About - nmarkley

About Your Guide

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After five years, I decided it was time to refurbish my website. SmugMug, the host of my website, had upgraded their tools and provided new options for displaying your pictures. My daughter Rebecca (www.rebeccasawyer.com) was already using the new SmugMug, giving me a shoulder to lean on. (She also took the picture of me for this page.) Moreover, I had a lot of new pictures to share including those from my 2007 trip to Africa.

The organization of the website has been completely revamped. Geographic regions are the highest level organization. Within each region, galleries are subdivided into more specific locations. For example, one of the regions is Florida because of our many trips there. There are five galleries within Florida - two east coast and three west coast locations. The range of pictures is slightly broader than the original all bird website except for the African pictures, and I want to continue to broaden the selection of pictures to include more butterflies, mammals, and landscapes.

The website is organized to provide two main viewing options throughout. The first is to look at a gallery as a collection of my best pictures from a specific site. This perspective is best seen by looking at the slide show of the gallery. To minimize the “pride of authorship” Rebecca selected almost all of the pictures shown. The second is to read more about some of the birds, animals and places in our travels near and far. If you just scroll up through a gallery you will see the same pictures with my comments as a lite travelogue.

The first three paragraphs from my original website still provide a sense of who I am, so they are repeated here,

Digital photography became a reality just as I was retiring. The timing could not have been better for me. I had been interested in nature photography since I was sixteen, but I never really mastered film. My opportunities to practice were limited and my successes were sporadic. With more time and the instant feed back of digital photography, I think I have made some progress. It is time to show my pictures more widely before I get any older. My focus has been on birds, another lifelong interest.

Birds are a natural attraction for many of us that enjoy roaming the woods and open country of the US and Canada. North of Mexico, there are roughly twice as many species of birds than mammals. Birds are less nocturnal and more frequently seen than mammals. Yes, it is a thrill to see a bear or a fox in the wild, but it does not happen to me very often and photo opportunities are even rarer. Taking a walk in the country and not seeing birds is an unusual event.

The number of birds species, however, is small compared with the formidable numbers of plant and insect species often with very fine distinctions between them. One can actually hope to become familiar with a sizable portion of the bird species that live in your region of the country. And unlike butterflies and wild flowers, they do not disappear in fall, but instead a new cast of characters appears for our enjoyment with guest stars when there is an irruption. Best of all they are very photogenic and will probably always be the center of my nature photography.