Wildlife, Wild Places, Kitsch and Sundry: DFG Hailson Photography


American Alligator, Big Cypress National Preserve, Ochopee, Florida. Image: DFG Hailson.

I have spent delight-filled days recording, through my camera’s lens, glorious natural wonders from the majestic Grand Canyon to the hoodoo-filled Bryce Amphitheater, from the lush and soul-soothing Everglades to the barren salt flats of Death Valley’s Badwater Basin, from the sanderling-bedecked white sand beaches of Topsail Island to the other-worldly cinder gardens and lava fields of the Craters of the Moon.

Along the way, my love of wildlife and wild places has deepened into a more fervent advocacy and my love of photography has developed into a deep passion. I am currently exploring and photographing the North Carolina coast. I invite you to visit my photography website–DFG Hailson Photography–and pray the images of and words about wild places, wildlife, roadscapes, waterscapes, kitsch and sundry–will speak to your heart and mind and lift your spirit.

Paul Howard Manship was commissioned to make the sundial, Time and the Fates of Man, for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. The Three Fates, sitting under the tree that holds up the sundial’s pointer, are characters from Greek mythology. Taken at Brookgreen Gardens with the park’s Christmas Tree alongside. Image: DFG Hailson.

Sickened, Enraged and Heartbroken

800px-African_Bush_Elephant_MikumiOne of the most moving moments in my life came on an evening in Zimbabwe. I was in the country covering a conference and had taken some time away to visit Hwange National Park with two friends. After a meal of traditional African fare at the Hwange Safari Lodge, we made our way – at sundown – toward a waterhole. There, we spied – silhouetted in the half-light glow – a herd of more than 40 elephants coming in to take an end of the day drink. The adults strode in slowly and their young clung close to their sides. I couldn’t hold back the tears and found myself weeping and weeping, overcome by so many emotions. I felt so privileged to be in their presence. But there was even more to the moment, for behind them – in the distance – I could see herds of impala, zebra and wildebeest racing across the savanna. The images from that night are indelibly stamped on my heart and memory and I find I am – even now – near to tears as I place myself again in that space, in that magical moment, at Hwange.

Trophy hunting is a thoroughly disgusting and evil practice, and I am sickened, furious and heartbroken that the ban on elephant trophies would be reversed by the current US administration!!!!!!

This reversal makes no sense whatsoever when elephant populations are decreasing. It’s far more than a stretch to call this a “conservation” move when Zimbabwe is in the midst of an apparent coup and is seen as so riddled with corruption and so lacking in transparency.

Accompanying image of an African elephant by Oliver Wright.