What does author Laurel Wanrow do when she’s not writing?

In the last few days I have read two articles advising authors to write more blog posts about what they do IRL—when not writing. True, life cannot be all fantasy and romance! So…I take photographs.

My 20 year-old can’t figure out why, and I can’t explain it. It’s either something people do or they don’t. I’ve seen the world through my camera lens since I was ten, and with digital I have far more photographs than anyone will ever see, particularly nature photographs. For years while I worked as a naturalist at various National Parks and nature centers, taking photographs was an essential part of my job. Think slide shows, exhibits and brochures; I did all that.

My favorite subject is wildflowers, but I shoot anything that catches my eye, and a lot of my photographs make it into my nature blog, The Squirrel Nutwork. I must admit that when I am busy or away, a friend who is even more of a nature enthusiast than I am sends me photos for the blog.Laurel Wanrow

I’ve been away a lot this summer, and because the nature blog features nature in suburban D.C., most of the recent photos are not mine, and my photos cannot be used. Being prompted to reveal my ‘other life’ gives me the perfect opportunity to share a few.

Since May, I’ve been at a family cabin in Colorado. It’s quiet, and I get a lot of writing done, but the last 22 months our township has been recovering from flood damage that occurred September 2013. I spent this spring and summer splitting my time between releasing my first novel and replanting a berm along the reconstructed creek. At times this was frustrating, because the crows and ground squirrels were determined to grab their piece of the action–my seeds. And once the plants had a foothold, the flower buds!Laurel Wanrow

But then I learned why this golden-mantled ground squirrel was so persistent!

golden mantled ground squirrel

Golden mantled ground squirrel

Laurel Wanrow nature photography

Laurel Wanrow nature photography

Yep, four young!Laurel Wanrow

And they weren’t the only ones setting up nurseries around my cabin.

A pair of wrens built a nest in a coffee can my parents put up fifty years ago. Unfortunately I returned east for most of their nestling-rearing, but upon my return in July, a pair of Olive Flycatchers had claimed a spot on the porch beam.

Laurel Wanrow nature photography

They twittered enthusiastically one day, alerting me the eggs had hatched, but a week passed before I finally saw three little heads. Fuzzy ones!

Laurel Wanrow nature photographyIt seemed like weeks passed, but it was only six days before I noticed they three were close to fledging.

Laurel Wanrow nature photography

Sure enough, the next day, one flew past me and landed. I ran for my camera.

Laurel Wanrow nature photography

I didn’t see that fledgling again, and two days later the others left, leaving the nest empty…and my porch, too! Fortunately, I’d been putting out a hummingbird feeder the entire time, so had the hummers for consolation for the remainder of my visit.

Laurel Wanrow nature photography

Thanks for reading and letting me share!


About Laurel Wanrow

Fantasy romance tuned to the magic of the land.

Posted on August 22, 2015, in My non-writing life and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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