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Moving Images | Moving Summer

Somewhere in the continuum of not owning a smart phone out of stubbornness to becoming enamored with its usefulness, I discovered this device as a useful photographic tool. Sure, it also enables me to be even more distracted, inefficient, and brainless, but it has allowed me to take (in my mind) wonderful images in moments when it would have been either inappropriate or impossible to wield my larger cameras.

I also discovered that when I take a series of images in burst, it automates animated images. For the plethora of digital photo and computer literate people out there, an animated .gif image is no wonder nor a feat to create. However, I was allowed the opportunity to freely create them all summer while being a thoughtful naturalist and guide for the bevy of people who found themselves in my charge.

So, I present to you my moving images (not to be confused with video), from a summer on the water and on land in the San Juan Islands. Take a stroll with me.

First you have to get to the San Juans. The vast majority who do, spend some time here, waiting at the Anacortes Ferry terminal dreaming of volcanoes and saltwater. (Or irritated beyond belief at the ineffectiveness of the service.)

You may also enjoy the company of a curious Corvid while waiting.


Once on board, you’ll be just as tempted to watch other passengers as the scenery.


Arriving on the islands, you’ll realize that just like elsewhere in Western Washington, pollinating  animals abound. You aren’t quite that far removed from the mainland.  Many animals that fly aren’t kept from the San Juans by the expanses of water.

20140522_105607_1-MOTION 20140522_105450_2-MOTION 20140522_104156_1-MOTION 20140522_103617_6-MOTION 20140510_161614_1-MOTION

Naturally there are many flowers here too. The San Juans are remarkably diverse despite their separation from the mainland.


Some animals, like ground nesting Common Nighthawks, even find relative safety with less mammalian predators. The islands do restrict those that don’t wish to swim.20140817_141231_1-MOTION20140824_201321_1-MOTION

But they aren’t completely safe from native, and introduced carnivores.


You will naturally want to explore the archipelago and many do so by bike.



But my favorite way is by boat.


This way, you can explore the seascapes of habitat and inhabitant both near-shore and far.




You’ll likely find yourself enamored with the locals too. Recognizablely vertebrate and amorphously other.



Pacific Northwest summer days last; but you’ll discover suddenly that they still draw to a close.


Hopefully, at some point during the day, you’ve had a moment to sit and contemplate.


For in those moments I’m reminded to see the small things,


to appreciate moments with like minds,20140920_105247_1-MOTION


















to see the water’s movement as more than a barrier but the life blood of these islands,


that life and death are both beautiful,


and that light playing across gooseneck barnacles is a joy no one can take away from you.


    • Brendan McGarry

      Definitely. Allows a slightly different view of the moving world.

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