As an artist, I’ve always been interested in birds, especially birds of prey. There’s something regal in their bearing. Scientists think they are descendants of dinosaurs, and I can certainly believe that when I look at their menacing eyes, always looking for prey. The snowy owl is one such bird, and although I’ve never captured one in paint on canvas, it’s on my list of things to do.
Freelance writer and photographer Phillip Bonn brings us the story of the irruption of snowy owls during the 2013-2014 winter (see page 46). Many of you may remember hearing about, and seeing more snowy owls in the region than you have in recent memory. I know I received more emails and social media posts of pictures of snowy owls than I ever have before. Last winter was a long cold one, but going out in your car and searching for the birds helped to pass the time in an interesting way.
I was lucky enough to see one in person, although briefly. I was picking up my son from swim practice at school at dusk, and as we were leaving the parking lot, we saw a large white bird take flight in front of us. Seeing one with its wings spread out reinforced how large of a bird it really is.
Photographs have always been a huge part of Life in the Finger Lakes magazine. That’s one reason why we chose to start a photo contest back in 2002. And we are lucky enough to be celebrating the 13th anniversary of the contest in this issue. As usual, photographers sent a huge selection of excellent pictures, and as usual, the judging process was a challenge because there were so many high-quality shots, and there are only so many winning slots. If you entered the contest and weren’t lucky enough to have a photo published in this issue, take heart because I’m sure that your photo was still very good.
I’m using my position as editor to once again present my Editor’s Choice to a photograph. Although this shot wasn’t a part of the 2014 winners, I still think it’s very good and worthy of recognition. Maxwell Maloney took this photo at the Glassfest in Corning. To me, it captures the craftsman performing his trade, and shows the intense interest of the crowd focused on what he’s doing. The composition is solid, and the lighting is good, showing the back of the glass blower in darkness, without turning him into a silhouette against the lighter background of the crowd. And of course, your eyes are drawn to what he’s working on, the developing glass artwork.
I’m very excited to bring you this news. In 2015 we will start publishing on a bimonthly basis, and the first of six issues will be the January/February edition. We will still be focusing on the seasons, and we will still be bringing the same quality editorial and photographs that you have come to love and expect.
The magazine will also have a different look with its perfect binding – a spine with the description on the side. This will enable collectors to better keep track of their issues while they’re stored in a magazine box or on a bookshelf. And that kind of binding also enhances the durability of the magazine.
Thank you for being a loyal reader and for being a part of the evolution of this special magazine.
by Mark Stash