Around two months ago I learned of a new exhibit at the Huntington Library being created by the Huntington Conservation Commission. The idea was to collect photos of the natural world from residents of Huntington. The rules were pretty reasonable – no gardens, no domestic animals. And if one read between the lines it was pretty clear the subject matter should be natural – not especially buildings or humans. The photos had to be taken from Huntington (standing, for example, at the top of Camel’s Hump State Park), or of a subject in the township.
I thought about the many photos I’ve taken in the area over the last few years: animals, trees, leaves, weeds, fungi, slugs, spiders, bugs. I like to spend a lot of time outside, camera in hand. From the hundreds of shots I’ve taken, I narrowed the pickings down to around a dozen. Then seven. I printed those seven, showed them to many friends and co-workers whose opinion I respect, and in the end I selected two to mat, frame, and submit for consideration for the show.
A little over a week ago I brought my pictures to the library, and they were accepted into the show. But I couldn’t have been more surprised to go to the exhibit’s opening last Sunday afternoon and discover I had been awarded first prize in the ‘Animals’ category! It’s a shot I had taken in August, 2009 of a big fat daddy long-leg spider on my dogwood bushes. The early evening lighting was just right – golden, setting, around 7:30pm or so. It was an especially unexpected award because of the very high quality of photos in the show – it never occurred to me it was possible for me to win anything, I was just pleased to be part of it.
My thanks to the show’s jurors, former Vermont Life editor and VPR commentator Tom Slayton and conservationist/photographer Bryan Pfeiffer, to Wally Jenkins for organizing the whole thing, and to the library and Conservation Commission for the great work they do. I’m selling cards of the two photos I have in the show, the cards are available at the library’s front desk and half the proceeds go to benefit the library and the Commission.
The exhibit runs through March 13th. I hope you can stop by!