Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Difficult Way

How many photographers go out in subzero temperatures to capture snowscapes? Not many. Cold-weather photography is extremely difficult: you must wear warm snow gear, which is heavy and bulky; you must trudge through mountains of snow while gasping burning lungfuls of frigid air; and you must be extremely careful not to touch your own camera equipment with bare hands, lest your skin stick to the freezing metal. How can you take pictures if you can't readily handle your cameras or lenses or tripod? It's an excruciatingly slow process, and you must wear several layers of gloves, stripping down to the thinnest (but never to bare skin) only briefly and only when absolutely necessary.

A decade ago, after a heavy snowfall, I decided to take an early morning hike through Shaw Arboretum, outside of St. Louis. Of course, I arose early to take advantage of the dawn light, but it was beastly cold--so frigid that I used chemical hand-warmers to try to keep my feet from freezing. Even the effort of moving around in the heavy snow was not enough to keep me warm, so I spent only a short time outside. But the light was so brilliant and the air so clear that the scenery was truly spectacular. If only I had had enough stamina and patience to capture it as it was!

Sometimes it seems that Nature reserves its most splendid sights for those who are able to overcome the most difficult obstacles. Think of high mountain scenery, undersea vistas, or even desert panoramas--all of these are not easily accessible, but the view makes the effort so worthwhile. I hope I remember this the next time I'm tempted to sleep through dawn or avoid that rugged path.

Reading the Signs

A number of years ago, I spent many evenings along the shores where the Severn River meets the Chesapeake Bay. My intention was to photograph the evening sailboat races, which proceeded out into the bay and finished in Annapolis. I managed to capture a few decent shots of the sailing vessels, but the boats were generally too far offshore during the bulk of the races, and the light had generally failed by the time the sailboats returned to harbor.

One evening, the boats were particularly slow getting to the finish, for the wind had been very light and erratic. I was trying to be patient as the sun set and the light diminished, but after a time I realized there was no use waiting any longer. As I was beginning to pack up, I happened to look overhead--and there I saw a small wisp of a cloud, with a beautiful rainbow illuminated by the final rays of the sun. All of a sudden, I was snapping pictures of the most amazing cloud formations! The colors were brilliant, and the shapes were fascinating--nature was painting some of the most breathtaking abstracts I have ever seen that evening.

That experience taught me to be more flexible in my photographic endeavors, that it's important to remain open to the images that are present, even if they're not the ones I was hoping for or expecting, and to allow myself to see what's actually there in front of me. It's an ongoing lesson, and one that applies to my spiritual life as well. If my expectations or preconceptions limit what I might allow the Divine to reveal to me, what breathtaking revelations might I end up missing?

Monday, December 3, 2007

My First Solo Photo Show

Here is some information about my first solo photography show. For anyone who lives locally, I'd be happy to give you directions and additional information.

The LOFT Artist Guild presents

Intimate Views: Photography of Flowers & Nudes
by Anthony F. Chiffolo

December 2nd – January 13th

The LOFT Artist Gallery
@ The LOFT: LGBT Community Center
180 East Post Road, White Plains, NY 10601
914-948-2932 /

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Ones That Got Away

If you ask any wildlife photographer to show you their best photographs, they won't be able to, because they'll tell you that the best photos are the ones they were never able to capture. Wildlife photographers get up before the crack of dawn, make their way through the dark mists to a blind in the marsh or woods, and then wait--often for hours--until the ducks or turkeys put in an appearance. The best photographers are always ready, with their fingers on the shutter, to capture that perfect, fleeting image. But the animals are just about always stealthier, quieter, faster, coming into view opposite from where the camera is pointing or moving faster than the photographer can focus. The photographer might be able to snap his/her head around to see what the elk or coyote is doing, but in such a situation, only rarely will the photographer end up with more than a memory of the moment.

Nowadays, we all walk around with digital cameras (or even cell phones) to record our memories, but how many times do we still say, "If only I had a camera with me..."? The best images are still the ones we carry around in our minds, not on film (or in digital files).

So the next time you're tempted to take out the photo album or load the slide show for your friends, take a couple of minutes to share as well those images that you can't actually display--those unforgettable moments that are burned so vividly in your memory--the ones that never really "got away" from you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Intimate Views

To photograph nature is essentially to notice and "see" the world in new ways, in a manner that is different from my workaday glance at my surroundings and perhaps in a manner that is completely alien to most people's view of the universe. When I've gone hiking with companions, I'm always lagging behind--where they search for an elusive deer or bird or butterfly, I'm looking at perspectives, lines, and angles. "I see a photo here," I might call out to them, bending to examine a mushroom or fern, to which they might respond, "Just a jumble of rocks and logs to me." Or I might say, "See how the sunlight coming through the leaves turns this area into a crimson room with a red ribbon curling across it," while they're impatiently tossing rocks into the stream. For them, a path through the forest might be just a way to get to a pretty scenic overlook, but for me, it is a subject unto itself, never the same from moment to moment.

The contrast is even more extreme when I do "macro" photography--that is, when I'm taking pictures of very small things, such as tiny flowers. Once I find a suitable subject, I have to pay attention to so many factors: the angle of the light and the resultant shadows, the background "noise" or distracting elements, the "ideal" height of the camera and the perspective on the subject, the bits that I want to be in focus and the bits that I want to be blurred, the effect any slight wind or breath of air movement can have on the subject, and so forth. Taking a closeup photo of just one flower can sometimes take thirty minutes or more. Most hiking companions, unless they are also taking photographs, don't like to wait so long.

It's possible to think that looking at the world with a camera in front of my eye has its definite limitations, for it means I end up by myself an awful lot. It could also mean becoming an outsider, an observer, not a true participant. Were I a portrait photographer or a photojournalist, I would admit to some truth in this claim. Yet when photographing people, I pose myself in front of the camera as often as I put others there. But more than that, interacting with the world as a photographer really brings a calmness to my spirit. Not only do I slow down my usual headlong rush through life, but I also pay attention to the details that make the world so astonishing, so beautiful, and so sacred. I feel connected with the universe; I experience a sense of unity that is both intimately personal and infinitely beyond the personal. I have a strong suspicion that I would not have had these--dare I call them "spiritual"?--experiences had I not been looking through my camera lens.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Remembering the Details

In twenty years (or more) of clicking the shutter, I've made thousands of photographs. While the number of images and variety of subjects is quite amazing, what really astounds me is that I can remember the location and time of pretty much every photo I've taken. This isn't because I've written it down; rather, the experience of the creative moment and the image have both imprinted on my memory.

So I know, for example, that I photographed this windflower in a certain garden in Annapolis, Maryland, one spring morning back in the early 90s (OK, so I don't remember the exact date!). It was a sunny but blustery day, a little chilly, some large puffy clouds sliding across the blue sky. This flower was nestled in the woods, deep in the shadows, and as I've written about earlier, I had to wait patiently for a calm moment between wind gusts for the petals to be still.

I remember the other flowers I photographed that day: enormous tree peonies, large yellow and blue and purple bearded iris, among my favorite flowers, and may apples. It was a morning when time passed unnoticed, when the present was all there was.

Maybe that's why I remember--because I was so "in the moment" that nothing else mattered.

This happens often when I'm out taking photos, and maybe this is why I enjoy nature photography so much. There is nothing outside of the immediate and present experience.

I wish to encounter all of my moments in the same way.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Spending Time with Wolves

I took the accompanying photo on my second visit to Wildlife Prairie Park in Illinois. Nothing unusual about that, but it was actually the second full day I spent at the wolf enclosure there. I might try to convince myself that the wolves began to accept me as another member of their pack, but it's more likely that they were so used to human traffic (or so focused on the neighboring elk and bison) that they never noticed I had returned for another eight hours with them. They were simply going about their wolf lives as normally as possible, following a routine that had become comfortable.

I, however, had stepped outside of my daily routine to visit the park, and I made the deliberate decision to spend as much time as I could with the wolves. Not only did I enjoy their company, but I also became familiar with their activities, their personalities, and their interactions. I was able to observe the details of their eating, drinking, running, hunting, playing, and sleeping, and I believe that my photos were better able to capture their essence as a result.

What worked with the wolves works for many other animals (elk, bison, turkeys, geese) as well, and it works for locations too--the more often I walk the trails of a certain park, the better I know that park's distinctive personality, the better I can envision what to expect, and the better (i.e., more true) my photos are. I believe the same principle applies to our human relationships, for the more time we spend with a person, the better we know her or him. I guess it's a matter of connecting with the spirit--of the wolves, of the park, of my companion--a connection that perhaps requires "time in" more than anything else.

Maybe we're deliberate about putting in this time, or maybe we're unconsciously filling a sensed need. It's easy to see how this might happen with our friends or family members, and they can give us cues to clue us in.

Sometimes the universe can send us clues too, signs that we need to reconnect with the Spirit. We might feel anxious, exhausted, overwhelmed, irritable, without knowing exactly why. For some people, such feelings indicate the need to "recharge our batteries"; others might say we've lost touch with our inner truth; still others might believe that we've allowed something to block our vision of God. Whatever metaphor one might use, the need to put "time in" with the Spirit remains.

How we do that is a very personal decision. Whereas one person might meditate, another might nap, and still another might listen to music, or read a poem, or watch the flowers grow in the garden. And some souls, like me, might even go visit the wolves.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

When It Rains...

Most people like to go outdoors when it's sunny, neither too hot nor too cold, clear with little humidity, with maybe a slight breeze. But photographers are a different breed. We know that good weather is not always a helpful "assistant." Technology has not yet been able to reproduce the human eyeball, and cameras (especially film cameras) see and record light in ways that can be quite peculiar. Photographers learn this quickly and, accordingly, can be found taking pictures in weather that would drive the most intrepid day hiker indoors.

Overcast weather is often the best for taking closeup shots of flowers: there are few distracting shadows, and the colors are extremely saturated and "rich." (The accompanying photo was taken on an overcast day.) During a rainshower, the countryside can be quite beautiful, especially in the fall, when the wet leaves glimmer and the reds, oranges, and yellows can really pop. Snowfall softens the light, sometimes creating scenes that are almost monochromatic. As paradoxical as it may sound, some of the best photographs are created under some of nature's most difficult conditions.

Sometimes, I think my spirit works this way too. When I'm pleased with the way life is going, I'm not very introspective--I don't question the meaning of what I'm doing, I simply enjoy the moments. But when my life is overcast or rainy--when I'm dealing with illness or conflict at work or financial troubles--that's when I wake up and ask myself, "Am I spending my hours the way I really want to?" or "Do my daily activities really have any purpose?" That's when I'm able to see myself in sharp, vivid focus. That's when I begin to do the difficult work of making sense of my existence.

Do I want to ponder such imponderables? Do I want to see my life that clearly? Do I have to go through tough times to know the truth of myself? It seems that maybe I do....

I'd rather play outside on a sunny day, but I know that sometimes a walk in the rain can be even more memorable, and more meaningful.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Doing Now

A few years ago, Rusty and I took a vacation trip to Las Vegas. As a break from the glitter and gambling, we decided to try a few adventures. We went to a gay rodeo (where Rusty saw someone he knew!), we visited Hoover Dam, and we drove to the western rim of the Grand Canyon. I had never been to the Grand Canyon and had always wanted to go; Rusty had been, but to the southern edge, not the western. So we really had no idea what to expect.

It's probably a good thing, because had we known, we might not have tried it, for we had to drive for several hours across the empty (and I mean empty!) desert just to get to the American Indian reservation, where a dirt road led us many more really bumpy miles through scrub brush and over flash-flood ditches and up and down roller-coaster hills. After more than an hour of bone-jarring driving in our (somewhat reliable) compact rental car (it was a little like being in a horse-drawn farm wagon--we couldn't go very fast at all), we began to see the multicolored walls of the Grand Canyon. More uncomfortable miles than we anticipated finally brought us to the rim, where we could walk right up to the edge of this glorious spectacle. The Canyon is absolutely huge, so deep that we were standing above the flight of the hawks, and so wide that we could only imagine how many dozens of miles across. The desert air was so clear that the colors were almost unreal--reds, oranges, purples, yellows, browns, blues, in amazing combinations. And it was incredibly quiet, our conversation being swallowed up completely by the grand silence. Of course, I took a lot of photos, but I think they're unsatisfactory portrayals of this special place--as is this word portrait.

After a time there, we began to notice the lateness of the hour, so we examined the map and determined to return by a different route--hopefully, one that was paved. Off we went, but what seemed like only a quarter inch on the map was really a three-hour drive across the reservation! And we didn't see a single person all that way (though we did encounter some very large elk and some very quick jackrabbits). It was dark before we got to the highway. We had been worried, but at least we hadn't run out of gas.

Like many people, I sometimes wish I could see into the future, perhaps to avoid difficulties, but more than that, to be able to prepare myself for what lies ahead. Yet there is a definite downside to knowing what is to come. Had we had foreknowledge of the rough ground we would have to cover to get to the Grand Canyon, for example, we might not have undertaken this adventure at all--we weren't properly provisioned, attired, or wheeled--and we would have missed experiencing one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Often, I worry about the hours and days before me, rehearsing alternatives and possible scenarios and outcomes and wishing I could see into the future. But the time I spend worrying is really a complete waste--I'll never get those minutes back, and anyway, next week will arrive inevitably, in a form I never would have envisioned. One of the great gurus said to his students, "Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes" (Matthew 6:34). Can I give my entire attention to this present moment, putting myself in synch with the Universe, allowing the Spirit to lead me wherever and however it wills? That's a tough one for a control freak (me!), but maybe that's the only way to paradise.

Besides, who knows what other Grand Canyons might be waiting at the end of another long and bumpy road?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Waiting for the Right Moment

Yesterday, I wrote about how much patience one needs to photograph flowers in their natural setting. But that, of course, is nothing compared with the infinite patience one needs to photograph animals, whether captive or wild. Have you ever tried to take a picture of your cat or dog or bird? Do they ever pose or look the right way or do what you want them to do--or even sit still when you point the camera in their direction? Now just imagine semi-wild animals at a zoo or animal farm, such as a leopard or a peacock--sure, their movements might be predictable, but you could still be waiting for a very, very long time for them to get into the position you want. Finally, think about animals in the wild--you might expect birds to appear at specific times of the day at your birdfeeder, but do you really know when wild turkeys or deer might show up? And when they do, will the light be sufficient or the animals accepting of your presence or the surroundings complimentary? "Hey, Miss Bison, can you move a little to the left so that the tree branch doesn't appear to be coming out of your head?" The next time you see photos of wild animals, try to imagine how many hours--or even days or weeks--the photographer had to sit and wait to get that perfect shot.

It's strange to think that we expect more cooperation from people than we do from animals--after all, we can communicate much more easily with people and negotiate what we want. Nevertheless, as we all know, relating to other people requires an incredible amount of patience, because their wants and needs don't often coincide with our own.

Now think about what we expect from the Universe. Let's say, for example, that I've decided it's time for me to change jobs; having made that decision, I expect the Universe to provide me with a fantastic position--immediately! But if the time is not right for me to move on, I'll have to wait until it is. That's not to say that I shouldn't search the classifieds and send out my resume to prospective employers--I have to do my bit too. But I have to remember that it may take a long while and may require a lot more patience than I knew I had.

In the meantime, I might as well enjoy the view from where I'm now sitting, because that bison might just meander where I want her, and I'd better be ready to click my shutter.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The Spirit Blows

Anyone who has ever tried to photograph flowers or plants in their natural setting knows how much patience you need: to walk slowly and discover the small beauties at your feet--to adjust lenses and tripod to get the right angle and the best background and the perfect light--and mostly, to wait for the air to be still. Those who have never tried this are probably really surprised; after all, how often do we remark on a hot day, "If only there were a small breeze...." But stare at the fragile petals of a delicate flower through a closeup lens, and you'll be amazed at how long you'll have to wait before the wind really does stop blowing. Most days, the wind never stops at all, and I have to time the shutter release to catch the flower at that still point when it changes directions, or else hope that a faster shutter speed (at the expense of losing depth-of-field detail) can freeze the flower in its motion. Compromises....

It's still amazing to me how constantly the wind blows, and I usually don't even notice. I guess it's the same with the Spirit, the "wind" that moved across the waters, the "breath" that animated life, the energy that continues to drive the universe. It's not something we're aware of, unless we pay attention--and then we can't miss it, because it's everywhere.

Paying attention is difficult, because we have no time or even inclination to do this. We're impatient, rushing through the day without even looking around. But just stop for a moment: feel the breeze brush across your skin and through your hair, and feel the Spirit blowing through your soul.

Isn't that refreshing?

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Into the wild pool of Creation, God tossed the Word.
What ripples reach my shore?

I wrote those words a number of years ago (has it been a decade already?), but the question haunts me still: does the Spirit touch my life? How?

There have been times when God has seemed much more present to me, when God as an entity has seemed much more involved in my day-to-day. During those times, I experienced "signs" of the Spirit--or at least I interpreted them as such, as indications that God was at least aware of my existence. To me, God transcended time and space but still cared more about me than the sparrows of the air and the lilies of the field.

I no longer believe in that transcendent God. Rather, I sense God's immanence, that Divine Energy coursing through all of Creation. God is in Creation, and Creation is in God. The Spirit rises up through this water lily and rises up through me at the same time, and we are connected, and we are One. I am in God, and God is in me, just as every living being is in God, and God is in every living being. There is only One.

As part of the One, as a living flame of the Divine Spark, I am a co-creator of the world and of its future. If I truly believe this, then I have a heavy, unavoidable, and divine responsibility: to illuminate the "darkness," to carry the torch, to share the Spirit, to embody love. No prayers of petition are necessary or even helpful: God's not going to step in and overturn the laws of nature just for my benefit, or for anyone else's. If the state of the world needs improving, I've got to pitch in and make it happen.

Do the ripples of the Spirit reach me? Perhaps the greater question is, where do these ripples carry me? What does the Spirit/my spirit impel me to do, today, and next week, and next year?

Which leads me back to yesterday's posting. After all, it's simply a matter of how I'm going to spend my life.

Blessed be,

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Fleetingness of Time

It's hard for me to believe that spring has flown by so quickly. Seems like just yesterday that we were shoveling snow, and now so many of the spring flowers have already bloomed and faded. Their splendid beauty is truly fleeting.

But so is time, and so is life. It's not that I've been noting how quickly time flies (sometimes it really drags), but I've been asking myself daily--sometimes hourly--how I want to spend my time, how I want to spend my life. As far as I know, I get only one chance at this. So what am I going to do with the few precious hours granted to me today? What am I going to do with my once-in-a-lifetime?

When I took this photo of daffodils beneath a pine tree, I set out very early for the park so as to be there at dawn. Since it was April in Missouri, it was still cold--and waiting for the sun to rise, squatting close to the ground, I was really shivering! But the beauty of that first light as it struck the yellow flowers and glimmered off the green pine needles was breathtaking. I can say unequivocally that that morning, I spent my time well. If that was my once-in-a-lifetime daffodils-in-the-dawn experience, then it was worth the loss of sleep and all the shivering.

Can I say the same about the way I spend every moment? Certainly not, though there have been many similar, sometimes unexpected experiences connected to photographing nature. Am I getting better at choosing how to spend my time? Maybe yes, maybe no, but at least I am more and more aware of the question. But awareness--or maybe I should call it "awakeness"--is just the beginning.

Perhaps this is not so spiritual as what I've written before, but I do believe that the way I spend my life, and the decisions I make about what to do with my time definitely have a spiritual component. Am I choosing to connect with the Divine? Do my choices bring me closer to the Spirit? I think I need to be awakened to these possibilities.
So what am I going to do with the rest of my day?

Friday, March 16, 2007

March Snowfall

It's been too long since my last entry, but this morning's snowfall has inspired me to put some thoughts down.

The snow is falling heavily here, in fat wet flakes, sticking to branches and bushes and making a beautiful white blanket over the land. I'm inside now, but this snow reminds me of the times when I was able to be out in the falling snow.

One time that sticks in my mind happened during high school. I was on the track team of my rural-suburban high school, and we used to run the back country roads for training. We went out in all weather. One afternoon of a day of heavy snow (we never closed for snow in upstate New York), we were out running on a farm road not far from school (yes, a real farm road, with a cow farm at one end). The road was very curvy, and you could see only a short distance ahead before the road disappeared around the bend. The snow further diminished the visibility. I was running alone, as usual (I was among the slowest on the team), and as I ran along that road, with the snowflakes falling fast around me, I found myself in a small world of silent and puffy whiteness. It was like being in a cloud, and the sense of being alone and yet connected with the rest of Creation was very strong. It was an awesome feeling.

Another time occurred many years later, when I was living in Missouri. We had a heavy snowfall, and the office was closed. But the roads were passable, so I drove to Shaw Arboretum, a large "garden" a few miles outside of St. Louis, to walk around and enjoy the weather. The path through the woods was difficult to follow, and the snow was deep, but it was amazing being alone in the "wilderness" in the middle of a "blizzard." Again, there was an enormous sense of being completely alone yet also that feeling of being part of something grand, of being at one with the trees, with the snow, with the universe. A real sense of being Alive!

I guess these are two examples of the spiritual tensions I often feel. On the one hand, this drive to be an individual, to be myself, to be noticed as separate or as unique. On the other hand, this desire to be connected, to be part of something much bigger than myself. I experience these tensions as part of daily life, whether at work, in my relationships with my family, at church, or simply in the noisiness of my own mind. I think I need both extremes somehow, even though the "conflict" can be exhausting sometimes.

Do other people experience this tension? I'd be interested in reading about your experiences.

Blessed be,

Saturday, February 10, 2007

February 10, 2007

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Anthony F. Chiffolo, a writer and nature photographer (among other pursuits).

To start with the writing: I am the author, co-author, or editor/compiler of 10 published books, all having to do with religion and spirituality. They are:

Cooking with the Bible: Biblical Food, Feasts, and Lore (co-author with The Rev. Rayner W. Hesse, Jr.)
100 Names of Mary: Stories and Prayers
Be Mindful of Us: Prayers to the Saints
At Prayer with the Saints
Advent and Christmas with the Saints
Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Padre Pio
Padre Pio: In My Own Words (winner of the Whitney Radio Author of the Year 2000 Award)
Pope John XXIII: In My Own Words
Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words
We Thank You, God, for These: Blessings and Prayers for Family Pets (co-author with The Rev. Rayner W. Hesse, Jr.)
I have also published a number of pamphlets in the "An Hour with..." series; these are devotional pieces and are centered on the spirituality of a particular saint. Those I have written about include Saint Francis, Saint Therese of Lisieux, Saint Patrick, Saint Katharine Drexel, Pierre Toussaint, Blessed Faustina Kowalska, Saint Padre Pio, Saint John Neumann, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, Hildegard of Bingen, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, and Mary the Mother of Jesus. (In case it's not obvious by now, I've spent a lot of time studying the saints of the Roman Catholic tradition.)

I have also written book reviews for (run by my friend Michael Wilt, who has also graciously "published" some of my photos on his site).

As for photography, I have been photographing nature for more than 20 years, from the glaciers of Alaska to the beaches of St. Thomas. My photos have appeared on the covers and in the pages of books such as Encyclopedia of Animal Behavior, Shrines of the Holy Land, Marian Shrines of the United States, Sadhana, Behold the Cross, and Affirmations from the Heart of God, and in magazines such as Bugle, Turkey Call, and Liguorian. My photos have appeared on exhibit at the prestigious Waterfowl Festival in Easton, Maryland; the Hudson River Wildlife Festival in Kingston, New York; the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s In Celebration of the Bay in Annapolis, Maryland; and The Loft's Annual "Coming Out" Exhibit at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center in White Plains, New York.

What do I hope to do with this blog? Essentially, I'd like to work on combining my nature photography with my spirituality. Ideally, I'd love to publish a book of my photography someday, but until then, I'll "publish" my photos here, along with my thoughts about the Divine in nature, and the nature of the Divine. I hope that readers find my thoughts not only interesting but challenging, even provocative, if not provoking. And if we can develop a dialogue that recognizes the divine spark in every living being, even better!

I'll start off with one of my published photos, one that speaks to me of the tranquillity to be found in quietly contemplating the divine beauty of the natural world. Hopefully, it will also be a reminder to those of us now dealing with the frigid arctic cold that life is an eternal cycle and that spring will be here before we know it.

All photographs are copyright 2007 by Anthony F. Chiffolo and may not be reproduced without the express written permission of the photographer.