About Me

saturdayandi

Hi, I’m Susanna. Among other things, I spend my time tracking wild animals and creating videos and photographs about them. Through sharing the videos and photos that I make, I bring people into the woods and into the lives of those animals. Some of the people I bring on this journey aren’t in the habit of venturing into nature very often. Some of them are physically unable to do so. And most of them, myself included, don’t get the opportunity to watch wild animals up close and undisturbed very often.

By following an animal’s tracks and using intellectual reasoning and other ways of knowing, I find trees in the woods on which to hang trail cameras. These cameras are motion-triggered, and when left for a period of time, capture videos of animals’ natural behaviors in their natural habitats. They capture things like three coyotes hunting together in a group, or a mother whitetail deer nursing and cleaning her fawn, or a pair of bucks running through the forest together before they become competitors during the fall rut.

From these videos, I learn about wild animals’ lives. I learn which animals share a particular ecosystem, such as bears, river otters, deer, mink, and a variety of birds who all frequent the same pond made by a beaver and its dam. I also learn how animals think.  I learn how aware they are of each other’s presence, by watching a coyote sniff the exact spot where a bobcat stood an hour before (or by watching one sniff where I had stood when I was looking for signs of that same coyote, whom I had gotten on camera the day before). I learn how a female coyote defers to her mate when food is present, but how her grown male offspring, though he is now bigger than her, still submits to her stern but gentle dominance when she stands over a Canada goose carcass after he tries to scoot under her to take it.

Using these videos and everything that I learn about the animals I watch, I create wildlife talks, which I share with a variety of audiences. (Feel free to email me to learn more about this.)  I also create photographic series, each which tell a story about an animal in a particular moment.  I also create greeting card sets. Both offer people a way to bring the beauty and presence of these animals into their lives and homes.  (Check out my shop above.)

Before discovering that I could study animals in New England rather than traveling to Africa (which I also love to do), I earned a B.A. in Economics from Yale and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. I worked for a few years, got married, had two children, and then took care of them for a long time full-time. (That was the first time, by the way, that I felt I had finally found a job important enough to dedicate myself to full-time). In 2020 I also trained as a life coach. 

For all my education, I still find that animals are our best teachers. They believe in themselves, pay attention to who is around them, make their best decisions in the moment, and move on. They also love and play unapologetically, and they forgive. We are animals too, and we learn by imitation. So watching animals can fascinate us, bring us joy and also remind us of all that we really need to know.