River Talk

Writing ‘River Talk’

By SANDY LONG
Posted 8/19/20

What do snakes, insects and mushrooms have in common? For starters, each shares habitat with us here in the Upper Delaware River region and are active at this time of year, making it more likely we …

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River Talk

Writing ‘River Talk’

Posted

What do snakes, insects and mushrooms have in common? For starters, each shares habitat with us here in the Upper Delaware River region and are active at this time of year, making it more likely we will encounter them in our daily lives. In addition, they—and many other animals, plants and fungi—become the subjects of my River Talk columns.

Spending time outdoors—whether on land or water—provides me with the opportunity to observe the flora and fauna that thrive here, and to capture images and share information through this column. Even as I write indoors, a glance outside reveals two Eastern cottontail rabbits harvesting clover in my front yard.

Our lives and the choices we make provide the material we are given to explore this time and our place within it. I’m particularly drawn to the natural world and how it is perceived through our human and cultural filters. This drives my efforts on the page and behind the camera.

The pen and the lens are both tools and my silent partners. With their aid, I see and am shown. My most meaningful work combines the two. One example can be seen at this link to “Portal of Place,” which explores the interplay between human nature and the natural world: www.bit.ly/portalofplace.

I shoot with the eye of a photographer, the attention of the naturalist and the heart of a poet, bringing openness to the process and a desire to share the beauty of image and story.

I like to capture that which presents itself when I make myself available. I’m most engaged when wandering and pondering, and am drawn to things that increase my awareness of wonder. It’s my form of prayer and gratitude for the incredible gifts of nature that are always there, but often go unnoticed.

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