The last photo

June 29th, 2016         5 comments

The last photo

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…

The last photo


§ 5 Responses to "The last photo"

  • Lisa Sicard says:

    Thank you so much for this photo Don. I only knew Doug for a short time but he really made an impact on me during those few times we met and had conversations about his blog and while he took me on his tours around the Mill Pond. I only wish I would have met him sooner as there were so many things I wanted him to teach me- how to use a camera, how to improve my own blog, tips on designing my website, and just more conversations about our mutual compassion for animals and nature. I’m already missing him and wish there were more Doug’s in our world.

  • Grace Koeppen says:

    Hi Don, thank you for this post and the photo. It means so much to hear about Doug from someone who knew him well, since I never got the chance to meet him! I am already missing him and his unique voice on the blog, and I can hardly imagine what this loss must be like for his close friends and family.
    Although I had only been communicating with Doug a short time (through this blog) he has made a big impact on me and there were so many things I still wanted to share and ask him about regarding wildlife (in particular ducks) and now won’t have the chance to. I don’t know anyone else like him! Doug has made so many important observations about wildlife that perhaps no one else ever had, and I truly hope this blog will be preserved so that all the wonderful information and knowledge Doug has posted over the years (although he is so humble as to call it only anecdotal) will not be lost.

  • Denise says:

    Thank you for sharing this photo, as well as your thoughts and feelings about Doug. He was my webmaster for many years, and designed web sites for me, as well as for all of my family members. He had a unique eye and a sharp wit. We spent many non-business hours on the phone, often laughing about life and world events. Doug was a funny guy, with a great sense of humor. I was happy for him when he decided to start his nature blog. And obviously, this avocation became so important for him. My husband and I visited with him only once at the Millpond, and we also met him at an Astronomy at the Park event at Kensington Park in Brighton. But most of my contact with Doug was via email and on the phone. He so often made me truly LOL. I am so sad that we lost him too soon. I hope he knew how many people enjoyed his presence on earth. He truly will be missed.

  • ELaine Bryans says:

    Missing Doug. What a contribution he made to the mill pond, we learned so much from him. A true artist with a sharp eye, an eloquent word and razor sharp wit. Hope we can establish a fitting memorial for him at the pond.

  • Tom kittredge says:

    My son and I met Doug years ago at the mill pond. We live in Milford and would always ride the motorcycle there for somewhere to go. We started hanging out with Doug every time we went there. Thomas loved to feed the fish,turtles and ducks. Over the years he became my best friend. I would get busy with life and maybe not see him for a few weeks but we always got back together and hung out at the pond or coffee house. I have a few friends but none of them were as special to me as Doug. He will always be my best friend and loved him. My heart grives for him and I will miss him.

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  • Douglas Peterson
    Brighton, Michigan

    Artist • Designer
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