Posted: July 6, 2016 in 60mm lens, Details, My Backyard, Photography, Wildlife in my Backyard

There’s a really interesting project you can do with your family that I call a “Square Foot Safari” and the premise is that there is a whole universe at our feet, but you need to get down there to see what is going on. Kids can sketch what they find in their one square foot patch, makes lists, write up observations or just be amazed by the whole experience.


Yesterday, I did my own version of a Square Foot Safari which involved laying down on a blanket in the far corner of my backyard and shooting what I found using my 60mm lens. I made up my own rules and those rules were essentially that if I could reach something by rolling over or propping myself up on my elbows, it was all good. But I was not going to get up from that blanket.


In part, that is because I like parameters and rules and plans, even if they are just things to ignore, but mostly because it was a simply glorious day and I was very comfortable right where I was.

I was even okay with the wildlife that roamed into my space:


My safari journal:

When I felt that I had successfully catalogued my little corner of the world, I put my camera aside, rested my cheek on the blanket, and promptly fell asleep.

Anyone will tell you that a safari can be exhausting.









  1. Lignum Draco says:

    An interesting game and exercise. Some lovely shots. However, I would have fallen asleep immediately, just as I have fallen asleep in a dentist’s chair whilst having work done. 🙂

    • Thank you…in part, I took the photos so that I wouldn’t ‘t just conk out immediately.
      You must get some excellent drugs for dentistry on your continent. The only dental dozing I have ever done involved a drip into my arm.
      (It’s that dragon metabolism, isn’t it?)

  2. Very interesting experiment and lovely results. (Suzanne)

  3. Schwister says:

    This is a wonderful idea and an excellent exercise in learning to observe and to see. The photos are simple yet striking! This reminds me a bit of the book PrairyErth: A Deep Map by William Least-Heat Moon. He’s known for his travel writing but in this book he goes back and visits for years the same unassuming county on the Kansas plains and then writes a very large book about it. What he finds is amazingly rich!

    • Thank you for the suggestion–I read Blue Highways, but not this one.
      I worked out a variation–sort of—of this exercise when my grandson was young and wanted to be a detective. I would stage a crime scene in the yard with Hot Wheels or Tonkas or Lego people. We would take pictures of the “crime”, print them and he would paste/glue/tape them into his journal where he could describe what he had observed and draw conclusions about what had happened. (Wow…that sounds dry but it was great fun and a real chance to get creative.)

      • Schwister says:

        Your grandson must have loved that! Great idea. Blue Highways is my 2nd favorite book by WLHM. At the top is River Horse – about his cross-country trip via waterways.

  4. Elisabeth Legg says:

    Great pictures. I have never done a safari like that, but it does sound fun.

    Sent from my iPhone


  5. andykidd says:

    Thank you for these. I often wonder about the view of our cat. It sniffs as well as looks of course. Did you do that before you – like a cat – fell asleep?

  6. sedge808 says:

    ahhhhhhhh…a spider !
    wonderful bokehs

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