Hello everyone, welcome back to The Hollow and thanks so kindly for your visit.  This post has been in the works for days now, but due to my new work schedule it has been difficult to get the time to put it together.  I’ve been very much looking forward to it and am happy to share this one with everyone out there.  This is a continuation of our series “The Toad’s Tonka Toys” if you wish to see the previous entries.

I would like to dedicate this post to my beautiful wife, the lovely Mrs. Toad, my children, my best friends (the Mudpuppy’s) and to you all.  I would also like to send a special thank you out to Scott Wood.  It was he who convinced me to carry on and try my best with the constraints I find myself in, so this post definitely is a result of his kind thoughts and words.

Train Crossing - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Train Crossing - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

This has been a very difficult week for me, personally.  The act of having to take a step back from my photography activities has been very stressful, to say the least.   But, as we all know by now, life can be challenging and sometimes we are left with little choice in certain matters.

These last few weeks have seen me at a crossroads of sorts.  I got my love of photography from my dad, who was a wonderful man and an avid amateur photographer.  I have spent my entire life entranced by imagery in general, and specifically photography.  I find it’s a way for me to produce very personal art and to share that with a wider audience.  And the internet has been a fabulous vehicle for getting it out there and being part of the larger community as a whole.

As those who follow regularly know, I’ve been presented with an opportunity lately that could truly make a huge difference for my family in the long run.  I am now literally working 2 full-time paying jobs in an effort to realize those dreams.  Something had to give, though, as I was becoming rather overloaded.  After much soul-searching and very deep and thoughtful discussions with Mrs. Toad we came to the horrible realization it would have to be Toad Hollow.

Train Crossing - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Train Crossing - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

We have built a large, enthusiastic and energetic network online, and the notion of having to scale our participation back has been heart-breaking to be perfectly honest.  It has nothing to do with being famous, or a rock star if you will…  but, rather, it’s got everything to do with being part of and actively participating in a community that we love so very much.  We have formed strong and real friendships with many folks online, and having to slow things down has left me feeling awful all week.

But, sometimes life presents us with events and situations we have little choice in.

Artifact - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

Artifact - BC Forest Discovery Centre, Duncan, BC, Canada

So, this post today represents a new chapter.  For sake of time management I have to change things in terms of how we work here at The Hollow.  But, at the same time, it seems I cannot stop entirely as the passion for photography and being part of a community is much bigger than me.  It just means I must change things.

I hope that this change sits well with all our friends, visitors and fans.  I will be endeavoring to do up as many blog posts as I can.  I have no idea how many or when they will come, just please know I am trying.  Some weeks will be better than others, I imagine.

Many of you have also noticed I have seriously scaled back my involvement in the social media end of things.  Again, this is not by design nor is it what I would wish for now.  I will try to be there as much as I can, but again…  don’t know when or how frequently but please know I am trying my best to get out to be with everyone.

In the meantime, I will continue to work on my weekly submission for Light Stalking.  This is good because it keeps me in the loop.  Even though I may not have nearly as much time to communicate directly, I am still trying to follow everyone’s work as much as I can and assemble my weekly article.

I really hope you understand why these changes came.  I am sure they seemed sudden, but please rest assured they were not.  I tried my best under the circumstances I found myself in and change was necessary.

And to those who have reached out this last week and sent me public and private messages of love, friendship and support…  I have read each and every word and have taken the messages in fully.  I am so grateful for everything you all have done for us to this point in our journey and truly, truly…  I cannot wait to return at full speed once again.

In the meantime, I leave you with this post.  I will try to do more this week.  I am thinking of you all, and hoping the very best for everyone.  Thank you so much, you all have helped me create a world here that means so much to us personally, and is something I look forward to.

I welcome and hope that you have a moment to leave me a comment here, it would truly mean so much.  Best wishes to all, we’ll see you out there.

  1. Great to see a new post, Toad! I just knew you couldn’t quit us. ;^)

    All things in good measure. If you can find the proper balance between work and avocation, then you’ll have the best of both worlds.

    Just know that we’ll be here whenever you choose to post.

  2. avatar Rachel Cohen says:

    Oh Toad, I’m so happy to see, and read your post! The crossroads image is so relevant to your situation now! We are all here for you, and when ever you post we’ll be anxiously waiting. 🙂 Take care of yourself and Mrs. Toad. Try not to overwork yourself, it sounds like you’ve taken on a really heavy load!
    Thanks for always being there for all of us, and we’re here for you. You made my day when I saw your post! HUGS!!!!!

  3. avatar Len Saltiel says:

    It’s so good and unexpected to see your post Toad. I am sure that these past few weeks have been extremely stressful trying to balance the competing challenges for your time. The outpouring of love and thanks to you when you first announced that Toad Hollow was going dark was heartfelt and well deserved.

    I, for one, hope that you are able to balance everything that is important to you and your family. It may take a while to figure out the right balance but I am pretty sure you will find it. If that means your posts are sporadic or you don’t have time to send out messages, don’t worry about it. You already proven how much you care about the tog community and we all have experienced what a generous, supportive person you are.

    • Wow, Len, I am overwhelmed here this morning in reading your kind, kind words here. I can’t begin to thank you for taking the time to support us through all this, and for leaving your thoughts here with us today. You, sir, are the real deal.

  4. avatar Jan Winther says:

    …and he’s back! Good to see you couldnt keep away from this area of the pond. By the way, just so you know, I’m sure none of your readers want you to post every single day. Once in a while is fine – when you have the time and energy sit down and write the usual 1000+ words 😉
    Maintain the blog at your pace Scott. Blogs are not important, families are and I’m sure you know where and when to spend your free time.

    Its good to see you back though.

    All the best.

  5. I was so excited to check my email and see a new post from you! But you shouldn’t worry about how often something new gets posted. Just to echo what has already been said we are always here waiting patiently to see new things in the Hollow! So how ever soon or long it is I look forward to keeping up with your Toadiness! You are truly the best of the best my friend!

  6. Oh Toad, I was so happy to see that there was a new post from the Hollow! You know that we are all here, so be kind to yourself and trust that you’ve made the right decisions for your family. So step back and just breathe – your new life will find its own balance. Hugs.

  7. avatar Edith Levy says:

    Woohoo….so happy to see a post from you Toad. You know it may take a little while to find the right balance but you will. It’s hard to give up something that your sopassionate about. For my part I’m glad you’re back and fewer posts are better than no posts. As far as this particular post goes….excellent title, excellent content and excellent images. Welcome back!

  8. avatar Jim Nix says:

    Fitting images my friend and great to see you could squeeze in a post after all! I do hope your new venture is rocking right along and glad to see you might find a little time for the photo-world after all. Honestly the internet ain’t the same without you. Great shots as usual, and glad all is well at the Hollow my friend.

    • Thank you so much, Jim. I truly miss everyone, a lot. It’s been a tough week, but it really felt great to be able to share this post and see everyone again today. We can’t begin to thank you, kind sir.

  9. avatar Jim Denham says:

    Good to see you back in the swamp Toad, but totally understand your position and commend you on putting your family first. Good luck finding the balance you seek, and remember that your friends in these circles are here for you, however we may be able to help. A little Toad is bette than no Toad at all!

    • That means so so much to us here, Jim, thank you my friend. It’s been a tough transition, but when I realized how supportive and encouraging everyone has been under the circumstances, it is a really wonderful thing. What a fabulous community we are part of. And thanks to you, for all you’ve done, Jim.

  10. avatar Fred Norris says:

    Great Scott it is good to see the Toads back in the Hollow!Anytime you fit a blog into your busy schedule Mate it is always the highlight of my day.Love your second image of the Drinkwater Station,from the moss on the roof to the rust on the rails.Thanks for sharing

  11. Woohoo a post from Toad Hollow. I feel better already. I wish you guys the best and please don’t stay too quiet. 😉

  12. avatar Sirfishalot says:

    Glad to hear that the Toads are in good hands. Always look forward to hearing from and sharing with you. Wishing you and the family the very best and thanks for all you do.

    • Thank you SO much Jay! Your kindness & support, both here and in the messages you sent this week, are very well received and mean so much to us my good friend. You, sir, are a scholar and a gentleman, and we are honored to know you.

  13. avatar Dave DiCello says:

    An outstanding collection here my friend and so nice to see you around! This is so well written, and we are surely to miss you around the blogosphee. Once again I wish you all the best and try not to be away for too long!

    • Thank you so, so much Dave!! I’m trying to keep my flipper in the pond as best as I can, and hope that in the not too distant future our successes will help fuel the time I have available to spend here with everyone. I miss hanging out with everyone, something fierce, and am truly looking forward to getting back up and running full-tilt again. Thank you, Dave, your visit & comments mean so much my friend!

  14. Toad, I’m so glad you wont be disappearing entirely. Every post you make is a pleasure and delight to read, no matter how infrequent they may become. We’ll still be here for you!

    • That just means so, so much to us here, Anne, thank you! Having friends like you is what makes this all so fulfilling to us here, and when you take the time to leave your wonderful thoughts like this it truly means a lot. Thank you, kind friend!!

  15. avatar Scott Wood says:

    It really did make me happy this morning to open my Google reader and see a little “1” beside Toad Hollow Photography. I am glad that you are going to post when it makes sense to post. Remember, no one expects you to post each and every day, none of this should be a chore my friend.

    • Absolutely profound thoughts, Scott, thank you SO much for taking the time to pop by and leave us your comments. Your support, encouragement and most of all friendship really mean so very much to me, my friend, I thank you.

  16. Glad to see/read your wondeful images and words again Toad. As much as I enjoy reading your blog posts, I respect even more your decision to put your family first. As a husband and father myself, I know all too well that the passion for family will always come before the passion for photography. Best of luck, and I hope to hear from you again soon.

  17. Hey, if you can find a way to post ever so occasionally and keep the site up, then that is so much better than what we feared and expected. Cheers and good wishes.

  18. avatar Jimi Jones says:

    So happy to know you’ll be continuing to post from the “Hollow”, my friend. It will have to be when time allows, but that surely trumps a shut-down. You’re one heck of a talent and highly respected around the photog community, so Hooray for the continuance of your creations.

    Rock on!

  19. avatar Chris Nitz says:

    WOOT! It made my morning to see a post from the Toads 😀 I fully understand that you may not be posting nearly as much, but it is still good to see some wise words from you. I think we can all understand that life has to come first, so we will keep a light on for you over here 😉

  20. avatar Viveca Koh says:

    Dear Toad, I was so happy to read your post and to learn that you won’t be disappearing altogether from our online lives, but please don’t stretch yourself tooooooo far to fit it all in. I will certainly appreciate anything I get from you in terms of posting, even if not as frequent as before, and I think we all here understand that family and our lives off-line have to come first. Still lovely to see you back though!

    • Thank you so, so much Viveca, your friendship & encouragement are a true highlight for us here. Mrs. Toad is going to be thrilled to know you had a chance to pop by today!! We sure do appreciate it, my dear friend.

  21. avatar Julian says:

    Good to have you back, whenever you can make it.

  22. avatar Mike says:

    Very very nice my friend. I am ecstatic that your hiatus was not very long!

    • You’re the best, thanks Mike! I will unfortunately be away now for a few days focusing on our new project, but will be back the first chance I get! Thank you so much for all your friendship & support my friend!

  23. avatar Renee Besta says:

    My Dearest Toad: My eyes have been moist reading your posts of late, as you and Mrs. Toad are the very best example of the good that comes from social media. You have touched my life in many ways and, even though I don’t comment on each post, you can be sure I read them and smile. I am very happy you have been given a wonderful new opportunity in life to assist your family of amphibians, and pray the road is smooth and beautiful.

    Don’t stretch yourself too much in trying to blog. We always know you are there no matter what. You have left an indelible imprint on me, despite the fact I have never met you. I, too, am at a crossroads in life and am looking for that special opportunity. Knowing you have found yours gives me great hope. Again, Toad, you encapsulate all that is good in this world. I have truly enjoyed reading about your adventures and viewing your wonderful images. All the best to you and yours.

    • I am highly emotional this morning as I read your most wonderful comments, Renee. It’s been such a pleasure to have met you on Twitter and knowing that are work has moved and inspired you means the world to us here. It’s exactly why we do what we do. We think the world of you, my dear friend, and thank you so very kindly for all the friendship, support and encouragement you give us. I sit here today feeling overwhelmed by the kindness in your note, you are truly one of a kind, a real class act, Renee. We are so very lucky to have you as a friend. 🙂 We hope so very much for the best for you in your adventures and endeavors in the future, and hope that one day we may get a chance to meet in person so we can thank you personally. Best, best wishes to you, my dear friend… you are too and example of everything wonderful that can come from friendships found and fostered online.