In 2010, I was asked to show some
of my photographs of birds and flowers
at a dinner meeting. I accepted because,
as an amateur photographer since 1965,
I had more than enough photos to provide an entertaining and educational
slide show. In the months that followed,
more people invited me to speak about
birds and flowers than about leadership.
Now, six years later, my presentations
focus on the beauty of birds and the art
of nature photography. I’m still in front
of audiences, but this turn of events has
changed certain aspects of my speaking
business. And me.
I still get to meet extraordinary
colleagues, but now of a different sort.
Imagine being this close to a real, live
I still get to visit exotic places.
wild hawk. It’s a breathtaking experi-
ence. Consider how it feels looking into
the eyes of this agile predator while it
watches you and then takes wing, flying
only a few feet above your head.
So far, I’ve taken four week-long trips to
Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge,
about 95 miles south of Albuquerque,
New Mexico. This refuge is a critically
important area because it’s a major winter destination for thousands of migratory birds, including Sandhill Cranes,
geese, and other waterfowl. Even the
rare and magnificent Whooping Cranes
wintered there some years ago.
Sandhill Cranes are extraordinary
birds, standing almost four feet high with
a wingspan of over six feet. They travel
in family groups, fly like gliders, and
break out into loud, raucous displays of
animated dancing when courting.
In Morro Bay, Calif., I rented a
house for a month to take photos
of shorebirds, including the Snowy
Plover, an endangered species. And
I spoke at the 2015 Sedona Hummingbird Festival and will be presenting
at the 2017 San Diego Audubon