This trail follows an old stream bed of Brawley Creek
I’m an Emeritus Professor of Biology at the University of Central Missouri where I taught ecology, ornithology, evolutionary biology, and genetics for over 30 years, and advised of thesis work. Occasionally I taught an advanced class in photography through the Department of Graphics and exhibited regularly, on campus and off, most recently (2005) with a Retrospective show with 70 prints at the Gallery of Art and Design of the University of Central Missouri.  Since that time I’ve been blogging (currently at, exploring near and far, and writing as a way to share what I’m learning.  Photography, in which I have been deeply involved for well over 50 years, provides for both exploring and sharing.  Everyplace we go has lots of stories to tell, and secrets to discover. I love it and I’m grateful for the opportunity to share it.
We’ve lived on Brawley Creek for nearly 40 years now—watched it change in a complex choreography where all parts move at different speeds, and on a different scale.  Nothing stays the same, although it may look like it to the human eye. I’ve enjoyed all of it. Gina and I designed our house to honor our connection with the world outside—to make as few barriers as practical, so that we retain an awareness of lives beyond our own.  It recognizes a craving in both of us to be a part of what happens there, to enjoy it, to understand it, and to wrap ourselves in the pleasure of its beauty and complexity. Once outside, enjoying the life there and moving quietly and comfortably through the various parts of the 30 acre property requires access.  So we prepared and maintain nearly two miles of trails like the one to the left.  The more access we have the more we can enjoy immersing ourselves quietly into the lives being lived on Brawley Creek.
I enjoy the pleasure of sharing what I know about it. Hence this book about our perfectly ordinary paradise, that really does provide "an intimate view of life on Brawley Creek." While explaining how it works–the science behind everything which shapes our lives and those of all of our residents. It is a source of awe, and it enriches our lives. 
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Photo by Regina Hess