The nature poet Mary Oliver said of her work, “Attention without feeling I’ve come to learn, is only a report.” Without context, these images might read as simple, pretty representations of things I saw during our month of bushwhacking. They are certainly that—but they are also meditations on the gradual destruction of the temperate rainforests of SE Alaska.
Working slowly and making portraits of things the old-fashioned way by hand (with pen and pencil, paintbrush and paper) I’ve come to see this place not as an endless expanse of trees in a monolithic shade of green, but a tapestry of karst topography, beaches, salmon streams, muskegs, and wetlands stitched together by the temperate rainforest.
The images from my field journal reflect this incredible diversity: a pine marten skull found in the understory of a cedar grove, seaweeds collected on the shore, gentian growing up through the sphagnum moss.
They also tell the story of how we traveled through this landscape—slowly and deliberately, and sometimes on our hands and knees in awe of small and precious things.