Sexy Lumberjacks and a Pocket Full of Turtles

I probably should have called this blog “A Professional Amateur,” instead of “Writertude” since I spend most of my free time (bahaHAHA, I mean the time I buy with stress proportionate to the number of hours I’ve put off whatever I should be doing in order to do the thing I’m actually doing) accumulating hobbies. I knit, crochet, sometimes I paint, I’ve been a martial artist and a dancer, I can play about 2 songs on my guitar, I’ve dipped my toe into blacksmithy and recently took up running…and of course I write (although I consider that less of a hobby and more MY LIFE’S MISSION.)

About a year ago I decided to start trying my hand at photography. As luck would have it, a good friend of mine is an actual photographer (he would probably classify himself as *almost* a photographer, but I mean, he takes pictures of people and even occasionally gets paid for it: that’s a photographer to me), and was willing to apprentice me and show me the ropes. Thank you, Phil, for being such a wonderful enabler and patiently entertaining my flailing, amateur attempts as I recklessly fling myself, once again, into waters I know nothing about (Look I bought a camera! It’s a really good ca–what’s a fourth-frame what do you mean I have to “pick the right shutter speed” what the frig is an f-stop?)

Fast forward. This past Friday.

I sent Philtographer a link to a photo shoot I found online of an actual, burly Lumberjack, dressed and posed like a pinup poster. I sent him this because I found it hilarious and awesome. I’m always on board for art that undermines gender norms and makes me laugh at the same time. And I said to Philtographer: “This should be the theme for our next shoot!”

I typed this message with irony in my heart.

Two hours later I get a message that says, “I found a lumberjack. We need suspenders and an axe.”


  1. That was a joke, Philtog.
  2. WHERE did you find a lumberjack at 10 in the morning on a Friday???
  3. It’s too late. We’re committed now. Better block off some time for the Sexy Lumberjack shoot.

We put Saturday afternoon on the books, since during that time I would be joint-house sitting for my boyfriend’s mother and she lives basically in the woods near a cranberry bog, and I was forwarded a picture of said lumberjack. Who, I must note, was not an actual lumberjack, but a tall, Nordic-looking young man with flowing locks and plaid in his wardrobe. Close enough.

Saturday arrives. So does the Lumberjack. I’m already a little boggled by the rollercoaster of unexpected that is my life, but I’m rolling with it. We grab the camera equipment and begin the hike down a lonely suburb road to the Cranberry bog, Nordic giant with an axe swung over his shoulder bringing up the rear.

A few people pass us in cars. They give us a wide berth.

Halfway to the bog I look down at a rock I’m about to step on. I look because the rock is crawling, slowly, toward the edge of the road.

Turtle Portrait (1 of 1)

Holy shit it’s a turtle. A tiny, baby turtle the size of a half dollar, trying to make the long, impossible journey to the bog. Beside this turtle are one or two road smudges that had once been other turtles, along with the smashed scribble of a big snake with its mouth frozen open in an unmistakable expression of “Om nom nom.”

Obviously his turtle journey hadn’t been going very well so far. I pick up the exhausted little guy and put him in my jacket pocket (gently) and we carry on. Until, up ahead…

Dinoturtle (1 of 1)

Oh shit, another turtle. Struggling along. Into my pocket tiny dinosaur.

We finally arrive at the bog, lumberjack and Philtog in tow, I with a pocket full of turtles. Near the waters edge, we release the turtles, and I delay the photoshoot a further ten minutes by laying down on the ground to take the pictures you’ve already seen.

scale turtle (1 of 1)

Featuring Philtog’s fingers and his wireless mouse for scale.


The turtles swim away. The day is saved. Philtog and I finally take some lumberjack photos and it’s pretty awesome. Apart from being dashingly photogenic, our Nordic Hero is a very amiable, laid back guy, willing to stand still among beaming shafts of bright sun and pretend as though he isn’t being eaten alive by a teeming cloud of blood thirsty gnats.


lumberjack 1 (1 of 1)

I call this the “Pantene Pro-V shot”


lumberjack 3 (1 of 1)

Look at that majestic profile.


lumberjack 2 (1 of 1)

“I hear the song of my people.”


10/10 would drag this guy on an unexpected turtle misadventure again.

Peace out fellow amateurs. May the Autofocus be with you.


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