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Friday, March 24, 2017

My Life in the Garden of Eden by Robert Glenn Ketchum

My Life in the Garden of Eden
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

As part of paying the bills in my professional career, I photographed a number of significant gardens. I helped create several pretty amazing ones as well. Some of these pictures have been published in various books, but most have never been seen. In this blog, I will show you all my best garden images AND discuss garden design.



Friday, March 24, 2017


My Life in the Garden of Eden, #38:
Garden, #38:  In the last post I said my Clivia were blooming, and actually it is more like they are exploding... EVERYWHERE! I have two different shades of orange mixed with yellow ones. The orange ones in this image are in deep shade and they are surrounded by a great variety of bromeliads that I will show you in future posts. Here, to the right, are clusters of my yellow Clivia, and they are separated by a dense “forest” of Billbergia. If you look just above the whale bone on the left, you can see one of the draping, graceful pink flowers this particular Billbergia produces. These are GREAT flowers to use in displays, and planted like this, there will dozens of blooms from every grouping. I have recently added quite a few new species of these to my new yard plantings and as they establish and bloom I will post more of those pics as well. Come back next week and I will show you what I do with these flowers in the house. It is “old school” Hollywood, and you do not see these flowers in florist displays much anymore. Their loss! ____________________________________________________
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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The Daze of My Life: Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography


Biographies are studies of someone's life based on cumulative research. Good ones may reveal something, but probably barely scratch the surface of what actually went on. The internet is allowing me to do something VERY different. 
~Robeert Glenn Ketchum




Friday, March 24, 2017

The Daze of My Life:  Robert Glenn Ketchum, An Autobiography #38:
Daze, #38:  The Moon Spoon, to the left, is the larger of these two boards in all dimensions, length, width, and “thickness.” Along with the notable depression in the deck there is a spoon-shaped curve to the bottom that causes the board to push water and thus ride more slowly, but it is an amazingly fun board when you are feeling playful and waves size makes little difference. These two kneeboard/bellyboards were made from Sam’s former 9ft+ Wardy board that he rode in Hawaii, and the Moon Spoon was created from a bit more than 1/2 of the former tail section. Because the original surfboard was relatively thick, the middle of the board offered plenty of depth to shape a body scoop/knee platform, and add curve/rocker to the bottom. The nose of the former Wardy board became the Sun Rocket. The original nose was kept, but the rest of the board was paired to a razor thinness, leaving barely enough room for any knee depressions on the deck. This was my favorite board, so that was fine, I rarely went to my knees. The board was so short, I rode lying down and after take-off, I would slide forward putting my head in front of the nose and lifting my feet/fins out of the water. It was like having a turbo-charger on a car, with my fins no longer dragging, there would be a stunning burst of speed that gave the sensation of flying. Were I to have designed another board to follow this, I would have made it even smaller and it would have had a waist strap attaching me to it. That did not happen, but this quiver did, and as you can see, I decorated them as a collective group: Sam’s surfboard featured a floral lei, a crescent moon, and a rainbow; the Moon Spoon was painted with a sunset-twilight sky adorned with crescent moon and star; the Sun Rocket was the opposite - a sunrise lighting up a morning sky and clouds. Sounds to me like it is time to go surfing!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WEEKLY POST: Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands: Bowing before St. Elias by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

The Yakutat Forelands are where the Tongass rainforest and the Chugach forest to the north meet. It is also home to many large glaciers, a stunning coastline, the huge Alsek-Tatshenshini river, and Icy Bay, which sits at the foot of Mount St. Elias, the greatest vertical rise from sea level in the world. There is a lot of powerful energy out here.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Adventuring on the Yakutat Forelands - Bowing before St. Elias, #11:
The Yakutat Forelands, #11:  There is a party of 4 hunters from Texas already at the Tanis Mesa cabin when we arrive, and they will be flying out with Mike after he drops us. We spoke with them about their hunt as they had no meat hanging, and they explained they had come for goat, and they could scope them EVERY night up in the meadows of the Brabazons, rising above the Mesa to the east, but the goats were VERY far away, and even with a successful long shot, they did not want to kill something they could not retrieve. They admitted they never found a way to get UP into the meadows. They DID say the knoll was a great view. Our gear came out of the plane, and their’s went in, after which Mike Ivers took off, to be back in three days. The cabin is spacious and warms quickly, once we start a fire. It rains on and off, so after getting organized, we eat lunch and go outside for a walk around. We are surrounded by a thick, brushy landscape of shrubs, grasses and a few trees, but there is more forest as we move away from the cabin. The established paths take us from the cabin to the runway, and then from the runway, through the scrub, to the shore of a glacial-melt, azure-blue stream where we will get our drinking water. Beyond that there is more of a forest, and we can hear the sound of larger water. After a water-carry back to the cabin, we chill for the day, and prep daypacks for tomorrow. It continues to rain on-and-off through dinner and into the night, so we eat and sleep well, waking ready to go early the next day.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Weekly Post:, ARCTIC: At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change
by Robert Glenn Ketchum



In 1993, I began traveling to the Arctic. I have been across The Northwest Passage by yacht; to the North Pole twice; to little-visited Russian islands; and aboard research vessels in Greenland, Labrador, Newfoundland, and Baffin Island, taking the opportunity to visit Iqualuit, the capital of Nunavut, the recently created Inuit nation and territories.






Wednesday, March 22, 2017

ARCTIC:  At the Cutting Edge of Climate Change, #32:
ARCTIC, #32:  I am sorry the type is so small, but this map describes a large expanse of ocean and coast. We are traveling east, from left-to-right. We left the North Slope of Alaska and crossed the border into Canada where you see the green section indicating Ivvavik National Park. As we continued past the park, we turned northeast, and navigated around the large delta of the Mackenzie River, past Kendall Island Bird Sanctuary and into the large bay in the eastern delta that hosts the Native village of Tuktoyaktuk, and National Historic Site, Kittigazuit. We drop anchor offshore of “Tuk” and are boarded by Canadian Coast Guard to be “processed.” When they have finished, we will have a visitor, a friend of John’s who is going to do an interview with Bill Simon about our trip, AND she will join us afterward in a tour of some historical archeological sites. However, before any of that takes place, we must prove to the “mounties” that we know how to don our coldwater float suits and make them function. Everybody assemble in the upstairs salon! This is going to be a very funny cocktail hour!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

THE TONGASS: Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees by Robert Glenn Ketchum

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

In 1985, I began a 2-year commission to explore the Tongass rainforest, the largest forest in the United States Forest Service (USFS) system AND the largest temperate rainforest in the world. It was a unique, old-growth environment under siege from industrial logging. The resulting investigative book I published helped to pass the Tongass Timber Reform Bill, protect 1,000,000 acres of old-growth, and create 11 new wilderness areas. This is the story of how that was achieved.




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

THE TONGASS:  Stop the Cut, There are Salmon in the Trees, #30:
THE TONGASS, #30:  As we pass out of the entrance to the Seymour Canal, we are momentarily in the more open waters of Stephens Passage and Frederick Sound. The clouds have now lifted completely, although there is still plenty of weather above us. Fog is forming over sections of the forest as the temperature drops, and the setting sun begins to dip into the clear air between the cloud layer and the coastal horizon. At first we are enjoying how the sunrays light the fog, but then something amazing happens. Because of the angle of the low sunlight, it bounces off of the glassy water of the sound and reflects back on to the bottom of the dark clouds. In fact, that reflection is so bright, the illuminated clouds reflect back onto the water in front of the boat. This is SO cosmic a moment it took us all awhile to figure out what was happening. It IS getting late now, so we are headed for Cannery Cove, another protected anchorage on Admiralty Island.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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NO PEBBLE MINE, Pictures from Ground Zero by Robert Glenn Ketchum

NO PEBBLE MINE Pictures from Ground Zero 
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

Thank you to the EPA for recognizing the value of the Bristol Bay fishery. 
NOW, what can we do to protect this habitat further? 
Mission: To protect the national parks and national refuges of southwest Alaska, 
and the Bristol Bay fishery from the development of the Pebble mine, and other commercial risks.



Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

NO PEBBLE MINE #236, Pictures from Ground Zero:  
NO PEBBLE MINE #236: As my flight leaves the elevated basin in the last post, and begins our descent to the large lake section of Wood-Tikchik State Park, I note the surrounding mountains have become more like foothills - not as tall, less rugged, hardly any snow, and much more tundra. Considering most of what I have been flying above, they also seem drier, perhaps because of the lower elevation. The late light of the day has been sending the fall colors off-of-the-chart, and I am starting to run out of film, so again my pilot offers that I should “save a few rolls for the lakes at this time of night.” Easy for him to say while all this is passing under the wheels. Then rather suddenly, the hills drop away, a broad plain with a river flattens out in front of us and I can see a big body of water ahead. It is still a long time before the sun goes down. This is Alaska!
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd @NRDC @OrvisFlyFishing #NoPebbleMine #LittleBearProd

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Monday, March 20, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get by Robert Glenn Ketchum

by Robert Glenn Ketchum


Growing up my parents had a home near Sun Valley, Idaho. It was there that I learned to ski. Over many years I befriended members of the Decker Flat Climbing and Frisbee Club, with whom I had both life, and art-forming outdoor experiences. I had my camera, and these are my adventures.  Enjoy!!  ~Robert Glenn Ketchum




Monday, March 20, 2017

The Higher You Get, The Higher You Get - Sun Valley and the DFC&FC, #46:
THE HIGHER YOU GET, THE HIGHER YOU GET, #46:  My lovely dog at this time was a black lab named, Belle Star. She hiked well and wore her own saddlebags to carry her food. As the day was hot, and she was black, she always had water to drink, but aside from soaking her paws, she remained dry and consequently quite toasty to the touch. By the time we arrived back at Decker Lake and camp, she was ready for some total immersion. Belle and Valerie had previously witnessed our group of males, diving in, bellowing a lot, and then streaking for the shoreline, so they both did their “thing”. Val headed for her deepwater rock ledge on the other side of the lake which still had the late sun. Belle, not sure why no one had yet investigated the island in the lake, decided that someone had to, and so she headed there. Apparently both women thought it better to get further away from the bellowing.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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STONED IMMACULATE: A Trip in the Desert by Robert Glenn Ketchum

STONED IMMACULATE:  A Trip in the Desert
by Robert Glenn Ketchum

As a young photographer, two places I “discovered” by chance greatly influenced both my photographic vision and my personal relationship with the greater planet. A previous blog, LIMEKILN, is the story of the first location. THIS is the second location which I discovered because my car broke down. As Jim Morrison/The Doors wrote, “Out here we is stoned Immaculate!"



Monday, March 20, 2017

Stoned Immaculate, #20:
Immaculate, #20:  The closer I draw to where the watercourse I am following should cross the road upon which my car is parked, the more the terrain around me opens up, and the fins and domes grow smaller and more scaleable. The numerous tributary canyons are still coming into this larger wash from all sides, and although the variety of “displays” in these side “venues” changes continuously, it never ceases to be astounding. Certain ones I find most curious of all because they seem so random and unexplainable. By now, I have come to accept that most of the rock surfaces in this “outcrop” of fins are banded with stripes and colors because of various mineral deposits in the layers that are being revealed through erosion of wind and water. But then I come upon something likes this! At first glance, this seems “normal” - some reddish-orange rock walls that shift to a purple hue, both in their coloration, and because of the influence of shade. The longer I ponder this, however, the more I realize there are a handful of large boulders and small stones sitting in the middle of the wash that have a DEEP rust-red color, and looking around, there are NO OTHER ROCKS OF THIS COLOR ANYWHERE to be seen. Just these! These “arrangements” my friends and I would begin referring to as having been placed here by “the gardeners."
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd
SOCIAL MEDIA by #LittleBearProd: http://www.LittleBearProd.com
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Thursday, March 2, 2017

SILK ROAD - Embroideries of Robert Glenn Ketchum

Silk Road - Embroideries of Robert Glenn Ketchum

The city of Suzhou, China, produced China's most beautiful silk and silk embroidery practiced by generational families for 3,000 years. My purpose in going to China starting in the mid-1980's was to turn my photographs into textiles, and this is my story. ~Robert Glenn Ketchum





Thursday, March 2, 2017
Silk Road - Embroideries #215
SILK ROAD #215:  In post #199, I teased you with this and explained that my collaborative work with Zhang Meifang and her guild of embroiderers was moving in two directions simultaneously at this time. While “YK Delta from 1500” was been woven on the huge loom created just to make that 4-panel piece (posts #200-215), the above image was being crafted in the embroidery workshop. “YK Delta from 1500” is a weaving that continues to explore the “transparency” of a subject, in that it is a 2-sided weaving, and parts of it bear little or no stitches and are thus, transparent. We have used this “transparency” to render water and sky “space” in many previous pieces, however, we have also spent a great deal of effort on highly detailed and stitch-rich subjects. At first creating them just to accomplish accurately rendering a photograph, but eventually learning to play with various aspects of the stitch design using texture, color, to affect the visual sense of dimensional space. Once Zhang realized how an embroidery can capture the realism in most photographs, both she and I began to enjoy those images where the challenge was increased in some way. From previous work, we both knew this image could be rendered with great detail, but we were curious to see if the illusion of motion could also be represented. Additionally, Zhang felt that if that could be done, it would make the highly rendered details more pronounced and dimensional, so she asked the embroiderers to stitch the forest with GREAT attention to individual branches, leaves, color relations, and textures, to which the blur of motion would be overlain.
photograph(s) © copyright, ROBERT GLENN KETCHUM, 2017, @RbtGlennKetchum @LittleBearProd #LittleBearProd #Embroidery @WesCFA @RSSDesigns
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Friday, February 3, 2017

Gung Hay Fat Choy 2017 by Robert Glenn Ketchum



Gung Hay Fat Choy!  Welcome to 2017, the Year of the Rooster.


If it is not already obvious, the rooster always wants to be in charge; he acts aggressively with everyone else in the barnyard; he sets his own schedule and expects everyone else to follow him; and, he is very proud of himself when he feels he has accomplished something, so he crows about it. With each passing year I come to appreciate the perceptive insights of the Chinese birth animals and the metaphors they serve for us in real life. 2017 is no exception.