Opened April 11, 2015
Fontenelle Forest Nature Center
"Going to the woods is going home." - John Muir
The act of walking in the woods is one that needs little explanation but begs for infinite description. Just as John Muir wrote, it does take us home to a nature that we do everything to defy and ignore in attempt to separate us as much as possible from the wildness that we've paved over in just a few short centuries. The woods are where we go to escape the pavement, to ponder our modern existence and to open our minds to things that (along with us) have taken millions of years to become what they are today.
My time at Fontenelle Forest, a private nature reserve in Bellevue, Nebraska, began on a whim, a chance Saturday morning exploration of somewhere I had never been. That chance turned into a challenge and a passion, a desire to move beyond what I typically photograph and create an intimate portrait of singular location. Fontenelle Forest itself is hardly singular; it is a mix of upland forests and floodplain wet lands, of small details and large landscapes. Over the next year I visited every mile of trail at the forest, taking it all in and allowing myself to be changed by this place.
Fontenelle led me not only to discover nature but also to meet tremendous people and to find a career that I love. I owe a lot to this place, to these trees, to the little surprises that can be found when a person looks hard enough. In short, Fontenelle Forest has become my home, and an amazing one at that. I hope this collection of photographs reflects that.
Fontenelle will be on display at the Fontenelle Forest Nature Center in Bellevue, Nebraska throughout May.