Writings & Photography of Jim Murtagh

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The Writings & Photography of Jim Murtagh

Welcome to my eXclamation!

Trapped between the white light of my headlights and the yellow flashing light of an approaching public work's truck, the rain drops seemed to suspend momentarily, before splattering on my windshield. This was a heavy rainstorm. The type of storm that downs trees, and floods roadways and basements. While most people were retreating to shelter, I was just heading out.

The temperature was holding in the mid-forties, and I was giddy with excitement that the storm finally arrived. For several days, I had been monitoring weather predictions, hoping that the forecaster's hype would become reality. I knew this was going to be a Big Night, and this first evening spring rain was destined to spark magic.

Seldom seen, and emerging en masse typically one night a year, I was on a quest to find a spotted salamander. Black, with a blue gray underbelly, this seven inch amphibian's back is dappled with yellow spots and possesses a beauty that only an artist could design. Accompanied by throngs of wood frogs and spring peepers, tonight would be the start of an annual migration from the woodlands to the breeding grounds of vernal pools.

Through my writing and photography, I try to take my readers on a journey to places they have never been, or thought they would ever go. I hope to instill in them a sense of wonder and appreciation for the outdoors. Even if they never take the journey by foot, I hope they live the experience in their mind.

my eXclamation started as a showcase for my writing and photography but has evolved to include the many volunteer and educational activities which have influenced my career and family. I believe that the more you put into life, the more you get from it. As a life-long learner, I never want to leave the classroom and through my work, I hope others choose to sit beside me. I chose the name of the site because the exclamation point is such a powerful element of punctuation. I hope my readers experience that intensity when they read my articles, view my photos or engage in my eLearning activities. -Jim Murtagh

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Jim Murtagh