Exploring the vacant overgrown lots and forest preserves, the edge of the Great Swamp in New Jersey, the shoreline of Lake Superior have drawn me closer and closer to nature. Wandering through open spaces and forests has always led to a sense of joy and wonder. I plowed into my first bird book around age 8 and in college I discovered the Sierra Club coffee table books featuring the works of Ansel Adams, Eliot Porter and other great photographers. The two inspired me to find ways to capture the essence of my outdoor experiences and share them with others. My journey turned to education and the best way to share these experiences and messages they convey. In college I met an amazing mentor, George Wilson. He led me to photography, wolves and a philosophy of wilderness-wildlife conservation through education and photography. The three have been intertwined in my life ever since. I have taught middle and high school students science, social studies and photography for over 35 years in Marquette, MI. My wife Corinne Rockow and I helped start MooseWood Nature Center in Marquette in 1996 and are still both very much involved in its operation. I have written a weekly column on birding in the Marquette Mining Journal since 2000 and provided photos for it since 1996. I now also write regularly for the Marquette Monthly in town, covering a wide range of topics from birds, to ice to ghost towns in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Today I still wander outside as much as I can seeking to fulfill my sense of joy and wonder.