Articles by William Wise

Water of Life

Why are scientists always looking for water on other planets? Because life can’t exist without water! NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory writes, "Liquid water is a necessity for every form of life known. With this in mind, scientists are eagerly searching for liquid water in places other than Earth."Each creature on this planet requires different amounts of water for survival. We humans require about 2.5 quarts of water per day. Without it, our blood thickens, we become... continue reading

Dog Rescue Photography: Sherry

Sweet Sherry finds a new home!There are days I walk into our rural Georgia animal shelter and just get so despondent seeing pitbull after pitbull in kennel after kennel. All the other breeds tend to get quicker interest and are rescued almost right away. But the poor pitbulls have less hope of rescue, and even less hope of being claimed.When there is so many of a particular breed, it can be hard to get them noticed. But one stood out to me this morning because of her sweet, submissive eyes and... continue reading

Confused Teenager

Without a stream in my neighborhood, I just couldn't figure out why a Great Blue Heron would be standing in my neighbor's front yard. A closer look explained it all: a confused juvenile!I was on the last half-mile stretch of my daily 35 mile commute when I spotted a Great Blue Heron standing in a neighbor’s front yard, right next to the sidewalk. “Now that’s weird”, I thought to myself. He was standing alongside a dry, rock-lined drainage ditch as if he were fishing for food.... continue reading

Atop a Mountain: Brasstown Bald, Georgia

There’s something about standing on top of a mountain. For some it may be a sense of conquering the world; for others, a way to meet with God. Whatever it may be, from atop a mountain, nothing is out of our sight. My choice to head to Brasstown Bald wasn’t spiritual, but just a matter of looking for a fun day-trip to get out in God’s creation. And why not a mountain? Brasstown Bald is the highest peak in Georgia at 4,784 feet. A parking lot near the top and paved path to the summit make it an... continue reading

Otter Encounter

Taking a walk through the trees surrounding the more secluded upper pond behind my office in Walton County, I again stumbled upon one of the North American River Otters that frequent our muddy brown Georgia pond. I had previously photographed this individual on another pond about a quarter mile away. How do I know it was the same otter? His left eye is damaged or has a cataract.Because of his vision impairment, he didn’t see me right away, but most definitely could smell me as I was standing only... continue reading

Species Spotlight: Northern Watersnake

Northern Watersnake, Nerodia sipedonI always consider it my lucky day when I discover or stumble upon a reptile, particularly a snake. This afternoon, the sun was sending warm rays through the cool, partly cloudy. I left the stresses and confines of my office at lunch break for a short stroll up to the pond. But not even 50 feet out the back door of my office, I spied an odd looking “stick” laying across the access road.Sure enough, it was my lucky day! This “stick” was about two-... continue reading

Species Spotlight: "Stinkpot" Turtle

The retention pond behind my office in Monroe, Georgia USA is loaded with turtles! There are plenty of huge sliders, but there are often smaller dark brown guys secreting around the aquatic vegetation. These plain brown shelled reptiles with the yellow stripes on their faces are Common Musk Turtles, Sternotherus odoratus. Occasionally we find them crossing our parking lot, perhaps heading for another nearby pond.According to the Savannah River Ecology Lab: Common musk turtles occur throughout the... continue reading

Photos are inadequate

No photograph could prepare me for what I was to see in person at the Grand Canyon. And my photographs, too, are a wholly inadequate representation of reality.“It is impossible to conceive what the canyon is, or what impression it makes, from descriptions or pictures, however good. It is very hard to give anything like an adequate conception of its size; much more of its color, its vast wall- sculpture, the wealth of ornate architectural buildings that fill it, or, most of all, the tremendous... continue reading

Migrating "Hoodie" Trio

Thursday, January 17, 2019 - During my lunch break, I had a brief moment to wander up to the main retention pond behind my office in Walton County, Georgia. A trio of Hooded Mergansers were diving in the northeast corner of the pond.The Hooded Merganser, Lophodytes cucullatus, is a small duck species found in North America. Since they typically winter on ice-free ponds, lakes and rivers, they love the mild winters of Georgia and usually show up here in the fall and winter. Beginning in... continue reading

Simple Delights

On a cloudy Sunday afternoon between church services, I was delighted to enjoy birding next to my backyard fire pit. Along with a cup of coffee, it was a nice afternoon of journaling and photography. After several hours of the “usual birds”, I was further delighted by the soft appearance of a dainty Hermit Thrush scraping in the leaf litter not far from my chair.Hermit Thrushes breed across Canada but migrate down to “my neck of the woods”, the southeastern United States, each... continue reading

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