We recently met Jack Stutts, whose gorgeous photographs will remind you just how amazing our natural world is. Jack was kind enough to share the piece below along with a photographic collection of some of his avian friends.
Hello. My name is Jack Stutts.
I am a Charlotte-based photographer focusing on birds in the environment. Two of my favorite places to shoot locally are along Monroe Road: Chantilly Ecological Sanctuary and McAlpine Greenway.
I have always loved birds and I am a lifelong birder. It was only after moving to Charlotte in 1985 that I picked up a camera and found a way to share my enthusiasm for our avian friends.
When I arrived in Charlotte, I rented an apartment on 7th Street between Laurel and Cameron and lived there my first 13 years. Chantilly Ecological Sanctuary didn’t exist yet. It was the site of an apartment complex that chronically flooded.
When the county finally convinced the owners to sell the portion of the complex that sat in the Briar Creek floodplain, it was restored to its natural state. The mix of native grasses and wildflowers with scattered trees makes a habitat that is teeming with a variety of birdlife in any season.
Did you know that the section of McAlpine Creek Greenway along Monroe Road was part of a city landfill years ago? The upper soccer fields above the dog park was the location of a garbage dump. Talk about a change! Whether you want to walk, run, bike, hike, fish or just sit on a bench and watch the world go by you can do it at McAlpine.
It also happens to be a great place to photograph birds.
With its varied habitat ranging from upland hardwood forest to open grass to a beaver pond, the number of bird species attracted to McAlpine is amazing. Over 180 species have been observed. That’s a lifetime of photography opportunities to be had.
Explore more of Jack’s collection by clicking on the image above and using the arrows to advance to the next photo.
I often think of a quote attributed to Theodore Roosevelt—he said he got the line from someone else: “Do what you can with what you’ve got where you are.” That’s what I’m doing. I take photos to share on social media to raise awareness of the natural environment and encourage people to not only enjoy it but to help preserve it.
Thanks for your time.
Follow Jack’s journey through our local parks and sanctuaries @jackstutts on Instagram.
Monroe Road Advocates (MoRA) is grassroots group of volunteers from Monroe Road neighborhoods, businesses, nonprofits, and schools. We’re connecting community in the corridor from Lupie’s/7th Street to NC-51.