I am in a place of deep gratitude for gift of being able to see and photograph this beautiful world. In the midst of my first ever photography show and opening, I find myself in an introspective state of mind, reflecting on how my journey into ‘all things wild’ began.
Ten years ago, I never imagined a photo show as a possibility for me. I tend to go back in my mind, to analyze the events that have led to where I am now. My initial conclusion was this show came about as a result of my first canada lynx sighting in July 2013. Here is a very condensed version of how I came to this conclusion:
A woman from New Zealand found a lynx image (right) on my website. Tania was living in Calgary for a year and involved with planning an event for the Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals. It turns out, her reason for getting involved with the Fur-Bearer Defenders was a lynx encounter from about 10 years ago, the last time she was in Canada. She emailed me to see if I would like to be involved. As a result, I got to speak at a Fur-Bearer Defenders April 2014 event about my lynx encounter and wildlife photography in general. It was a fantastic experience, and as a result, I met the amazing animal welfare and environmental advocate Carol Tracey.
Carol invited me to have some photos on display at her World Animal Day event in October 2014. After this event, Carol asked me if I would be interested in having a show for my photos. I said ‘yes’, but honestly, I didn’t think it would really happen. What I didn’t know at the time is Carol makes things happen! She put me in contact with a store in Kensignton that displays the work of artists and photographers on a rotating basis. I meet with Crystal, from Essentia Mattress Store, and within moments of talking to her, she invited me to display my photographs until the end of May, 2015.
It seems logical to conclude that the lynx encounter set the wheels in motion for this show, right? And it was such an extraordinary experience – I’m quite happy to give the lynx all the credit. However, if I go further back in time, as far back as when I was a child, I have to acknowledge that the lynx sighting is not when it all began.
It all started with frogs…
Rather than re-write the story, I decided to re-post the ‘about’ blurb from my frog blog. This was a blog I started years ago, and I’m ashamed to say, have been neglecting for about three years. Here is the ‘about’ description:
My name is Kerri Martin and I am a frogger. I realize this admission sounds like something I should say at the beginning of a ‘frogger’ support group, but I’m actually proud of this title. I have no desire to cure myself of this affliction. Being a frogger simply means I like to look for and find frogs – I don’t catch them or eat them or sacrifice them to the frog deity. I just look for them, and if I find them, take pictures. So how does one become a frogger?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been dreaming about frogs. They always seem to pop (or hop) up in the stories I create in my unconscious mind. Once an amatuer dream intruperter, I’ve searched for the meaning of these and other common dream symbols, to no ‘real’ avail. There’s some interesting stuff out there, but nothing that helped me unlock the door way to my ‘true’ self. At some point, I just stopped looking for the meaning ‘out there’ and thought about what frogs really mean to me.
My theory is that frogs represent the child-like curiosity and passion that we are all born with, and still have – even if it’s not easily accessible. When I was a care-free child, I loved to explore. I liked finding rocks, being in the grass or trees, seeing creatures and just finding cool stuff in nature. I remember frogs being one of the things I would get particularily excited about seeing. I didn’t see them a lot, growing up in the prairies, but I know I occasionally found them in my back-yard or camping and that feeling has stuck with me.
So as a result of childhood memories and recurring frog dreams, I always look for them in real life whenever I’m near water. It look me a long time to actually find them as an adult, but once I did, I just kept finding them. Actively seeking them out, or sometimes just happening upon them. I learned to see them again somehow! And it was so exciting!
So I like to think I’ve learned to tap into that child-like energy that once drove me to explore and find such joy in what I discovered.
My obsession with frogs, my love of writing about things I obsess over, and my sister saying ‘create a blog about something you’re really passionate about’ is what gave birth to FortheLoveofFrogs.com.
The purpose is pretty simple – it’s just a forum to talk about, and display pictures of, frogs, and all the other stuff that makes this planet so freakin’ cool.
My hope would be to maybe inspire people to re-ignite childhood passions! This simple place of pure joy – like the joy I feel when I see a frog – is so powerful. In uncovering our passions for the seemingly small things in life, we open ourselves up to the un-ending streams of beauty in this world – at least that’s my humble opinion.
This is my journey with frogs in a nut shell. I am so grateful for the lynx encounter > Tania > Carol > Crystal > show course of events, but I realize it is not just one person, event, circumstance, animal sighting that leads to great things in life. Nurturing your passion is about remembering what you love and actively seeking it out. Thanks to my life long connection to frogs, I was able to reconnect with the child-like wonder that allows me to experience the miracle of mother nature. This love of the wild started as a child and was re-ignited by finding frogs as an adult. Now I see the world in a different way, not just looking for frogs, but all the beauty in nature that bring me so much joy.
Until next time, continue loving life and all things wild! 🙂