24 minutes ago
Into the River
Blog post now live! Check it out on my website (link in bio): chriskellyphoto.com
For my last post in this series, I am copying a few paragraphs from this blog post highlighting the end of my time with this species:
"... Pausing a few times, the wood turtle strode gallantly over the beach, approaching the water’s edge (and I snapped away). Lingering for 5-10 seconds, in which time felt like it stopped and spun around me, it then glided off into the water, poking its head up once more for me to try in vain to get the bridge in the background.
Standing there, I was transfixed, and suddenly became very emotional. For someone who came to wildlife photography from the land of wildlife observation (initially over the moon just to get ID shots of birds and other animals), this was as intimate a moment as I could reasonably ever expect to have here in the Hudson Valley. I had just spent over 60 exhilarating minutes with a species of global, national, and state concern, who faces an uncertain, but increasingly grim future (considering climate change’s impact on reptilian egg hatch rate). Along the way, it displayed many unique behavioral traits, strode over tough terrain I would have imagined impossible for a turtle of its build, afforded me exceptionally close views and pictures, and posed itself against a compelling backdrop. The turtle’s disappearance into the water was for me also very spiritual, and metaphorical. When will I next see this species? Will it go extinct in my lifetime? Without concerted change to collective economic decisions, almost certainly it will face extinction or extirpation from much of its range within a few hundred years. If you excuse my hyperbole, it was the end of a beautiful moment one is unsure one will ever resurrect, and I found myself overcome by that—like the elves leaving Middle Earth (I said you have to forgive me). And to be able to capture a moment that represented all of these feelings, the moments just before it entered the river, with all of its allegorical significance, was a dream come true, and one of the most moving natural experiences of my life."