An Agate Original
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Behind the Camera
Photographer Gary Noren was born in St. Croix Falls, WI. He has spent most of his life in the watershed of the St. Croix River, where he has been a teacher and environmentalist, both professionally and as a volunteer. Gary served on the Board of Directors of the St. Croix River Association (SCRA) for eight years, is a founding member of the St. Croix Valley Camera Club and of Tropical Wings, an organization educating about Neotropical birds that migrate between National Parks in the Upper Midwest and Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula. Outside of the “Growing Seasons,” when the ice is safe(ish) he’s also well known for ice-skating on area lakes and rivers with his Nordic skates, rarely missing a day.
The St. Croix and Namekagon Rivers, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and Lake Superior’s North Shore are his favorite shooting locations for photography, along with Crex Meadows, near Grantsburg, WI. Many of the photos featured in this video were taken when he and his wife Marty were artists-in-residence at Pine Needles, near Marine on St. Croix, and while participating in an SCRA-sponsored canoe trip down the length of the St. Croix. Currently, he lives on Green Lake, near Chisago City, on land that his great-grandparents farmed beginning in 1870. He notes that a tree-house overlooking the lake built for (and with) his grandkids also doubles as a bird blind: “Many bird and butterfly photos have been taken from that 8-foot perch while sipping morning coffee.”
Says Gary: “Photography helps me focus and see more clearly that which I love. Hopefully, others will see the beauty in the locations I am shooting and will help to preserve them. It gives me great pleasure to share my photographs with my friends and family, with non-profits in this region, and now – with you.”
It’s fun to read the ways that reviewers have characterized the music of Dean Magraw. He has been called a guitar wizard, a musical explorer, a philosopher/shaman. In the words of Nick Lethert, he “unveils soulful melodic grooves intricately designed to heal the broken dancer, confuse the boldest mathematician, and eradicate ennui in our lifetime.” Andrea Cantor, writing for Jazz Police, says: “Guitarist Dean Magraw is one of the most prolific and popular musicians based in the Twin Cities…and also one of the most eclectic, with a thirty-year career spanning genres and cultures, from blues to classical to folk and jazz, from Japanese and Indian to Celtic and middle American.”
Born in Minneapolis, Dean studied at the University of Minnesota and Berklee College of Music in Boston. He’s performed and collaborated with musicians throughout the U.S., Europe and Japan. In generously granting Agate permission for this use of “River Song” from his Heavy Meadow CD, he writes: “Thanks for including the music in support of nature, wildlife and conservation in Minnesota and surrounding states! It is a gift to be able to stand up for our planet.”
Please find more of his music and learn where he’s playing next on his website.