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A Retiring Thought

Stepping away from one life and toward another.


February 19, 2024 :: Happy Trails


I like happy endings. It's my turn to write one.


After 30 years of nature photography workshops and tours, I'm stepping into another landscape.


I'm changing my focus from how to make photographs to how to use them. I'll retire from teaching and touring and retire to writing and photographing for stories and essays. It's not a new environment for me, but it's one I'm eager to explore again.


Sunrise over a tallgrass prairie.
The dawn of a new day and a new life.

The dictionary defines retiring as a verb that means "leaving a job" which is what I'm doing. As an adjective, retiring also means "fond of being on one's own" which is, in part, why I'm doing it. But Mr. Webster couldn't foresee my personalized definition: "fond of being with Mary, too."


She is my happy beginning. Mary has been my anchor through the workshop years, even in years when I was away for more than 200 days.


She encouraged me to take a big leap of faith long ago when I left the world of horticulture for nature photography. This next leap is a baby step in comparison.


What makes this story even happier is that Mary is retiring from her work world all together. Now a new world awaits us. We have made an ambitious list of projects and adventures. Some are close to home, some are to restore our old home, and others will take us somewhere in the wild world.


My last workshop will be in two of my favorite places in that wild world with my friend and fellow photographer, Rod Barbee. We've travelled and taught together for years, so I'm fortunate and grateful that my farewell trip is with him.


We look forward to experiencing the wildlife of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and the landscape of White Sands National Park in December with adventurous photographers. Maybe we'll have the pleasure of exploring them with you.


For now I plan to keep this website's journal and galleries updated. Drop by now and then. When things I've written get published, I'll include them in the What's New? page. I'll add them to my social media pages, too, though I'll do more watching than sharing there. And I'll discontinue my newsletter some time next year.


Maybe you and I will cross paths again. I'd like that. Mary and I always enjoy sharing the view with like-minded people. That's been my biggest joy of the last three decades of photo trips. Until then, I encourage you to explore great places, learn new skills and create pleasing photographs.


Happy Trails,

Cliff


P.S. You can read about how Mary and I met in The Nature of Love.



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