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About me

How to describe myself? I could say a lot.. I could even write a book about my life, or I could  limit my story to the couple of sentences.  Although it is difficult, I will try to introduce myself, as far as I don’t want to remain anonymous.

My name’s  Darek  Karp, but my friends call me “Grey Wolf”.  I was born in 1960s, on the 5th of September 1964 in Augustów. Those, who remember that time know that the world was absolutely different than… I do not mean it was better, it was simply different. Not many people owned a car. The phone we used had a special hand wheel. Horse-drawn carriages on the roads were very common. We used to carry a milkcan, when we wanted to buy some milk in the shop. At school we used to write with a nib, using an ink pot… And the way to the shop was also very different from what we see today… It was a walk along the ditch, where it was possible to observe animals’ world. Behind the ditch, there were fields and grasslands. They were so beautiful, green and covered with flowers, and most importantly, they were full of animals. Those flying and four-legged friends made my wandering to the shop much nicer. In those days, when I had a cardboard schoolbag (yes, schoolbags were made of cardboard at that time) the wildlife was fine, and all the animals and birds lived happily. Unfortunately,  the people weren’t that happy at that time I assume, as all those beautiful fields and grassland were replaced with the blocks of flats, swimming polls and houses. The nature was pushed back, it was pushed to the forests. I followed the nature, because I couldn’t live without it.

Observing the wildlife and learning about its secrets  have been my greatest passion since I was a child. The books about the nature had a great influence on me. Mr. Puchalski was my favourite author and idol. This was him, who inspired me. I was also really interested in books about the Native Americans. Reading them made me want to be one of the characters described there. The people described in those books became the leaders of my life.

I identified myself with the nature of prairies and forest, which were described in the books about the Native Americans I read, and it made me braver and taught me how to live in a perfect harmony with the nature, as well as how to live in the agreement with myself.

As a teenage boy I was footslogging the backwoods of Augustów Primeval Forest and Biebrza Marshes. I used to go there on my own, inspired by the characters from my favourite novels. Through the years, I got to know the land, the secrets of its natural inhabitants like no one before. My expeditions through mysterious, deserted spots frequently took several days and it was always very emotional to me. Nights spent in wooden huts or by the moonlight shadow and the fire have been the greatest adventure of my life. There is nothing more exciting than looking into the wolf’s eyes, admiring the soaring birds, smelling the scent of really wild nature as well as exploring its mysteries, feeling the breath of the wildness at the back…

After the years of wandering with my inseparable stick and notebook, where I conscientiously described my experiences, I came to the conclusion that it would be nice if I could catch all the pictures I was given to see on the photographs. And I decided to buy my first camera. Since then, picture after picture, photo after photo, my amazing adventure with the nature’s photography started.

My first photographs were published in 1982 in “Wszechświat” (The Universe magazine). Than other publishers started to publish my works in their magazines. Until now, more than 2000 of my photographs have been published. The most important magazines I cooperated with are: “National Geographic”, “BBC”, “Animals”, and many others. In Poland my pictures were placed in calendars. I take pictures and write articles for several magazines. But the fact where, or for how much I sell my pictures is not the most important. I am really happy, that the people who live in big cities have a chance to see this different, better world of nature, thanks to what I do.

And the time for the stabilization came. Few years ago “Polish Native American” (me) got married to a beautiful woman, Beata. We have 3 great happy daughters. We are a close, loving family.

We chose to live in the forest, of course. Our house is a cottage with an amazing Native American atmosphere built and decorated in a trapper’s style. It is located in Biebrza National Park.

This is a short story of how Native Americans and the wild nature have accompanied my life since I was a teenager, and how I managed to live in its close surrounding (more about the house you can read in the Agrotourism section).

Nothing in life can give you greater satisfaction than paying your bills with the money you earned doing what you love. Hough!!!

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