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A 2012 (Photographic) Year in Review

Forming habits around my creative work is always a boon. So, I figure that since I did this last year, I might as well do it again. Some of the photos may be redundant from previous posts but my guess is that most won’t notice or won’t mind.

Another year has passed. My best friends are no longer school peers but life colleagues. My association with the Pacific Northwest region deepens, I’m at a point in my life where a lot of naturalists begin to recognize their home ecosystem. Yet, I also recognize there are many new things yet to see all over the world. That makes me antsy.

Comparing years to one another is a bit of folly but one can’t help but do it. The year of 2012 immediately seems less vibrant than 2011 simply because I didn’t spend over a sixth of the year in the Asian tropics (the farthest I got from home was Wisconsin, a wonderful place nonetheless). However, I did continue to broaden my understanding of the natural world which is the point. My time in 2012 was spent on home ground, on familiar ground. The thing is, that we never know everything.

I’ve never spent so much time in the Olympics or on Mt. Rainier. Even if those repeat visits were to the same spots, guiding people, repeating the same facts, things were always different. I saw magical things in 2012, some of which I managed to photograph and some of which I didn’t. For example I watched a male and female peregrine falcon catch a pigeon in swirling victory mere feet over my head from a kayak near the Ballard locks. That spectacular display of teamwork suffices as memory. The young black bear at Sunrise on Mt. Rainier licking the sap from a freshly peeled fir trunk? I photographed that.

This year I (nearly) made summit on the Brothers, a double peak most Seattlites recognize across the Sound in the Olympics. I got my hands dirty in my friends’ fields, helping build an organic farm, while ravens checked our progress overhead and Pacific chorus frogs jumped between my feet. Regular attendance to the bounty of mountain wildflowers found me all the more impressed with my home. I’d say 2012 was a success.

So for the next year? Somewhat financially grounded from international travel (only momentarily), I plan to see more birds, more corners of my state, and learn even more. That’s always the goal. This year might see me pursuing science or pursuing writing and photography or both (why not?). I’ll probably add farm hand (in the beautiful San Juan Islands) to my title as well. I’ll keep guiding people and sharing my passion. I’ll keep my childish imagination and poetic fascination for this planet. And this problem with verbosity.


A good year to everyone.  Thanks for all the support!

(A finale note – as I attempt to move in the direction of supporting myself with my work, I’d like to point out that all photos can be viewed and purchased at http://www.brendanmcgary.com.  I’m open to all inquiries on writing, photography, and naturalist work.  I love guiding and teaching and would be happy to do either in the Pacific Northwest.  Thanks so much for reading, looking, even peeking!)

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