Deep Nature: Photographs From Iowa

University of Iowa Press (2009)
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Abstract

Photographers Linda and Robert Scarth have an incredible eye for that magic moment when small becomes beautiful. Matched with patience and skill, their eye for magic produces dazzling images of Iowa nature up close. Revealing the miniature beauties hidden among the patches of prairie, woodland, and wetland that remain in Iowa’s sadly overdeveloped landscape, the seventy-five color photographs in Deep Nature give us a breathtaking cross section of the state’s smallest inhabitants. The Scarths’ close-up images of showy orchis and northern monkshood, great spangled fritillary and painted lady, red-breasted nuthatch and eastern wood-pewee, ornate box turtle and gray treefrog, big bluestem and cotton-grass, and many other natural wonders look more like paintings than photographs. Beginning with an iridescent fly hovering over a neon-purple fringed gentian and ending with their iconic image of coneflowers refracted in dewdrops, they have created a sparkling jewelbox of images that will make us look at the small world around us with renewed appreciation. Attending to the small things in the fabric of nature is the Scarths’ source of artistic inspiration. Taking Walt Whitman’s “every leaf is a miracle” as their beginning, they celebrate not only each leaf but each feather, insect, dewdrop, flower, lichen, and intricate organism in the evolving web of life.

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