Megan Anne Metzelaar is an animal rescuer, hawk watcher, writer, vegan, hiker and nature photographer living in the beautiful Skylands of New Jersey. Growing up in rural Moscow, Pennsylvania she developed a deep appreciation and respect for animals and nature at an early age. As a child she would often take walks in the woods and visit nearby parks such as Big Pocono with her family.
As an adult Megan has found much comfort in yoga, meditation and the Buddhist concept of mindfulness in the present moment. During a recent revisiting of Big Pocono State Park she realized that there are endless ways to view the same flower, tree or pinecone and was overjoyed to experience the environment with fresh eyes, just by being open to the present moment.
Focusing on the moment and sharing it with others via photography has become Megan’s way of showing gratitude for the gift of life and respect for the Earth, animals and other people. Through photography, she hopes to inspire others to slow down and appreciate their own world more often, and maybe help them find peace in their present moment too.
"I love November because although there aren't as many hours of daylight, the sunlight we do have creates wonderful highlights on natural objects. The angle of the sun's rays are such that the lighting just seems more subtle... perfect for accentuating the beautiful shapes and colors of trees and flowers."
Nothing says Fall like mums, at least where I live. Pinks are my favorite and they look prettiest to me in the early morning when there is some dew on their plentiful but tiny petals. I love how mums seem so delicate individually yet they are such hardy plants overall, able to endure the cool weather even after so many other flowers have died off for the year.
I take tons of sunset photos and I have a few favorite spots that give me wide-open vantage points for watching them, mostly across farm fields near my home. But sometimes I see amazing sunsets and I'm in a place where I have to look over or around buildings. These are from an evening when I was particularly busy and hadn't really noticed the sunset at all until I slowed down and looked out my kitchen window. The sky was full of oranges and pinks so I ran to get my camera. I had to zoom in over the roofs of my neighbors' houses to get these shots, and I was so happy to catch the colors before they were gone. I've noticed that sometimes the most brilliant sunset colors come just after the sun has disappeared and there are some clouds in the sky to reflect the fading light. This sunset taught me never to be too busy to take time out to appreciate the day that is ending ; )
One of my favorite times to go out walking is just after it stops raining. Flowers and leaves are covered in tiny droplets giving them a magical look. The peonies in my yard are particularly photogenic after a rainstorm.
A Word From The AIR!
Pink is my all-time favorite color. Yes, I know... super stereotypical girly-- but I don't care... I love it! Spring is such a treat for me in part because whenever I am out walking I end up seeing at least one pink flower and it always makes me smile. My eyes are immediately drawn to it and then out comes the camera!
From the AIR!
Cloud-watching may be the most relaxing activity on the planet. Spring is the perfect time for getting lost in the clouds and meditating on the beautiful transience of nature. Floating clouds remind us that life is always changing and transforming. Clouds add so much depth to a scene, creating layers that enhance a landscape with another dimension. When the sky is full of clouds we truly get the sensation of being on this spherical planet we call Earth with its enveloping atmosphere as far as the eye can see.
A Word From The Artist In Residence
"Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them." ~A.A. Milne
I love dandelions. They are among the first yellows of Spring. Every year I watch with amazement as my neighbors to to great lengths to make sure not even one survives on their lawns. It always makes me laugh to myself. I wonder why we work so hard to control Nature sometimes. Before long our grass will be covered with happy little dandelion heads. Wild bunnies will have fun running around nibbling on them. And later in the year I will go around blowing on them to scatter the seeds just like I did when I was a little girl. Beauty is forever in the eye of the beholder.
"This past December I had to say goodbye to my dear Tess kitty. I rescued Tess when she was just a few months old and I felt a strong connection to her right from the start. I had 14 wonderful years with Tess and it was so hard to let her go. I had to make the terrible decision that so many pet guardians face: to end a beloved animal's suffering before it gets worse. My family knew how much Tess meant to me and I received a lovely bouquet of tulips from them in honor of her memory.
About a week after Tess died, I was sitting in my front room and the sun was streaming in through the window. It was a gorgeous day, albeit a cold December one. The sunlight was bringing the tulips to life in a way I had never seen and in an awestruck state I realized that even in the hardest times there is so much to be grateful for and so much beauty to behold in this world. These photos capture that illuminating moment. I look at them whenever I need to be reminded of this powerful lesson."