'Though I would have loved to impress you with a photo of a bearded, somewhat grizzly looking young man having the mesmerizing appearance of a charismatic leader, I felt I may have ended up with 'woods-groupies' sending me all kinds of e-mail that my wife would definitely wonder about. Not to mention the dishonesty of such an act. The thought did cross my mind, however.

Nevertheless, what you see is a fellow who has a great love and sincere appreciation of the woods and all the things therein. I think I know how Thoreau must have felt as he trekked the countryside of old. And the places I choose to wander and explore have most probably cycled back to mirror those times. I have many 'Walden Ponds', this photo but one of them.

I marvel at the beauty of this forest primeval, the elegance of the varied flowers, the life of the animals through good times and bad, their always heartwrenching demise.

I've been a part of these woods since I was 30, some 41 winters now and I've often thought it would be nice to be able to actually bring each of you with me on these sojurns. And I would for those who could learn to hear the call of the wild, even in its stillness. But for now, may you enjoy vicariously as I attempt to share with you some of its mysterious and wondrous secrets. --Dick Cooper