Who is that Masked Man?
The Amphibiographer was spawned in the coastal jungles of British Columbia where the weather is mostly cool and damp and it’s better to be a duck or wear lots of neoprene. However, before that, Terry L. Brown was birthed on the banks of the mighty Ottawa River and the flanks of Algonquin Provincial Park, the heart of canoe country! The town was Pembroke and the region is known as the Upper Ottawa Valley. G’day, eh!
Following birth Terry delighted in wandering the woods and waters, sometimes going fishing and camping with his parents, other times snorkeling, biking, snowshoeing, canoeing and backpacking with friends. Local ponds provided pollywogs to ponder while rivers and lakes were filled with prehistoric-looking sturgeon and catfish, along with the popular pike, bass, sunfish and walleye. Terry has been an avid Naturalist since minnows nibbled his toes as a toddler! As a child and teen he spent countless hours practicing nature awareness skills, immersing himself in the drama of nature, and learning to use all his senses to become attuned to the larger-than-human world. Terry’s spiritual connection with Earth has been nourished with lots of time just “being” in the outdoors, experiencing his connectedness with the web of life.
A stint in Kitchener/Waterloo was followed by a couple years on the Prairies, then a further western migration to British Columbia in 1986. His spontaneous sharing of knowledge has found expression in stints as a sea kayaking instructor/guide, a shipboard ecotourism naturalist, and in being a volunteer teacher with the Vancouver Aquarium. Many other jobs make for a very eclectic resume, including working as a machinist, gardener, Mountain Equipment Co-op staff and Literacy Project Developer. As a freelance writer and photographer his work has been published in numerous magazines and displayed in art galleries. Oh yes, he was also a minister in a church. Humour and playfulness add a sparkling dimension to whatever he does.
Settling in Vancouver, Terry began working in the environmental movement. His experience in leadership positions and commitment to living in harmony with Earth led him to contribute his talents as a shadow-cabinet spokesperson for the Green Party; as a researcher and educator with Society Promoting Environmental Conservation; and work with the Sierra Club and local grassroots groups, a couple of which he helped form. Terry is a passionate advocate and spokesperson for those beings who have no voice in human society. Serving time in jail for peaceful civil disobedience in defense of Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island has only strengthened his resolve to stand up for protecting Earth from human greed. He has introduced thousands of people to the experience of wonder and reverence, speaking to groups of up to 5,000 people.
On or under the water is Terry’s favourite place to be, whether paddling, snorkeling or diving. His friends call him a “FishKisser” because he loves to tickle fish on their bellies and photograph them in their underwater universe. Following this stream of interest led him to co-found (with his Life Partner Jude Abrams) Fins in the Forest, a grassroots project promoting the protection of wild salmon and their watershed homes.
Through Fins, Terry and Jude worked with people from the Nuxalk Nation, organizing and leading expeditions to explore and document remote unlogged watersheds in BC’s central coast, known as The Great Bear Rainforest. With photographs, sound recordings and stories gathered on these explorations he conducted inspirational presentations for schools and community groups.
In the Great Bear Rainforest Terry sealed his cameras in plexiglass housings and morphed into “The Amphibiographer”, revealing life on both sides of the boundary between water and air. He specializes in photos and video which show both the underwater and above water worlds at the same time. His favourite place to be is face down in the water…wearing a mask and snorkel! His skills as a naturalist, cameraman, artist, and graceful freediver, combine with his patience, stillness, and ability to withstand cold water, to equip him to get footage of shy critters no one else has. Terry also brings storytelling and writing skills, and a playful sense of humour to the mix.
Terry’s partner in life and crime, Jude Abrams, is a musician/songwriter and a hardy outdoor adventurer who dives, sails, kayaks and hikes, all the while recording natural sounds. She composes original music and designs sound for their productions. She is often found climbing in her favourite cedar tree, communing with all kinds of critters, or singing to seals from her kayak. Together Jude and Terry produce playful nature education videos designed to tickle the funny bone and inspire a deep love for all the amazing beings with whom we share planet earth. To see these videos visit www.otterbegood.com
Now living in the Powell River region, on the Upper Sunshine Coast of British Columbia, Canada they are thriving, really living the life they love.
Terry was formally educated in Theology, with degrees from Emmanuel Bible College in Kitchener, Ontario and Canadian Theological Seminary in Regina, Saskatchewan. He served for two years as a minister. Although not following any specific religious dogma now, spirituality is very important to him. For Terry, spirituality is experiencing and celebrating our connection with Life and learning to live in harmony with all our relations.