Meet Your Neighbours
All of the animals and plants in this portfolio were found around my home in Durham, North Carolina and photographed against a white background. None of them were harmed– they all went about their business after posing for the camera for a few minutes. The one-eyed toad can still be found near the lamp in the yard, eating insects every night.
When I started this project, I wasn t expecting finding so much diversity around my home. I live in a fairly green townhome development from around the 1980s with a small pond and a creek less than a hundred feet from the house. I never really looked twice at the creek and pond. I always thought of it as a pretty much sterile rain water management system for the neighborhood. Yet, many of the animals and plants photographed were found there.
Also, a couple of years ago I decided to get rid of the ornamental bushes that were growing along the side of the house and sowed wildflowers in their place. They have become a hiding place for some of the many small insects, amphibians and reptiles shown.
Meet Your Neighbours is a photographic initiative launched in 2009 by Clay Bolt and Niall Benvie. With this series of photographs, I am joining them in hoping to incite some excitement and interest in our local species, and perhaps convince my human neighbours to trade "sterile" grass and other ornamental plants for wildflowers to bring back to the neighbourhood pollinators and a large variety of animals that depend on the habitat created by those wildflower meadows. You can click on a picture to find out more about each plant or animal photographed.