Outdoor Adventures with Gary Lee - Vol. 24 - Guest Contributor Sue Kiesel

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 Put your kayak in your camera bag

by Guest Contributor Sue Kiesel

It all began as a seed to write an article about packing your kayak in your camera bag…

But the summer of 2018 seemed to be about memories...about friends and strangers...and family...all talking about WHAT WAS. It was about personal flashbacks of decades ago when life was simple and serene.

We, as a family, have been in the Adirondacks for over 75 years. My father came here to build the Sequoia restaurant in Thendara with his aunt and uncle in his late teens.

His uncle was a hunter, a guide and a woodsman. My mother came to the mountains, met my father, they wed, purchased a camp, and established their little piece of the Adirondacks.

Ten years ago, kayaking and digital photography leapt into my life simultaneously. There is no differential between them. One is interwoven easily with the other.

My view of life changed forever…

Suddenly, I was face-to-face with facets of nature that were heart stopping. Hours of gliding quietly on calm waters in early morning and witnessing the splendors of mountain nature made my heart stop.

With this peaceful, quiet time came floods of good memories of my youth at camp. I was suddenly happy and sad simultaneously.

...Happy that I was blessed to be part of mountain life “back then” and sad that it was changing so drastically.

Daily, I strive to be one with nature and capture with my camera the beauty that it offers for FREE. I yearn to share this incredible beauty, to do my share to promote its longevity. It will only be here for generations to come if we are not stewards of it.

Respect it... Nurture it... Appreciate it... Conserve it…

Pick a small way you can guarantee this, and it will all be here to delight others in a hundred years.

Find a quiet spot and whisper Thank You…
Sit for a minute on a log...
Listen to a stream bubble slowly over the rocks…
Smell the green moss and the ferns…
Hear the silence….
Steal away daily...weekly 

But know that what you are seeing is only going to continue delighting others if we all protect it.

Climb a mountain, hike a dirt road, wade in a steam, visit a loon, watch a blue heron’s still persistence…

Take a friend or a loved one with you in hopes that they will do the same for another. Don’t assume it will always be here.

This could be the beginning of your part in contributing to the conservation effort.

Share images that you have photographed. Print them. Give them as gifts. Hang them in your office, in your home. Excite your friends into knowing this fragile beauty is in their hands as well as in yours.

Joy is a great purifier----it burns away many polluted currents trying to reach us. Let’s all leave our children, and their children, a place to find joy.

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Wood duck

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  • Deanna Sammon 02/11/2019 8:27am (4 months ago)

    Wise, beautiful and meaningful thoughts from Susan. Many thanks Susan for photographing the wildlife and landscapes of our precious Adirondacks these many years. Your amazing photos caputure not just the likeness but the character and emotions of your subjects. Like Susan, may we all observe, contemplate, appreciate and protect.

  • Terry F 31/10/2019 5:51pm (4 months ago)

    This is an incredible piece of writing! I agree with these sentiments wholeheartedly. The words "Joy is a great purifier " resonates with my soul. Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful images and uplifting words!

  • Kathy Ruscitto 23/10/2019 12:12pm (4 months ago)

    Thank you Gary and Sue for your gifts to the community!

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