About Me

I am a ?????retired educator with a passion for outdoor activities and nature study. Early on, graduate studies and seasonal work provided a foundation in forest science, wildlife management and ecology. I started my full-time career in the Forest Technology program at the Mont Alto Campus of Penn State and completed the 37- year journey as professor emeritus in the Environmental Science department at Morrisville State College in central New York. I enjoy hiking, snowshoeing, hunting, fly-fishing, nature study and related outdoor activities. Nature photography has always been a strong interest, and in retirement has risen to the top. I decided to create a blog as a means of integrating my educational background, experiences and passions into a photo journal that could be shared with others. Currently, most of my entries reflect experiences in central New York and, to a lesser extent, northern and western Pennsylvania. All photographs were taken by me and are my exclusive property.

43 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Nick,
    Gary and I enjoyed looking at your incredible pictures. Not only do we get to see beauty in nature through your eyes, but we also can learn much from your postings. Thanks.

    • Thanks! Coming from the two of you, that means a lot. I was hoping Gary would see the latest, since he sacrificed a morning to listen to my camera shutter going off in burst mode!

  2. Your photos are beautiful. I belong to the Great Swamp Conservancy, Canastota, NY and belong to their photo club. We challenge each other to find and “capture” the best nature has to offer. It is always a pleasure to find another photographer who has similar intreats. While I never envy one their “shot” I often am jealous of their opportunities to see and photograph items in places I cannot go. Ahhh, such is life. Thank you for the sharing of your photos.

    • Thank you Barbara. I had several student interns placed at the GSC (B.T. in Renewable Resources program) and know the site well. I often think about visiting and hiking with my camera but too often get side-tracked or opt for something closer to home. I plan to include the area in my spring travels this year. Would like to talk to you sometime about the photo club.

  3. Hey Nick,
    Awesome camera work big brother. I enjoyed the stories as well, especially the weasel tale. Keep up the good work!

  4. Thanks for the recent visit to–and follow of–my blog. It led me here and I’ve enjoyed perusing your imagery.

    I saw your most recent post; I do hope you’ll continue to share your work through this blog.

  5. I’m getting a touch of egret and heron envy. We have plenty of both here in the marshes and the pastures that flood during the winter rainy season, but they are extremely skittish – except for the one young juvenile I managed to capture.

    Truly wonderful shots. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Love love your blog and photos! I discovered your site while looking up white wildflowers after a trip to branson, mo. I share an intense interest in all wildlife. I can’t even go to a friends without walking the yard or property first.

    • Wonderful! Glad you found my site and hope you continue to find something of interest in the posts. Always very satisfying to connect with a kindred spirit and have an opportunity to share. Thanks for the visit and follow!

  7. Nick,

    I just read your August 14, 2013, post, Perpetual Motion-the Giant Swallowtail, while searching for information about what I call “hovering” or the fascinating flight pattern of the Giant Swallowtail while nectaring. Although I have observed this flight pattern of the Giant Swallowtail frequently here in the San Diego area and also during an August visit to upstate New York, I have not seen it described in print before. I too have high-speed photos of this butterfly with its forewings held almost perpendicular to its hindwings, the forewings presumably at the height of their excursion while fluttering extremely rapidly with hindwings essentially stationary.

    I have been a butterfly enthusiast since my youth, but only renewed my hobby in the last few years, replacing a butterfly net of decades ago with a digital camera and telephoto lens. I’m glad someone else has observed this interesting flight pattern and described it so aptly.


    • It’s unusual for someone to comment in depth on an older post so, needless to say, I was delighted to hear from you on the topic of Giant Swallowtails. Its good to know that someone else has observed and photographed similar events, and also very gratifying to hear that my post may have contributed in some manner to the existing body of knowledge on the subject. Those brief encounters with Giant Swallowtails were priceless learning experiences for me regarding both the photographic challenges and the natural history of the species. Would be interested in hearing more about your work in the San Diego area. Thanks again for the feedback.

    • Wow! Seriously?! Thank you Babsje! It is indeed an honor to have my nature blog appreciated in this way, esp. by a devoted conservationist and superb photo journalist such as yourself. Regarding my follow-up and participation, I am not at all familiar with these things and must first review the information that you have so generously provided. This expression of your inspiration will, in turn, inspire me to “go earlier and stay later”!!!!

      • Hi Nick – You’re welcome, and I’m so glad to hear that you’re pleased by this little tip of the hat to your blog! best, Babsje

    • Thanks for the visits and follow. You will definitely find yourself connected to the natural rhythms of the Northeast and especially central New York state. I hope you enjoy the posts!

  8. Amazing – my best friend used to live on a farm in Morrisville. She’ over in Skaneateles now but I think she still owns part of the farm. Can’t remember what road it was on, but I used to visit her there – one year we cross country skied a bit across the road on fields (of snow, of course!). I spent 7 formative years on the outskirts of Syracuse – age 5 – 12. There were woods behind our house, with wild trilliums. Probably gone now. It’s beautiful country. You have a really nice blog, very informative.

    • What a pleasant coincidence! I’m thrilled to have another connection in the NW, and one so knowledgeable of my area and subjects. Your writing and photography are superb – looking forward to exploring your site more deeply. Thanks for the serious visit and many thoughtful comments!

  9. Nick,
    Great Photos, It’s like looking at the real thing. Life in retirement is great. A voice from the past. Dan

    • Well hello there! A voice from the past indeed! Great to hear from you and know that you’ve figured out the retirement gig! We should follow-up, at least via email – some serious catching up to do. I don’t know how you found me, but thanks for the blog visit and comments. Will be in touch.

  10. Hello Nick-
    Nice to bump into your blog! I will follow you as a way to re-connect with East Coast wildlife. My husband and I grew up near Philadelphia… moved west in 1972 shortly after his graduation from Penn State, main campus. Our move to Oregon was inspired by, then, Gov. Tom McCall’s far-sighted environmental planning achievements. Been here ever since… both of us enjoyed careers and raising a family , and are now retired. Just completed studies at Oregon State University and are officially Oregon Master Naturalists!

    • What a pleasant surprise. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to connect with you and your husband. Sounds as though we have many shared interests and experiences, as well as a common philosophy and mission with respect to the natural world. I received my BS in forest science from PSU in 1971, then stayed on for a MS in wildlife management, so we are contemporaries. Amazing coincidence. I’m looking forward to reading your blog and hope you continue to enjoy mine. I know time is limiting, but if you have a chance, search my blog archives using “elk” and you’ll find a post from June 2013 based on northcentral PA that you’re sure to like. Glad you bumped into me! Thanks

  11. Hello Nick-
    What a great surprise! I am happy to find that you are now following my blog. I hope you will continue to enjoy coming back to share my wandering and wondering about nature-rellated topics. Also, please feel welcome to jump in anytime to participate in an eco-environmental focused WordPress challenge that I host weekly- UNLESS…Earth-friendly Friday-

    Kind regards-

  12. I so enjoyed walking with you, through the seasons, in our beautiful New York and local landscape. Thank you for the education too. Sue

    • You found my blog! Thanks for that really nice feedback Sue. It’s extra special to have someone from the immediate area follow and share in my outdoor ramblings. Please stay in touch – I’m looking forward to more time afield and fresh subjects for my blog —- when the weather breaks!?

  13. Hi Nick, I just came across your wonderful photographs. They are really well done, They make me homesick for a walk in the woods. I hope you and your family are well. Matthew Upson ’82, 2 FORT

  14. I found your blog through looking for pictures of the Western Pond Turtle that is native here in California. It’s always wonderful to find a great blog like yours! Your photography is fantastic. I can tell you enjoy retirement. I draw and paint turtles from photos mostly; also usually just sea turtles. However last year someone asked me if I painted the Western Pond Turtle and I haven’t yet but am planning to. Thanks for sharing your awesome photos!

    • Glad you discovered my blog and enjoyed the photos. I’ve had a lot of fun observing and photographing turtles, esp. snappers, and hope you found some of those images in my archives. You’ve chosen a great subject to paint and I hope to see some of your artwork. Thanks for the visit!!!

      • I am, too, Nick. I did see the snappers! I have never seen one in person, though. For some reason though, probably because I love the ocean so much, I LOVE sea turtles!! 🙂 Stop by my blog and check them out!

  15. Nick, I was unable to identify the critter in the cornfield. Asked Dan D. And he said it was a Fisher. Any more info on the animal?

    • Hi Michael. Appreciate the follow and comments. We’re a couple hours east of your roots. Morrisville is on Rt. 20, about 15 minutes from Hamilton/Colgate. PS: I’ll be checking out your blog as well.

      • Thanks very much Nick. I will be diving deeper into your blog. Similar to Lynn, your photos manage to be instructive and artistic at the same time. This may be presumptuous, but it seems that some people are artist/nerds in equal measure. (Takes one to know one.)

  16. Nick, it was lovely meeting you this morning. I’m looking forward to diving into your blog.
    Bonnie Golla

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