My wife and I had our last visit with Doug at the millpond the evening of Tuesday, the 21st. He took us to this area to show us the chipmunks, Hoover, Eureka and Dyson. He’d trained them to eat peanuts out of his hand and was eager to show off the tricks he’d taught them. It wasn’t long before Hoover and Eureka tired of performing for peanuts and took up pick-pocketing them directly from Doug’s bag. A couple of times they disappeared right into the bag, filled their cheeks and fled like the natural born thieves they are.
Doug sat us on this bench, handed us peanuts from his bag and very soon my wife and I had chipmunks snitching peanuts for our hands too. He took great delight in what he been able to teach those small critters in a short time and wondered how much they could be taught with time, patience and bribery. I think maybe they’d taught him to fetch peanuts for them.
I was with Doug on many occasions when he shot photos. We called them safaris. He had the eye of an artist. I have the hands of a mechanic. He did everything he could to teach me about things like additive versus subtractive color, negative space and the quality of light. He was big on light, how it struck objects in the world around him, always urging me to look for it, see it, pointing out to me what I’d missed after I’d stomped right past it.
I was able to look at the contents of his camera this week, discovering he’d gone back to the millpond the next evening, the evening of the 22nd, and shot another three dozen images. It was his last visit to the millpond he loved very much. This is the last photo Doug shot. I know what caught his eye was the light from the street lamp reflecting off the tree. I thought he’d want us all to see it. I’m sure gonna miss him…