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Nirvan Hope | profile | all galleries >> Winter Salmon Stream tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Winter Salmon Stream

This gallery is dedicated to Dale Unruh, who took his last photograph in December 2010. Dale was a good friend to me, always kind, generous and encouraging of my photography, and it was he who turned me on to sharing my photos on Pbase.

It might seem a bit strange and ghoulish that I create a gallery of photos of dead fish to celebrate someone’s passing, but Dale was always concerned for creatures of the earth, and concerned about extinction of species. These photos of a winter salmon stream show hope and promise for the future.

Dead salmon beside a stream means there will be an abundant future generation, for salmon return to their birth place after a four year lifespan, spawn and then die, their journey to the ocean and back complete. Decomposing salmon bodies feed an ecosystem that in turn provides food to feed the next generation of baby salmon.

These photos were taken on New Year’s Day, a cold, frosty morning after a strange phenomena of ‘graupel’ – soft hail, that fell a couple of days before. Swan Creek is just five minutes from downtown Tacoma, Washington, a hopeful sign that the natural world and wild nature continue alongside concretization and impinging urban sprawl.

So too, Dale, your inspiring, beautiful work, that often did not hold back from difficult themes, will continue to inspire others, feeding a new generation of photographers. Your gentle humor and wise quotes will be missed, as will the often intriguing, unique and masterful way you viewed animals and the world through your lens.
01 Life's Work Complete
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