Nature has provided us with an array of birds, insects and animals, all laying claim to our big backyard environment. Everytime I see a butterfly flutter by, or a cardinal sitting so boldly in the old oak, I look for my camera to see how I could capture the excitement of the moment. At times these moments were popping up everywhere, and my camera and I were working so hard t to miss one opportunity. The idea was to create a book, as a Christmas gift, for my grandsons. As the idea was nearing completion, a number of family and friends showed some interest in the outcome, hus the addition of phase two of this venture. It was suggested that I go one step further and publish the book, to share with all the children. I never thought of myself as an author, but as the seed was planted, and began to grow, I was more than happy to keep it nurtured. In the end we were able to see a book, that was both entertaining and educational. I find that the reality of photography, is perhaps the next best thing to nature itself. For many children, and some adults, some of these photos may be the closest encounter they may ever have with some of these birds and animals.The opportunity is w here in My Big Backyard Journal. ..and beyond . As you look through these pages, it is my hope that it brings you as much enjoyment, as I have had putting this together.