Category Archives: Nature

A Man, his Dog, and a Camera


While the people of Browns Mills lie tucked up in their warm beds, the man and his dog walk out into the cold darkness.

The goal is to capture a sunrise.

Karl Jonsson’s favorite place to chase the sun is Whitesbog Village.

Whitesbog Village is a historical agricultural community known for cultivating cranberries and blueberries and is part of the Brendan T. Byrne State Forest in New Jersey’s Pine Belt.

New to the area, but not the Pinelands, Karl spent his childhood exploring the woods. He feels a connection to this stunning forest of pine.

Karl admits that spending time alone here is spiritual. He’s captivated by the landscape. The merging of water with trees imparts a deep peacefulness.

After weeks of exploring the area, Karl picked up a camera, and a habit. Neighbors encouraged him to upload his shots to the town’s Facebook Page. This is how I found Karl Jonsson.

I grew up in Browns Mills. My playground was the pines.I marveled at the angles of the sun and the colors it manipulated over lakes and forest.

Karl’s ability to capture the magic of my beloved playground struck me with sentiment. I had to meet this unassuming artist.

We scheduled an early morning walk. With hot coffee, and dog, Noel, we set off for the bogs. I asked Karl what his future with photography looked like.

His answer; delighted me. He said he doesn’t want to take it too seriously.

He asked me if I wanted to take some pictures and I said, “Oh, no, that’s OK, I’ll watch you.” He said, “Here, you just have to push this button.”

His “have a go at it” gesture is how he approaches creating and it’s refreshing.

And…He said he wants to combine his love of photography with his passion for dogs.

Karl Photography Dog

He spends mornings and evenings at the bogs or the lake taking pictures of dogs that have been adopted or fostered. Karl hopes his photography will bring attention to organizations like One Love Animal Rescue.

On Saturday, March 19, Photography of Whitesbog Gallery Opening will feature some of Karl’s photos. He says the prints will portray dogs at their happiest.

I think the prints will hint to a happy photographer too.

For the love of art – for the love of dogs – for the love of pine trees; I’m so happy to share the man, his camera, and his dog.



PS If you want to check out Karl’s photos, visit his Facebook Page.


My grandson, Silas and his parents were in the 100_1694process of moving to a different state.  Meanwhile, the lease on their rental expired and unfortunately, an extension couldn’t be negotiated.

This meant that for several weeks they would be staying in different locations, i.e., friends, hotels, and finally with me.

I was just three days into a move myself, so they got thrust into more chaos.

Silas was stressed about all the commotion and upheaval.

His mom and dad could not be out of his sight. He would scream and cry if they walked out of his range of vision. He was clingy and sometimes inconsolable.

The poor little guy was so out of sorts.  He was off the charts cranky.  He was extra loud and aggressive.  He was waking up 3 to 4 times a night.

Toddlers yearn for consistency and boundaries. Silas’ were ripped out from underneath him.

I decided this little boy needs calm.  This little boy needs fresh air and the chance to walk his socks off!

I took him to Long Bridge Park, which has wonderful serene trails.

I parked, took him out of his car seat and set him free!

He walked all over the parking lot, all over the mushy recycled tires at the playground. And then, I lead him to the path of the woods.

100_1692From the moment we hit the bridge, Silas became silent. He was so present in the moment. The sound of his foot steps, the buzzing of bees, the hopping of crickets, the flutter of butterflies, and his shadow had become his whole world.

We walked more than a mile and he didn’t utter a word.

It was like Nature provided a reset button.  Nature has power to shape the mind.  Playing outside is how kids work through their stuff.  (It’s good for big kids too.)

That evening, we bathed him with lavender oil and his sleep was as sound as our walk.

Tell me your tips and secrets for calming a toddler in the comments below.