Pete Muller @pete_k_muller
515 Posts
158k Followers
440 Following
“This is how it feels to me. Can you understand what I’m saying? Does it also feel this way to you?”
515 Posts
158k Followers
440 Following
“This is how it feels to me. Can you understand what I’m saying? Does it also feel this way to you?”
It was with my father, Norman, that I learned how the presence of buried tree roots changed the sound of my footfalls on a trail. They create a muted, hollow yet amplifying effect that reminds me of the unseen. As a boy, I followed him into the mountains of New England, where he'd discovered things within himself many years before. His father was a Swedish immigrant and brought with him the Scandinavian appreciation for the outdoors. My dad did his best to impart that outlook to my sister and me. Last autumn, while I was teaching at @mtholyoke in western Massachusetts, I brought him to the Chesterfield Gorge, a dramatic, plunging ravine carved by the Westfield River. He'd never seen it before. I was grateful to give him something after all he'd given me. Looking at the churning waters below, I felt connected to to him and to the beautiful, enduring forces that shaped us both. "We are still in Eden," wrote my favorite painter, Thomas Cole. "the wall that shuts us out of the garden is our own ignorance and folly.” @thomascolesite #chesterfieldgorge #nature #father #fathersday
2k 51
What a scream. Been in Washington DC for the @natgeo #NatGeoFest. The days are dynamic and relentless. Nice to unwind a with @brianskerry @brentstirton @kaityarnall @ronan_donovan @galuchis and @katieorlinsky. We didn’t deserve such classy surroundings.
1k 12
In the days before our departure, an industrial cargo ship anchored off the shores of Lorino, a small sea hunting town in the Russian Arctic. Amid the constant pale, white light that defines the Arctic summer, the ship looked out of place. Occasionally, the crew boarded small motorboats to come ashore, look around and buy a few supplies. The ship remained for several days and stood in contrast to Chukchi fishermen who quietly fished the productive seam just off the shore. To do so, they used wooden planks to place nets in the depression along which fish liked to travel. Occasionally, a large school of fish would encounter the net and the question of meals for the week would be answered. The crew of the cargo ship would look on. I am constantly amazed by the number of things unfolding in the world at any one time. #fishing #russia #chukotka #arctic
1k 9
SOUND ON: I met Voshon on the side of the road on Isle de Jean Charles, Louisiana. He was shucking oysters in the mid-morning sun. Unlike some on this remote island, he was receptive to my curiosity. People here have been pestered too long by journalists and state workers and organizations. Understandably, most just want to be left alone. Seclusion was part of the allure of living here. We hung out near a treehouse that he and his brother, Joe, built as kids. It’s now overgrown and dilapidated. We talked a long while about changes on the island, which is sinking into the Gulf of Mexico at an alarming rate. It's lost 90 percent of its land mass over the last fifty years. The future of life here is in question. Voshon’s voice has stuck with me.
1k 21
SOUND ON: Let’s try something new today. I’ve always enjoyed behind-the-scenes explanations of things. I love learning how it all gets made; pictures, movies, music. As I’ve been recording so much audio this past year, I thought I’d bring my spoken reflections together with a photo. Please do share with me how you feel about this approach.
1k 92
I gain first sight of the clearing from the depths of the forest. I'm sweating heavily. I am nervous, too, because unhabituated forest elephants move in the trees just beyond the path. The forest is so dense that a group of them could be standing only a few feet away and you might not realize. Being with large animals on their terms is humbling. Suddenly, it seems, the trees recede and we arrive to a splendor unlike anything I've seen before or since. At dawn and dusk, hundreds of elephants gather to drink the nutrient-rich subterranean waters that flow beneath the clearing. In this part of the Central African Republic, such a feature is known as a "bai," a word in Aka language that describes naturally open places where animals gather to eat. Standing on the edge, I momentarily forget the war that rages in the villages beyond and feel, for a moment, as though I'm looking at another era of the Earth's history, one in which human beings were peripheral or not yet in existence. I consider our contributions and that cost at which they came. For a moment, deep in the central African forest, the only sounds are those emerging from the creatures below.
2k 45
Sun chases the morning mist in the fields of Kamuyu in western Kenya. Savanna landscapes and the animals that live there tend to dominate popular imagination of Kenya. But the country is profoundly varied. I feel most at home in the green, rolling hills that provide most of the Kenya’s agricultural bounty. I relish opportunities to escape the bustle of Nairobi and take in the slow, peaceful start of rural mornings. Each form of life has its challenges, but I cannot help but note the broad sense of contentment often present in peaceful, productive rural communities.
6k 99
The drawings by Elizabeth Gould are beautiful, but more importantly they are a gateway to the ecological past. The rich ecosystem from which they emerged served as a basis of comparison for the transformations currently underway. Nearly 150 years after their creation, they captured and influenced a man whose ideas in turn captured and influenced me. Across time and space we arrive in dialogue. Interesting how things unfold.
2k 20