An open space in the forest with a view of a narrow creek going into the mountains

“Shut your mouth and open your eyes and ears”. Growing up on a small farm in southern Alberta, this was often the first step that needed to be applied when learning about any new chore. My chores have changed from working in the sugar beet fields to interpreting landscapes but I have discovered that the basic principle still applies – closely observing and paying attention to what’s around you leads to greater understanding. Mom was responsible for teaching me that one.

– By Michael Uchikura

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Oil painting of an aerial view of a riparian area