Spring Trail Photography at Riveredge Nature Center

I’ve been out practicing photography more at Riveredge Nature Center this spring. Comparing my recent pictures with pictures from last year, it’s exciting to see how my work has grown. Lots of practice.

Spring, fall, and winter are great because of all of the shadows. Until the leaves drop again, summertime is for flowers on days without too much direct sunlight. Have a look at what I’ve been up to below.

View this post on Instagram

Ecologists will talk about “plant communities,” which may sound silly at first. What they are referencing is that each plant or tree or fungus is specific about moisture, sunlight, soil type, and a slew of other factors. Plants that have similar needs, or offset or work in concert with one another will flourish in close proximity to these needs; functioning very much as a community. These interactions become more apparent the closer one looks. So we invite you to get down to plant-eye level on the trail and study the interconnected universe of moss and fungus and lichen and downed trees and flowers too residing along the trails at @riveredgenaturecenter. As we like to say, “Everything is connected to everything else.” – Leonardo da Vinci . . . . . #spring #flowers #ecology #milwaukee #wisconsin #ephemerals #photography #plantphotography #moss #springephemeral #wildflowers #westbend #ozaukee #forest

A post shared by Riveredge Nature Center (@riveredgenaturecenter) on

Sunset on the Prairie at Riveredge

I went out at work to take a few sunset pictures the other afternoon. Something everyone takes pictures of can be a challenge to shoot in a unique way.

It wasn’t a particularly stunning sunset (no clouds) and I wanted to reinforce the idea of being outdoors, hence the emphasis on footsteps, not just reinforce scrolling through pretty pictures from one’s phone.

I go back and forth with imagery of nature. Does it motivate people to get outside, or might it satisfy that desire from a standpoint of spectating? A visual candy, lacking experiential sustenance.

Pretty pictures are nice, sure, but I’ll trade all the pretty pictures in the world for going outside and experiencing it myself. I’ll continue venturing outside and will continue to take pictures often when I do. 😘

Catching my breath, and a little winter sanity, outdoors

Got out on the trails for a little ride this morning. A few extra photos on my Instagram account below (including a little brief poetry). Feel free to follow me there.

Wisconsin winters are long…we’ve got to get outside and celebrate whatever weather we have. Or we’ll all go insane indoors.

Lovely Snow Season at Riveredge

Lucky for me, the quickest way to get around and take pictures is on cross country skis.

Taking photographs of Riveredge School Students

The other day, while out on the trails, I ran into the students (and teachers) of The Riveredge School trekking out for recess at Riveredge Nature Center. These kids seem so happy having daily access to nature. Click the arrow for a few more pictures.

The theoretical timelessness of black and white photography

Light and Clouds Came Out to Play

This was a fun afternoon jaunt at Riveredge. The clouds and light were out in full effect.

Watershed Moments: Golden Ale collaboration between Riveredge and Fermentorium

This has been a fun first for me, especially as a loyal beer drinking Wisconsinite. Was able to participate in naming and describing a beer with my colleagues at Riveredge Nature Center. Before the snow came I went out and took some glamour shots of this 4-pack with the Milwaukee River in the background. Join us for a first sample on Friday, November 8 at The Fermentorium Brewery & Tasting Room.

Thinking about the All-Terrain Wheelchair at Work

View this post on Instagram

Went out to take photographs of my colleague using the all-terrain wheelchair at @riveredgenaturecenter today. A local media outlet is writing an article and invited pictures to go alongside. The forest was a humid mist of evaporating morning rain and this is my favorite shot of the bunch. I’m glad we have this vehicle to lend out to people to get outside. It’s strange growing up as one of two children with both of you having a 50% chance of developing Huntington’s Disease. Although you both have the same likelihood, a precisely identical genetic lottery, it always feels like one of you will get it and one won’t. For whatever reason, my brother got it and I didn’t. When people bring the chair back I usually take the long way around the building and through the prairie to return it inside. The wheelchair is slower than my walking pace, provides a landscape view more obstructed by flora, and I have to pay greater attention to avoid potential trail hazards. An excellent exercise in being very mildly inconvenienced – after all this is a tank of a wheelchair designed for trails. I’m always amazed at how impatient I feel when initially achieving its top speed. I don’t pretend this extra 10-minute excursion makes me some sort of empathy savant. But at least it’s a brief experience of what some people’s everyday is like. I invite you to hop in a wheelchair sometime, manual or powered, it’s a worthwhile experience. The last time I brought the tank chair around the long way I saw my first hummingbird of the year. Where it was located, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it at my standard pace and height.

A post shared by Ed Makowski (@edmakowski) on