Sleeping Mallard Hen (2010), Mark Roger Bailey
My image, “Sleeping Mallard Hen,” has received the 2011 John G. Mitchell Environmental Conservation Award.
The award by the Land/Conservation Trusts of Lyme, Old Lyme, Salem, Essex and East Haddam (CT) honors the American environmentalist and former editor of National Geographic Magazine, John G. Mitchell (d. 2007). Past editor of Sierra Club Books and a longtime field editor and writer for Audubon Magazine, he also wrote many books, including LOSING GROUND (1975), ALASKA STORIES (1984), and DISPATCHES FROM THE DEEP WOODS (1991).
I captured this photo in Essex, CT late in the afternoon, across the river from Mitchell’s home in Lyme. At the time, the sight of this duck asleep in the shallows spoke to me about the timeless values of our shared existence along the banks of one of America’s great rivers. It also suggested something about art to me. Only later in the digital darkroom did I realize that the scene stirred memories of seeing Albrecht Dürer’s Young Hare (1502) at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. A Mallard duck, Albrecht Dürer’s hare, and John G. Mitchell… inspiring company.
My photograph of diverse birds – herons, turkey vultures, gulls, ducks, and cormorants – pausing to rest on a river dock, “No Wake,” placed second in the Wildlife Category.