Photographers Linda and Robert Scarth have an incredible eye for that magic moment when small becomes beautiful. Matched with patience and skill, their eye for magic produces dazzling images of Iowa nature up close. Revealing the miniature beauties hidden among the patches of prairie, woodland, and wetland that remain in Iowa’s sadly overdeveloped landscape, the seventy-five color photographs in Deep Nature give us a breathtaking cross section of the state’s smallest inhabitants.
The Scarths’ close-up images of showy orchis and northern monkshood, great spangled fritillary and painted lady, red-breasted nuthatch and eastern wood-pewee, ornate box turtle and gray treefrog, big bluestem and cotton-grass, and many other natural wonders look more like paintings than photographs. Beginning with an iridescent fly hovering over a neon-purple fringed gentian and ending with their iconic image of coneflowers refracted in dewdrops, they have created a sparkling jewelbox of images that will make us look at the small world around us with renewed appreciation.
Attending to the small things in the fabric of nature is the Scarths’ source of artistic inspiration. Taking Walt Whitman’s “every leaf is a miracle” as their beginning, they celebrate not only each leaf but each feather, insect, dewdrop, flower, lichen, and intricate organism in the evolving web of life.
If you would like to check out thumbnail images of the photos in the book, please click here.
“Vibrant, full of life, and beautifully composed, Linda and Robert Scarth’s photography shows the side of Iowa I never knew existed. Accompanied by deeply personal, evocative text by the ecologist John Pearson, this book celebrates a rarely seen facet of the American Midwest.”— Piotr Naskrecki, author, The Smaller Majority
“A sense of place, the beauty of remnant nature in the Midwest—far more abundant, varied, and enticing than one might think—these are the rewards offered by this lovely volume with its sensitive, graceful prose and sensitive but vivid images of the life that survives in abundance and enriches our lives when we stop to enjoy it. Highly recommended for all who care or who would like to learn more, and more deeply, about this marvelous planet that we call home.”—Peter H. Raven, president, Missouri Botanical Garden