- I been a professional photographer since I worked for the US Government documenting Test and Evaluation of Research and Development projects for the US Army and US Navy in the later half of the 1980s. I came home to Maine to finish my Marketing Degree at USM and began to work full time in Market Research and Marketing for many years while documenting weddings and occasional photojournalist and commercial jobs on the weekends. In 2001 I again returned to photography as a full time trade and have never been a happier man. I love working with creative individuals, couples, small businesses and select Non-Profits and can’t imagine working in any other trade. In 1987 I was lucky enough to wed my high school sweetheart and we now live in a cozy little solar powered, recycled bungalow a mile deep in our woods in the Western Hills of Maine with our two brilliant home-schooled teenage daughters and our three cats.
PAW 2005 - Wk23 - Aracos
(Nikon D70, 180/2.8 Nikkor 1/250 @f/2.8, 200ISO Spot metered.)
I shot this through the screened window in our dining room. I would undoubtedly have scared the hawk off had I attempted to go outside to get the shot. Consequently the image was very soft focus so I took the image into PS.CS and added a splatter filter to get this more painterly image. We've got almost as many hawks on our property as we do turkeys and deer now.
I'm not a bird guy, but I do love hawks. In one of their books on Celtic Mythology, John and Caitlin Matthews write about Hawk thusly:
Celtic oral tradition lists the oldest animal as the Hawk of Achill. As with other birds, the hawk is a messenger between the Otherworld and this world. However, it is of greater skill and strength than other birds. It symbolizes clear sightedness and longevity of the memory. If you hear a hawk cry during a journey, be alert to upcoming situations that need boldness and decisiveness to keep from being thrown off balance.
When I first ventured online in the mid 90s, I was paranoid about identity theft so I created an online persona for the various lists that I'm on. I used the nom de geurre "Aracos" which was the proper name of this Hawk of Achill mentioned above who riddled with the Celtic poet Fintan teaching him about the long history of man. In my work I seek clear sightedness and to preserve longevity of memory, so the appelation seemed to fit traits that I respect. The nickname has stuck and though I live pretty openly on the net now I'm as well known as Aracos in many of my social circles as I am Michael. Since taking on the alias, I've noticed hawks are everywhere I go in Maine, where I never saw them as a kid.
John Denver wrote in a tune in the 70s "...I am the Hawk and there's blood on my feathers but time is still turning it soon will be dry...all who see me and all who believe in me share in the freedom I feel when I fly...." Seems that this was true.