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  • This is Brendan Leonard, aka as @semi_rad. He is my dear friend and for the last 7 years he has pretty much carried me on his shoulders. But every once in a while he also picks me up and carries me in his arms. He is one of my greatest teachers, inspirer of good living and creative collaborator. He will probably hate how sappy that sounds, but it’s true, and he likes true things more than pizza itself. Over the years we’ve had many an over caffeinated conversation on life and art and work and finding our paths in this strange beautiful world, and he actually transcribed our most recent conversation into something you can read if you read words. In it we talk about my first entrepreneurial forays mowing lawns for Marty suminki, sharing the darkroom in our basement with a pair of copperheads, and how I built a career and, more to the point, a life around run-on sentences, meaningful moments, and doing what I love with people I care about. (Mom, you can text me and I will send you the interview directly - or there’s a link in my bio) 📷 @ashleelangholz
  • Fun times working on a story with @laura.yale and @patagonia, documenting the 40+ year efforts of the Crested Butte community and High Country Conservation Advocates + some radical red ladies who have been standing (and skinning) up for Mt Emmons (aka Red Lady Mountain) here in the snowy Colorado highlands. It’s a story of a small town standing up to big mining interests and developing a sustainable (and not coincidentally - fun ) model for activism in the face of extractive interests. Much of the success of this effort has revolved around activating the greater community (regardless of political differences) around an impactful and energetic multi-generational model of grassroots organizing to protect the watershed and natural resources of Red Lady Mountain and the surrounding ecosystems 💃🏻💪
  • thank you for your concern
  • I stood with you as you stood with yourself, surrounded by the stillness that comes just before the light leaves. You asked nothing. Offered all the rest. I stood with you in sunlight and I stood with you in shadow. stood with you when the two danced through your branches, laughing together at their entanglement. I did not wonder then at the difference, as again, we said nothing. in the way trees often do. in our own way. Swaying in unison we nodded our agreement with the wind. On the edge of darkness is light. We have always know this, always found each other here
  • Not all heroes wear capes, but they probably should. Both for fun and for the purpose of being more easily identifiable as awesome. Anyhow, I give you one of my favorite superheroes, Woods. He wears capes, and is awesome. And if the lessons being passed down from his parents and grandpa Duke are any indicator, Woods and Hayes are on track to become some of the most mightiest of our conservation super heroes in the decades to come.
  • Maybe this is what was meant, maybe not. The order of things. our grasp. the love affair that is letting go. Language never needed so many words
  • Duke and I bounce down the road, straddling the ruts, not talking now. Some words better seen than said. The prairie around us shifts, a pastel mirage through dirty glass. Faded yellows into rich golds. We scan the horizon for silhouettes. I still can’t time travel. sometimes when we see certain things though I think we can. maybe now we do. bison trailing a long dusty line across our view. The sun will be gone soon, the mountains all agree. I press the shutter button repeatedly, a metronome of seconds ticked away. Try to hold on to a few. Try to see see what is out there, not just in here. Try to listen, to remember, to speak without breaking silence. Put the camera down and watch now for a spell.
  • Headed home
  • “As we slowly move this herd through the chutes, we make physical contact, touching them even. I looked into this cow’s eye less than a foot away wishing I could see what these eyes have seen through the ages: dinosaurs? Saber tooth tigers? Horsemen in pursuit with spears and arrows? Images I can barely even imagine, yet more vivid than looking into a fire. How they moved through the eons, helping create the great high plains of North America, endless herds that historical accounts document stopping trains for up to 9 days. Fertilizing, recycling organic matter into the soil, feeding the inhabitants of the prairie. I get lost trying to see all the things she has seen. The least we can do is attempt to live with them and learn.” - Ranchlands founder Duke Phillips III @dukephillipslll @ranchlands
  • Heading for the polls like 👾 •

Just kidding. A week ago I walked/ran to the polls to vote on a sleepy Tuesday afternoon in the rural NC. Dad and I looked over a sample ballot together and talked about different candidates and our hopes for our community and country. Among many issues that are important to us on both a local and national level, we both agreed we share a sense of responsibility to use our voting power to advocate for more elected officials who recognize the urgency of climate change and take action on behalf of what will hopefully be many generations to come. Walking into the polling station I was the youngest voter by thirty years - out of the dozen or so other early voters I saw. Now more than ever we need young folks engaging politically and advocating for the future we want to live in. Have fun voting today, or if you already did 🙌🙌🙌
  • Duke III and his grandson Hayes, Zapata Ranch, 2017. “Conservation isn’t about plants,” Duke explains in his quiet way, looking out across the valley towards a dark slow moving mass. Some thousand head of wild bison dwarfed by the sprawling high desert grassland of the San Luis valley and Sangre de Cristo mountains beyond. “It’s about people.” I nod. spend the next few days flipping those words around in my head. It’s not that he doesn’t care about plants. He does. And animals too. As a third generation rancher he understands the complexity of the interplay within the ecosystems he stewards. But the idea that conservation is something reserved for socially estranged nature lovers doesn’t hold up in these times. Conservation is for all of us, in every sense, and the choices we make to engage in evolving the conversation and practices around conserving wild spaces and species will shape not only the land that our children and grandchildren will inherit, but every aspect of their future existence on earth and that of all the generations to follow. // @ranchlands @dukephillipslll
  • Sangres