Triad Iraq War veteran uses love of nature to teach others the value of life

Roy's Folks

BETHANIA, N.C. (WGHP) – Stan Lake is more than just a photographer, he’s a storyteller.

“I’ve always enjoyed telling stories and photography is another avenue for that,” said Lake, who has a passion for capturing the little things most of us don’t understand. “I’ve always been fascinated with reptiles and amphibians, that’s my first love.”

The Iraq War veteran has shared stories through articles and documentaries from the sands of war to the muddy banks of North Carolina.

“They call me ‘critter getter’ overseas, that’s my call sign overseas,” he said. “When you live in perpetual death it makes you think a lot about life.”

His hope is his work will open people’s eyes to the value in all creation. Even the creepy crawly ones.

“This time of year we have marbled salamander breeding and they kind of take shifts in their pools,” he said. “They are in mud puddles in the woods that you wouldn’t suspect and they are teaming with life.”

He’s even helping teach that value of life to kids with a number of children’s books.

“It’s showing kids that there are all these magical things in the woods and even in their own backyards,” he said. “It shows they have the power to make a difference.”

A lesson in the value of all creation, even the little ones on the wild side.

“My hope is people will see things in a new way to even change their perspective,” he said. “With snakes for example people hate them, but if you can show them in a different light that makes them beautiful maybe they’ll take a second look.”

For more on Lake’s work, click here.

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