After closing out a long run as a government scribe, media spokesperson and in-house photographer, I now do freelance work, generally at a much less breakneck pace. No more pressing press conferences and frantically researched bullet points. No more transforming barrels of bureaucratic porridge into simple English by the stroke of 10-minutes-past-now.
No more spending weeks redrafting government tomes as dense as doorstops into plain language that normal people might understand -- a grand battle won -- only to lose the war. You can lead a bureaucracy to water but you can't make it think.
And yet, I worked for a great many public officials over the years whom I admired and liked. Some enormously. I had many excellent colleagues. They worked hard. I worked hard. I'd like to think I saved some number of consumers from harm. And, that I helped some regulated businesses figure out what regulators were trying to tell them. All of that was the great part.
But now, I have to sell myself. In a different way, that is. And so, I created this site as a place to post selected Published Articles, both as sample work products and for the general amusement or dismay of anyone who wants to read them.
Additionally, there's a Likes page. Nuh-nuh-no. Not a Facebook-like, frenzy of "liking" of everything in the universe. On this part of the site I draw your attention to people I actually know, or have at least had the pleasure of meeting personally -- people whose work, or newly emerging talents or even moments of genius have very much impressed me.
I was moved to "blurb" them here...even if they didn't ask me to, which is generally the case. I hope the page will make good browsing.
Finally, if you click Stories you'll find short features written just for this site -- as I slowly get around to writing them. -- Ricka
Something Short of a Story:
The Mother of All Maples
Last fall, Dave Strong, of Plainfield, asked me to take some photos of his family's maple grove in Orange, Vermont. He wanted to document the forest management practices that go on in the sugarwoods throughout the year, outside the sugarhouse. When we walked by the massive, charismatic maple tree above, I was awestruck.
I put Dave in this cropped shot above for a rudimentary sense of scale. You are looking at less than half the tree. Had I stepped back much farther there would have been other objects in the way.
It was so familiar a part of the landscape to Dave that he wasn't prepared for my reaction. Because I kept chirping about it, Dave had a state forester come out to take official measurements, and the tree ranked quite impressively among the state's largest living maples. You can view the stats near the end of a 5-minute photo-documentary I put together about the maple grove, mixing in a few of Dave's prior photos with mine.
Non-Native Pheasants Make a Stand
in the far north, and one lonely boy
gamely looks for love, in my yard.
A Gallery of Governators
A nostalgic, self-indulgent collection of vignettes about behind-the-scenes photoshoots of Vermont officials and their guests. Above, a surprise visit from "Ah-nold" (later to be the "Terminator" of his marriage).