The Beauty of Birds & Bugs with Kris Cu
Why do owls turn their heads 360 degrees? Why do songbirds sing? Can crows really recognize faces? How far do birds migrate? What is the worlds largest bird?
It was just over a year ago that I lost my non-biological grandmother, Dorothy Kennett. Long ago, she was working as a nurse at Coqualeetza Indian Hospital and saw a child needed special care. My mother was born with a fetal alcohol syndrome disorder (FASD), as a consequence of her mother drinking alcohol in the womb. It is easy to cast judgement, but please keep in mind that her mother survived Indian Residential School.
Dorothy Kennett chose to take my mother into her home, and raise her along with her two sons. She made sure my mother received all the medical care she needed, she showed her love, kindness and her belief systems. Dorothy was a generous woman, a birder, and an amazing grandmother to me. I miss her dearly. I believe the old saying that you die twice. Once when you stop breathing, and the second time when your name is mentioned for the last time. I believe Dorothy Kennett left behind a legacy. She was a humble church-going woman, who saved a young child and absolutely loved nature - in particular she loved birds.
I wanted to see the world through her lens. What are so interesting about songbirds, ducks, owls, and raptors? Now, I could go sit down and read a book or watch a nature documentary (which I do enjoy) - but I don’t think it would allow me to see the beauty of these majestic animals through her lens. So, I went looking for someone with her same type of passion…
For Episode 32 we sat down with Brian Minter, from Minter Country Gardens. We talk about how he met his wife Faye, his personal background, the benefits of gardening and the importance of being a steward for the land. If you are interested in gardening follow the Minter Country Gardens instagram page to hear tips and tricks from Brian! You can listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or watch the interview on YouTube (we actually recorded the interview at Minter Country Gardens so it is a beautiful background).
Aaron Pete from the Bigger Than Me Podcast is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
(photo credit: Kris Cu)
My guest this week is Kris Cu. Kris is a biological sciences alumnus from SFU and the Conservation Engagement and Outreach worker for Birds Canada. He is passionate about biodiversity conservation, sustainability and science communication. In his spare time, he enjoys capturing images of wildlife, landscapes and outdoor portraits. See more of his beautiful photos by following him on Instagram, Facebook and his website.
I contacted Birds Canada to see if they knew of anyone who had a true passion for birding, and who would be willing to sit down for an interview. They sent me an amazing video they made of Kris sharing his story, and passion for birds. It was amazing, and you can tell from the video that Kris is a genuine, thoughtful and energetic person… so I reached out!
Kris and I sat down and talked about his family moving to Canada from the Philippines, when he discovered his passion for nature, how Simon Fraser University nurtured his love of biology, the art of wildlife photography, and the importance of respecting these animals habitats when taking photos. After that, we walk through each of the photos on his website, a bit about each animal, and the challenges he went through to capture the perfect image.
After listening to this podcast I’m sure you will agree that he needs his own podcast, YouTube channel, or book on how to become an ethical wildlife photographer. He sincerely cares about the wildlife he captures, and does his best to share their beauty while also conserving their ecosystems. It was an absolute blast to sit down with Kris, and I’m certain it won’t be the last time! The podcast is available on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and all other podcast platforms.
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