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John Street’s Holiday Photographs

Meet John Street – communications expert by profession from San Diego, California and a Thousand Island resident in the summer. 

Soon after the Microburst hit the Admiralty Islands in July 2010, I saw some photographs that John had sent to neighbors, showing the damage in the region. At the same time he sent some “island photos” – which certainly captured my interest. When I asked about his photography, he immediately suggested that he is not  professional photographer.   “I’m flattered to think that you would be interested in sharing any of my photos with others ... taking pics at the cottage really relaxes me.”  

I spoke with him more about what his pictures mean to him and this is what he said. 

I’ve been fortunate enough to live in several parts of the country, from the woods to the city. My job has helped me to travel exciting places around the world as well … but when I have the chance to vacation with my family, the one place we all want to spend time is in the 1000 Islands. It’s where we have roots. I’ve spent every summer of my life here, as did my father and his father and his father, ever since my great-grandfather and his brothers discovered this little corner of paradise in the 1800s and built a frame cottage that started housing our family memories. I’ve built on the tradition by sharing this experience with my wife and daughters, creating another generation with river water in their blood. 

During the cold winter months we keep warm by looking back on our pictures of the islands, remembering great family times, the friendships we built with other cottagers, the projects we worked on together, and talking about how wonderful the next summer will be. The islands are where we come to play, relax, and recharge ourselves before heading back to the pressures of our daily lives.

While the islands are an amazing place for togetherness, they are also a magical place to enjoy solitude – sitting on the dock at sunrise, paddling a canoe through a marsh, hiking an untracked island interior, exploring an unfamiliar part of the river, or taking a midnight kayak ride under the stars. Every once in a while, I do these things with a camera in hand and I’m able to snap some wildlife photos. Looking at these pictures reminds me of solitary moments, times of peace and reflection. When I see the goldfinch perched on the cone flower at sunrise, I feel the chill in the air, I hear the distant loon who hasn’t yet been driven away by the sound of boaters, I can smell the grasses around me. Perhaps in seeing these, you too will be transported back to some of your personal favorite memories in the islands and will find yourself rejuvenated. Until next summer, then, I wish you joy.

Island birds photographed by John Street

Gold finch © John Street
A goldfinch perches on a cone flower at sunrise, on his way to the first meal of the day.
Woodpecker © John Street
I’m not sure which is more elusive – this woodpecker which we heard for hours but couldn’t find, or the tasty bugs he was drilling for.
Chickadee © John Street

A chickadee puffs himself up to keep warm as the sun goes down.

 Other creatures

Snake © John Street
A water snake rests on a lily pad for a moment
Moth © John Street
Yellow Swallow-tail butterfly in the meadow
Bat © John Street
A bat peeks up from behind a shutter, disappointed that his resting place for the day has been disturbed


River birds

Mallard © John Street
Momma mallard quietly paddles towards the marsh

One day on a boat ride down river we were lucky enough to come across this bald eagle catching his evening meal

Heron © John Street
The herons are the most majestic of the birds I see, but they also seem to be the most skittish – most of my photos are of a heron flying away … 8-)

 By Susan W. Smith, 

Posted in: Photography
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Elizabeth Payne
Comment by: Elizabeth Payne ( )
Left at: 1:54 PM Saturday, January 15, 2011
Dear Mr. Street,
Your wonderful wildlife and flower photos were a real treat on a cold, snowy, windy day in January. My thanks to you and to Susan Smith for the accompanying article.
Comment by: Tara ( )
Left at: 10:38 AM Monday, January 17, 2011
What great pictures, especially love the bald eagle
Patricia Colby
Comment by: Patricia Colby ( )
Left at: 1:40 PM Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Hello John:
These are absolutely stunning photos and such a treat to see in mid January.
We are presently in Florida and while enjoying the wildlife here I must say that nothing compares to these wonderful photographs.
Thank you for sharing them with us.
Patricia Colby
Jim Taylor
Comment by: Jim Taylor ( )
Left at: 10:36 AM Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Magical photos-- of our beloved 1000 Islands. My wife and I were doing our regular winter walk down at the river's edge, a few weeks ago and 2 beautiful bald eagles soared over our heads, close enough to see their eyes. What a sight.
I wish John Street had been there with his camera. Jim and Helen Taylor
Catharine Van Sickle
Comment by: Catharine Van Sickle ( )
Left at: 6:40 AM Saturday, January 29, 2011
John, your photographs are a' joy to the beholder'!!!
Anonymous User
Comment by: Anonymous User
Left at: 12:16 PM Sunday, May 15, 2011