tout with dry hands. Don't hold a trout with gloved hands. "Banking" fish is bad. Etc, etc, etc...
Remember, it's not all about the fish. Read More
When I was young, very young I had a unique soap set for bath time. The bars were in the shapes of different endangered species around the world. It was produced by the World Wildlife Federation to help get kids interested in animals, the environment, etc...
This is my first memory of conservation. Read More