By Michael Keesling | January 14, 2021

One of the things that defines who I am is driving. Driving is my meditation.

Driving is totally alien from an evolutionary standpoint, and I revel in its foreignness. Springtime, back country road, top down, radio off.  That is my bliss. For an ADHD brain like mine, having a totally different point of view every second is amazing. Driving is like time travel from a humanistic perspective. We, as an auto-centric society, have just forgotten that.

As a landscape photographer, driving is also how I got to the places where I liked to shoot. I call it a two-fer.

With Covid-19, I do not drive unless necessary. I do not want to get into an accident and either burden or face a burdened healthcare system. This has been my policy since I started isolating in early March 2020.

I also managed to lose not one, but two, jobs during these trying times, so I find myself with a lot of time, especially in the early morning…. So now I walk.

And I bring my camera along in the hope of finding a shot that interests me. Walking is a totally difference experience. It is slow. Driving compresses distances temporally; walking expands them.

It’s late May, 2020, to be clear, and I am walking around my neighborhood, looking for the things I like to shoot, and not finding them. As I do this, I am violating a rule I taught myself a few decades ago. As a result, I am not getting shots.

I am not slowing down.

So, there I am walking around my neighborhood, looking for the things I like to shoot, when I hear the sickening crunch of a snail. I look down to inspect the wreckage, and find a rout of snails, scampering about, fleeing, or attempting to flee, the harsh rays of the morning sun.

I get down on my hands and knees, then lie down on my belly, and start shooting.


@Michael Keesling


I am not a snail fan, but they have a lot of interesting details to them that are really unusual, so I made this my morning ritual. Go out, find snails, take pictures, disturb the neighbors, come home and edit. I even upgraded my camera kit to match my new style.


@Michael Keesling


As the weather changed from spring to summer, the snails disappeared. I do not know if they are hibernating, or perhaps they migrated to a nicer climate to avoid the hot summer and dry winter.

I am not even sure if I will be there to greet them when they get back.

Cheers to you, little snail friends, and thank you for teaching me to slow down.


@Michael Keesling


@Michael Keesling


@Michael Keesling


Copyright © 2021 Michael Keesling
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