The forest is an interesting place—primitive and peaceful, yet teeming with life. There are so many things to see, from majestic trees and colorful birds to poisonous snakes and unusual shrubs and ferns.
Over the years, I have developed a habit of taking long walks through the forest behind my home every morning. My left knee got busted from an unfortunate football accident in my teens, and it never really fully recovered. I can’t participate in strenuous physical activities that would cause additional stress to my knees.
My walking companions are a 6‑year‑old Bernese mountain dog, Sir Prance‑a‑lot, and an old camera. I’ve been dabbling in amateur photography and I find that the forest never runs out of interesting things to capture on film.
I have photos of Sir Prance‑a‑lot chasing after one critter after another. He’s usually kept on a leash while walking but I let him free on our frequent rest stops. He likes sniffing and rolling on every pile of deer poo he finds. I have a charming photo of him looking confused by a red admiral butterfly that’s parked itself on the tip of his nose.
One of the most unusual things I’ve ever captured in one of my walks in the forest is of a deer munching on grass and a fox basking in the sun, not two meters away from each other. Surprisingly, I found that these two animals generally get along.
I once observed a pair of jays swooping down and raiding a squirrel’s nut store. I took a great photo but I feared that the squirrels would starve as it was almost winter. The next day, I went back and placed some sunflower seeds under their tree. I then staked out and waited for the furry creatures to find my offering.
The forest magically transforms when the seasons change. The serene quiet and coldness of winter is replaced by incredibly colorful wildflowers of spring, with Sir Prance‑a‑lot happily running in the lush, green grass. Months later, the sleepy summer breeze is replaced by autumn’s carpet of yellow, brown and gold leaves with all the forest animals busily preparing for winter yet again.
There’s always something new to see that I know for sure the forest would never run out of interesting things to show me.