When I was 19 years old, I arrived on the tiny island of Adak, Alaska. It was a cold and windy day in December. I remember it took a couple of attempts to land because the wind shears were so strong.
The first few weeks I was overwhelmed by the procedures I had to follow to survive in this harsh environment. I eventually settled into a routine, and work became enjoyable and challenging.
On the other side of the island, small homes were provided to those personnel with families. I befriended a co-worker who routinely invited me into his home. His lovely wife and two children were a pleasant change from life in the barracks, and I spent a lot of time with them. His two-year-old daughter and one-year-old son were so delightful.
Prior to Adak, I was stationed near Boston — this is when I purchased my first camera. While Boston was amazing, Adak was a nature photographer’s dream.
I recently reconnected with my friends and I was amazed to learn their daughter is now 23, and their son is 21 years old. They also have a second son whom I’ve never met. Time sure flies!
Fortunately, I kept my negatives from those days and I scanned in some pictures of the kids and of Adak. I was blessed to have befriended such a lovely family and to have had the opportunity to photograph Adak. In those days of analog cameras, I preferred 35mm slide film in my Canon EOS 620. I eventually replaced my Canon with a Nikon FM2. Now days, I am a Canon owner again.
It is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful places on earth. I wanted to share a few quotes and poems which best articulate my feelings about this magnificent place.
Nature is the art of God.
~ Dante Alighieri
To the dull mind nature is leaden; To the illumined mind the whole world burns and sparkles with light.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
O Nature! I do not aspire
To be the highest in thy choir, –
To be a meteor in thy sky,
Or comet that may range on high;
Only a zephyr that may blow
Among the reeds by the river low;
Give me thy most privy place
Where to run my airy race.
In some withdrawn, unpublic mead
Let me sigh upon a reed,
Or in the woods, with leafy din,
Whisper the still evening in:
Some still work give me to do, –
Only – be it near to you!
For I’d rather be thy child
And pupil, in the forest wild,
Than be the king of men elsewhere,
And most sovereign slave of care;
To have one moment of thy dawn,
Than share the city’s year forlorn.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Click on the pictures to see a larger version