~ the Brandt Series ~

“Photographs give me the opportunity to show people what’s out there. You have to fall in love with the natural world to want to care for it.” 

Text and photos by Fr. Charles Brandt (except where noted)

Rufous Hummingbird and Red Elderberry - March 24 2014 Charles Brandt photo 

Red Elderberry with Rufous Hummingbird

& 60,000 Pink Salmon return to the Recovering Tsolum River in 2013

Fish under the Farnham bridge - 2013 - by Charles Brandt


Meditations from the Wilderness ~ (part two)

~ by Charles A.E. Brandt ~


PearlLake - headwaters of Oyster River - by Charles Brandt

Historically we have gone to the wilderness for different reasons. The early rishis went into the forest to offer sacrifice and to live in harmony with the universe.


 BigLeaf Maple flowers May 2 2014 Charles Brandt photo

The early Christian hermits in the third and fourth centuries went into the desert of the Scete to practice perfect charity and constant prayer. Henry David Thoreau went to Walden Pond to find out what life was all about. Tom Merton went into the wilderness of Gethsemane to fulfill his need for solitude and to live a responsible “care-free” life.


Chestnut-Backed Chicadee Feb 19 2014 Hermitage - Charles Brandt photo

Aldo Leopold, the father of North American ecology, discovered in the Sand County of Wisconsin that he could no longer pose as one with control over nature, and that he was  simply a member of the biotic community. As he underwent his conversion, he began to ‘think like a mountain.” (Click this link for a short video of Fr. Brandt speaking about Aldo Leopold)


Comox Glacier - by Charles Brandt


In our own day, Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme give us guidance through their “Universe Story,” the wilderness of the universe. They make it clear that if we grasp this “New Story” we must first enter into communion with the natural world.


      Skunk Cabbage - May 2 2014 Charles Brandt photo                                                            


Red-Flowering Currant March 27, 2014              Rufous Hummingbird Male at the Hermitage - April 9 2014 Charles Brandt photo


Banded Black Brant at the Oyster River Estuary April 7, 2014 Charles Brandt photo


Salmonberry with pollinator - April 14 2014 Charles Brandt photo


We must come to realize that the natural world is a community of subjects to be communed with, not  a collection of objects to be exploited. To do this, I believe, requires a transformation of consciousness. We must give birth to our deep, true self that lies awakened. Indeed the greatest thing we can do for the earth and for the universe is to become who we are…


                                             Fr. Thomas Berry @ left - Sr. Mary Southard painting

Painting by.Sr. Mary Southard

If we are to move into a meaningful sustainable future, it is necessary to bring the human community into a greater presence of the natural world in a mutually enhancing manner to form a single sacred community, as we once again establish a relationship of communion with the natural world.

Charles A.E. Brandt



One more thought for a Solar Sunday. . .


Looking across Georgia Staight towards mainland North America - Charles Brandt photo

“I greet the sun each morning just by reflecting for just a moment on the vastness of the sun, a million times the size of the Earth, in bestowing all this energy. And just in that moment, I remember that we are spinning around the star, and it’s because of the star’s energy that we exist. So that we are this star in a new form. And by doing that I remember my cosmological dimension. And it puts everything in perspective for the whole day.”

~ Brian Swimme ~


journeyoftheuniverse.org - brian swimme

Image from Journey of the Universe – Brian Swimme


 Google Image

 Embrace Sun Day

and this Earth Day

Every Day


Cheers ~ Bruce



  1. Pingback: Earth Day, California. Changing the focus. | breathelighter

  2. Pingback: The Hermit Ecologist of the Tsolum River | Citydesert

    • Charles has an amazing sense for the amazing natural wonders that surround us, and he has dedicated his 90+ years to bringing this sense to others. And it is so true that when we spend time to re-connect with nature, be it a wilderness area or our own back yard garden, some how it change us – it changes our story – and for the better. Thanks for your comment, Debra.

  3. My wife and I are considering selling our home and living and working on the road some day. Maybe build a micro house at some point. Your photos make me want to do it yesterday…thanks a lot, Bruce. 😉

    • It’s interesting you say that – Charles has a little camper van that he sometimes travels in. It’s a micro house in itself. And the idea of downsizing is totally cool – so against everything which is destroying the world and our humanity along with it. I think you mentioned the Rocky mountains once. Best of luck with you and wife’s endeavours.

      A note of clarification – most of these photos within the Brandt series (but not all) are by Charles himself. In this post I failed to make that note, which I have known rectified in the header.

      By the way Jeff- I have no idea how Charles takes photos of those hummingbirds – other than he also has a degree in ornithology. He is also a quiet, soft spoken and patient person.

  4. Bruce, thank you for remembering the mother of all, the earth, with stunningly beautiful photos and thoughts about what matters most in life — all our relations.

  5. going into the wilderness
    camera witnessing
    stirring with Brandt’s inspired words
    serving a meaningful homage
    to the mother
    just in time
    for her day(s) 🙂

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