With an adult female, Dobson Fly, at a pond of my boyhood.
I have a deep love for all of nature.
My Father and Mother gave me a very deep compassion for animals. Through the years I expanded that love to include all of nature.
My Father’s family gave me the experience of the log cabin in Salem, Maine. When I say log cabin I mean hand-hewn logs notched and fitted on-site, with oakum chinked into the joints and covered with quarter round. It was used mostly (but not solely) as a hunting camp. So, the many years of woodsmanship and hunting came from my Father's side. In my early years I spent more time than anybody I knew slogging through the often-wet Maine woods chasing White-tailed deer. "Slogging" is apt because I was more-often-than-not soaked to the skin while chasing those deer all day long in steady rain or wet snow. This all happened well before GORE-TEX technology appeared. So when I say soaked, I literally mean that oftentimes 100% soaked clothing contacted every square inch of skin. But the woods were so interesting that all I had to do was keep moving. If I stopped, hypothermia would set in. But those days are long gone. Now I love New Mexico. That is becoming another story, maybe a book.
My BS degree in Wildlife Management was earned at the University of Maine at Orono. By that time I already had about 10 years in the Maine woods. As a Wildlife Biologist I have supported (and still do) a hunting heritage for all sportsmanlike hunters.....not the ones who enjoy killing for the sake of killing (they are out there alright) or who hunt for the sake of a trophy. Personally I do not enjoy killing things. Love the stalk and the peacefulness of the woods. But the experience of killing an animal during the hunt was traumatic enough to me that I stopped hunting. It's that simple, and I don't regret it a bit. Oh, if you are wondering about my intake of slaughtered, commercially processed animals, yes, it is very limited and has been for decades.
So as it turned out, when Ma and Dad married I would gradually become imprinted with a legacy that will prove to be my strongest interest for the rest of my life. I cannot express how grateful I am for this and pity those millions of kids who never get that chance.
In the 70's I worked as a seasonal Wildlife Technician in northern Maine and in 1974 I bought my first camera (a Minolta SRT 101) and recorded my first image of nature. For the last 29 years I have shot with Nikon, but Canon is just as good. Each system has its pros and cons. I've been a stock photographer with Gamma Liaison International (formerly Getty Images). Agents and sub-agents around the world have purchased "One-Time North American Rights" to the images of nature I have archived since that beginning in 74. As the photographic years passed I found myself enjoying photography for photography, not only recording experiences and sights in nature. Because I love animals I enjoy photographing domestic animals too and recently, people's faces. I have begun to notice some real characters in people's faces.
At one time or another, I have been on almost every square mile of North Maine Woods, with the exception of areas around Jackman. Although I tried with all my heart I was not to become a Wildlife Biologist for Maine's Department of Inland Fish and Wildlife. I blame it on internal politics and competing with advanced degrees. You cannot build a solid, diverse knowledge of nature while you are inside writing for refereed journals and competing with your peers for professional publication. But years later I would spend a lot of time at Travis Caruso’s camp in Chesuncook Village, bringing back those memories of the northern Maine woods.
Eventually I landed a wildlife job in Florida. I spent over 10 years working with Southeastern wildlife in Florida and Georgia (almost exclusively in the field). It was here that I met the people I worked with and built memories with in the wildlife field: Tom Brooks, Mike Brown, Lance McClellan, Mark Robson and Jim Rogers PhD..
While living on the JW Corbett Wildlife Management area I enjoyed a lot of nature photography. My daughter Carie has enjoyed time working "firsthand" with the wildlife I photographed. She could not have gotten that in a classroom and the imprinting lasts a lifetime.
My book on the American alligator is close to appearing as an e-book (I believe). It is done and it is packed with the fascination that is nature.
Hope you enjoy.......Robert King