The Year in Flight
My 2018 Highlights – from Costa Rica to Maine
In the pantheon of flying things this year, that Green Kingfisher above was good. So was the Bramble Hairstreak below. Even the the waters of Lake Superior lapping at their pastel pebbles — yeah, that was also good (and not even a flying thing).
In the year after I nearly died, I still managed to chase nature in the rainforests of Costa Rica and the deserts of California, among big trees in Oregon and on bogs in Minnesota, at mountain summits and in my own backyard here in Vermont.
So if I were now to profess difficulty in choosing highlights from 2018, that would amount to little more than the whinings of a privileged white guy who knows damn well how lucky he is to be alive and rambling in nature.
Even so, two animals did evoke particular joy for me in 2018. Just ask the people with me during those encounters — they would tell you, “Yeah, Bryan really lost it.” So, if anything can beat that Green Kingfisher above, it’s this American Pygmy-Kingfisher pictured below on the right — a five-inch-long bird that gave me a mile of happiness in 2018. Yeah, I lost it.
Same goes for the Sara Orangetip (pictured on the left). Yes, you’ll find plenty of butterflies flashier than orangetips. (Metalmarks, for example.) But no self-respecting lepidopterist can resist orangetips. They’re free spirits, prancing through the world, stopping on whims to take nectar with no regard for the likes of you. Butterflies were big for me in 2018, including some wonderful employment with the gossamer insects in Maine, but none bigger than Sara Orangetip. Yeah, I lost it.
Below the kingfisher and the orangetip, you’ll find two lists of essays and blog posts from 2018: five “highlights” and five “duds.” Finally, below the lists, are the rest of my 2018 images. I suggest you go to full screen on your browser, click any image, then start the slide show for an entire year in flight displayed for you in about 60 seconds.