Life in the Liminal Spaces


You might not realize that most of the photographs I post here are made in the city. A city ribboned with green spaces and waterways – corridors teeming with wildlife. A different version of city life. An exploration of the narrow tributaries, the wide rivers and the earthy ‘cracks’ someone has thought to leave between all the pavement. You never know what you might find in these spaces because even though we heap constraints on these wild creatures they place no constraints on themselves (Last spring we even had bears visiting).



Night-Heron-and-WarblerThe Night Heron and the Warbler (above)



Turkey-Vulture2Turkey Vultures, Perched and Circling

It’s common to see the odd turkey vulture circling above the green spaces but in the dwindling light of the weekend I looked up to see a tree draped with ten or more of these birds who appeared to be gazing down at me. They are so odd-looking with their red shrunken heads and wide-shouldered bodies. A few of them lifted their wings to the last rays of warm light.



MaleDeerBeing Watched by a White-tailed Deer. A male deer with new antlers sprouting over his ears. You can see things are really greening up around here.

© Karen McRae, 2014

51 thoughts on “Life in the Liminal Spaces

  1. You have a way to make out of focused photos even more intresting than prefectly in focus photos! I’ve never seen anything like this! Brava!

  2. A wonderful series! That they are taken in the city is a tribute both to the photographer and to the city that provides these spaces.

    I always hate to have vultures looking down on me though.

  3. Beautiful series of images, Karen, every one of them has something. But my favourite is the top one – did you put it first because its your favourite too? It is quite an abstract shot, and I love that diffuse, misty glow, cut by those diffuse branches and twigs – and the image is certainly lifted by those small, pale gold highlight “droplets” – wonderful picture! Adrian

  4. Wonderful city photos Karen! 🙂 Sometimes we need to be reminded there is nature in the city also. How cool to be standing face to face with a deer, such a great photo!

  5. Isn’t it intriguing just how many creatures find space and eco-niches through those corridors. Like how you use elements of framing within your shots. Glad spring has come for you.

  6. These shots are in the city? There seems to be a certain mergence with nature that few other cities achieve. You are lucky to have such nature so close.

  7. This is something that I just love about photography, the ability to create a world within a world. I love how you find natures small wild places and make them seem huge!

  8. No, I would never have thought that most photographs are from a city, if you hadn’t told. That make them even more powerful. I am happy if a city (I bet much bigger than the ones around here) can keep some cracks between the pavement. Very good, and very good of you too explore it. I always believe that everybody can explore their neighborhood, and you are the master, Karen. This series made my day!

  9. A lovely insight Karen and, as Bente says, it makes your photos even more powerful. In a small way it reminded me of a documentary film I saw recently about how all of the animals have returned to Chernobyl because all the people have gone. The sight of the concrete greening up and turning to forest was both weird and beautiful, I would actually love to go there, and you would create some wonderful images if you had the chance. As you say nature knows no constraints, and happily the wildlife seems to be healthy.

  10. I find that urban wildlife is a tad easier to photograph than wildlife in remote areas . . . the animals away from cities are a lot more cautious of anything moving about.

    Nice shots.

  11. I had no idea you were based in a city, all your photos seem so quiet and remote, very distant from an urban buzz. Most impressive to capture the feeling the way you do. Among these, I especially love the almost abstract trees and branches, with their golden colour.

  12. Karen, I really had no idea you were in the city – what an amazing idea leaving corridors of nature like that. London is past salvation in that respect, I think. Your shots are the perfect illustration – capturing the transient, but leaving them in motion.

  13. Like springtime begins wrapped in an amber veil and then undergoes alchemical transformations including flight and then the antlers begin. Really love this story.

  14. I’m sorry I am only seeing these now… Amazing, they’re alive, pulsing with energy… Your work is very special and I am thankful they’re available here for all of us to see and be inspired by….

  15. Beautiful series of shots. While the movement photos at the beginning seem to hold the most emotion for me…turkey vultures have a soft-spot in my heart for the very reasons you mention. They are kinda funny looking, but their size in flight is impressive. It is stunning to realize that these (and your others) come from the city…you have way with shooting. Cheers!

  16. All we have to do is open our eyes and you remind us to do just that. So much speeds by in city life, even we do. Birds don’t fly any differently in the city, we just have our heads down. Beautiful work again, Karen.

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