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For LIFE FORMS, biologist, naturalist, and photographer Neal Maine.

Neal Maine lectures at the Fairweather Gallery.

And, too,  the Seaside ospreys have returned to their nest located above Broadway Park for 2022. Neal Maine predicted the return date by researching their data from his decades-long log book.

The ospreys have returned. We repeat, the ospreys have returned.
Tune in to watch as they lay their eggs in the next month. –Necancum Watershed Council

Data from tracking studies revealed that adult males head north from wintering in South America before females, that Ospreys adhere to certain migration flyways, and that breeding pairs don’t migrate or overwinter together. In the spring in North America male and female ospreys work together to raise chicks and cannot do it on their own.  Osprey is a single species in its own genus. The osprey species is at least 11 million years old…

Read more: › field-guide › bird › osprey

After a thirty-year career as an award-winning biology teacher at Seaside High School, Neal Maine became the first executive director of NCLC, which he co-founded in 1986. Since his retirement from the land trust in 2010, he has pursued his passion for nature photography through PacificLight Images, a partnership with Michael Wing, his grandson, dedicated to raising awareness of coastal ecology and the wildlife with whom we share the region’s estuaries, freshwater wetlands, and forests. 

Biologist, naturalist, and photographer Neal Maine:


In cycles older than time, forces deep within the earth push apart tectonic plates, creating and expanding the oceans whose waters are pushed and pulled by the sun and moon, cooled and heated and calmed and stirred to fury by the skies. Ocean collides with the continent, shattering the shore into a thousand facets: bare rock monoliths, vast expanses of sand, saltwater pools that drown, then drain, then soak, then drain. And in that shattering, life asserts itself, creeping and burrowing and swimming and perching in particular niches, flora, and fauna whose collective presence defines THE COASTAL EDGE.


A limpet creeps up a wave-washed rock, following the rise of the tide. A salmon follows ancient watershed trails to its natal stream. An otter travels along its living trap line for crabs to crayfish upside creeks in the estuary. A vole tunnels into the soft sponge on the forest floor. In the treetops, in the forest, across the land, in the water, and in the air, all become a living slate for NATURE’S TRAILS. This tracery of interwoven trails is unsigned but indelible to generations of travelers.


Humans: We take pictures, walks, deep breaths, memories, rides on waves, water, and timber in habitats that belonged to other trail makers. We thought we could never catch all the salmon, never cut all the big trees, and never pollute the ocean. In our hubris, we thought we could make our own trails. With renewed humility, we are learning how to share this place, to live together with our partner trail makers. PacificLight Images/ Neal Maine celebrates this partnership as we use our images to inspire others to honor nature’s trails in OUR OWN BACKYARD.

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