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Susan Taylor Brown

I came to photography by way of my native garden and my writing life. A few years ago we ripped out the lawns in our typical Silicon Valley yard (tiny and surrounded by cement) and put in California native plants. Water conservation was an issue but moreover I wanted to create a wildlife habitat. Over time the birds and the bees and even the worms returned. I wanted to record the revitalization of our yard not just with words, but with pictures too. In 2012 an Anna's hummingbird, whom I named Lily, began to build a nest in my backyard. I documented her daily work on the nest and the subsequent laying of the eggs. When rats stole her eggs the day before they were expected to hatch, I was devastated and wondered if I would ever pick up the camera again. I did. Lily helped me learn to be still. In learning to be still she taught me to see. In learning to see she taught me to hear. In learning to listen, I have learned more of what I want to say.

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  • San Jose, California, United States