Updated: May 24, 2020
"Stop and enjoy" is something my father said often directed towards his family on vacation or to himself in solitude. I grew up in a family that hunting and fishing were so imbedded in our family history that it was natural to feel you should follow that path. But at as a young teenager it was hard to disassociate the beauty of nature and the activity you were participating in.
My father respected nature and as a hunter and as a observer. He did not hunt only for the sport, he put food on our table. Unbeknownst to me as I would join him on these adventures to the great-outdoors I would be infusing myself with the tools and skill sets for a passion that would develop 30 years later.
He taught me how to move though the environment, how to step, what to watch for, what to listen for, what to smell and how to bring those senses into the moment. This education taught me how recognize animal trails and fresh tracks.
One of the most important things that developed as I transitioned into photography was the skill to observe. Wildlife in general does not
want to be seen or interacted with and goes to great lengths instinctually , or adaptively to be avoided or on alert. First lesson was looking for a profile that broke the natural pattern. Try this next time you take a walk and sse how a bird even on a tree branch causes disruption to the natural flow of the surroundings. Then having the patience to slow down, stop and wait to look for that ever so important movement or sound.
This my father taught me with me not even knowing it, I am eternally grateful and humbled for everything that he taught me. Now that I am in my mid 40s, if I could, I would tell him I get it now. . . "Stop and enjoy".
This post is dedicated to my peaceful nature loving father who did the best he could and I will always love him for everything that he taught and experienced with me.
Thank you Dad.