oxleynaturecenter

The tags, what's up with the tags #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion by BIlly Sauerland

“Waking Forest” A view of the forest just below Glacier Point, along Four Mile Trail the day after the road to Glacier Point opened in Yosemite. The clouds in the trees moving in and out as if the forest was breathing, the disheveled look of the forest as if it had just lifted its head from a pillow after a long sleep.

“Waking Forest” A view of the forest just below Glacier Point, along Four Mile Trail the day after the road to Glacier Point opened in Yosemite. The clouds in the trees moving in and out as if the forest was breathing, the disheveled look of the forest as if it had just lifted its head from a pillow after a long sleep.

You may have noticed some hashtags that I use on a regular basis. #dothework #goanddo #liveyourpassion These tags are not merely random and meaningless words, to me they actually really mean a lot. Over time, they have developed into a kind of mantra that expresses the how and why of my photography.

#dothework : To do the work to continually grow and improve my craft and skill as a photographer and storyteller. Doing the work to educate myself not only on the technical aspects but all so to refine my aesthetic, to grow as an artist.

#goanddo : To go and do the work of creating and sharing the images and stories that represent the issues that are most important to me, and to try to inspire others to care a bit more about them, and maybe to even take action towards improving their little piece of the world.

#liveyourpassion : To always move forward, to continually push towards a better life to share and show this beautiful world through my images. And to hopefully inspire someone to action, to help protect this beautiful, fragile yet resilient world that we live in. To ultimately live a life of purpose and passion.

These are the things I try to live through my photography. Do I succeed all the time, no. Will I make mistakes and fail, yes. But I will learn from those mistakes. I will the next day try again, and again, and again until one day I do succeed. One day I do make a difference, however small of an impact, but I will move the needle forward.

Urgh, that got a little heavy, I also don’t like to take myself too seriously. Don’t forget to sprinkle a little snark in there for fun. Because, why else are we doing all of this.

Swan Taking Flight, Oxley Nature Center, Tulsa, OK. #goanddo #dothework #liveyourpassion

Swan Taking Flight, Oxley Nature Center, Tulsa, OK. #goanddo #dothework #liveyourpassion

Being mindful of the details... by BIlly Sauerland

Bees  are awesome, so be kind to the pollinators.

Bees are awesome, so be kind to the pollinators.

Spent some time outside today, I've been needing that for a while. Here in Tulsa, OK we are privileged to have such a great park, Oxley Nature Center. Its a wonderful place to spend time in the woods.

Usually when I come out here, I have a tendency to try and capture the bigger image, to give context although I try to pay attention to the details. This time I actually did focus on the details, I slowed down and took my time.

Pollinator population declines and conservation.

Pollinators provide a key ecosystem service vital to the maintenance of both wild and agricultural plant communities. In 1999 the Convention on Biological Diversity issued the São Paulo Declaration on Pollinators, recognizing the critical role that these species play in supporting and maintaining terrestrial productivity as well as the survival challenges they face due to anthropogenic change. Today pollinators are considered to be in a state of decline, some species, such as Franklin’s bumble bee (Bombus franklini) have been red-listed and are in danger of extinction. Although managed bee hives are increasing worldwide, these can not compensate for the loss of wild pollinators in many locations.

Declines in the health and population of pollinators pose what could be a significant threat to the integrity of biodiversity, to global food webs, and to human health. At least 80% of our world's crop species require pollination to set seed. An estimated one out of every three bites of food comes to us through the work of animal pollinators. The quality of pollinator service has declined over time and this had led to concerns that pollination will be less resistant to extinction in the future. (section from  Pollinator-Decline)

We can help and heres how, Million Pollinator Garden Network 

Beatles, pollinate too, like these Soldier Beetles. Its so important to try and protect all of our indigenous wildlife. All life flora and fauna fill a niche, even mosquitoes.

Spiders are our friends too. Spiders like this Orb-Weaver Spider do a great job at helping to maintain and regulate other insect populations. Just like a variety of Bat and Bird species.

Out at Oxley Nature Center, there is a lot of water. Either Sherry Lake, Eagle Creek, marsh areas and canals. While hiking along a canal leading from Sherry Lake to the High Line Trail, I found this Shortnose Gar chilling in the water and slowly heading the same direction as I was.

Whenever I visit Oxley Nature Center I usually see deer. Not always in the most advantageous to get a photo, but will usually see one or eight. This time I came across the Whitetail fawn, just hanging out feeding on some low lying greens and leaves.

Its not just about the animals and insects, there are moments when you just need to stop and breathe. And when you do, you slow down, and you really begin to notice the details, the little things that usually go unseen and unappreciated. The thistle pods were leftovers from the lunch of forest inhabitant. I almost missed them on the side of the trail the way they blended in with the rest of the litter on the forest floor. The reflections in the water bedding up on the lily pad hides amongst the hundreds of other pads in various stages of decline as we head into early fall.

A walk in the woods. by BIlly Sauerland

A nest hidden among the reeds in a marsh. When I captured this image, I noticed the items the bird used to construct its nest with.

A nest hidden among the reeds in a marsh. When I captured this image, I noticed the items the bird used to construct its nest with.

I stood on the boardwalk that makes its way through the marsh, breathing in the sweet and cool fall air. The reeds sway in the breeze, the black birds flutter in the marsh grasses dancing from one area to the next. This is why I goto the woods, why I photograph.

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Taking the time to experience where you are, is just as important as the photos that you are there to capture. When you allow yourself to really be present in a place, to witness what it has to offer, it will help by informing you what and how to photograph your subject.

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Its all in the details. Finding the little details is like a treasure hunt. These gems, add so much to your experience, texture of the seed husk with the soft cotton tendrils straining to catch a breeze to carry them off.

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Great Blue Herring just taking flight after I accidentally made a noise by stepping on a small twig. Its so important to be mindful of your surroundings, it will help you images a ton, Ugh-LOL.