11 animal portraits that will inspire you to get back to nature.

Brad Wilson takes fine art portraits of wild animals.

Isolated in front of a dark backdrop and illuminated with soft lights, Wilson's stunning portraits are deceptively simple, but deeply striking.

His series, "Affinity" explores humans' relationship (or lack thereof) with the natural world.


All photos by Brad Wilson, used with permission.

Wanna get closer to nature? Start with 11 of Wilson's jaw-dropping photos and wild facts about these majestic animals.

1. You'll never be short on conversation, as baboons use at least 10 different sounds to communicate with their troops.

This baboon enjoys climbing, running, and talking about your favorite competition-based reality shows.

2. Mountain lions, pumas, and cougars are all the same species and go by many different names.

Not only does this mountain lion have kind eyes, it knows the entire Keith Sweat catalog.

One of those names? Ghost cat. Don't be surprised if she stops answering your texts.

3. Did you know mandrills sleep in a different tree each evening?

This mandrill is working on contouring. Does it show?

4. The palm cockatoo's beak is uniquely shaped and quite large, making them especially adept at cracking big nuts ... if you're into that kind of thing.

This black palm cockatoo just got out of a long relationship and is just looking for a good time.

5. The golden tiger is the same species as a Bengal tiger, but with rare coloring.

This golden tiger is here to dance and eat boar, and he's all out of boar.

Their fur is often thicker and softer than other tigers. Take that, other tigers.

6. Chimpanzees usually travel on all fours but they can walk up to a mile on two legs.

This chimpanzee doesn't mind that you still can't pronounce quinoa right on the first try.

No word on whether they will walk 500 more to fall down at your door.

7. Contrary to every cartoon, elephants do not like peanuts.

This elephant has big ears, and a bigger heart.

They do not eat them in the wild and keepers do not feed them to elephants in captivity. If you need to treat an elephant, stick to flowers ... or pumpkins.

8. Barn owls swallow their food whole and cough up the fur and bones.

Who's that with the soft feathers and great anecdotes for first dates? It's this barn owl.

Not much else to say about that.

9. This long-legged serval can jump up to 10 feet in the air.

This serval may look small, but this tiny cat has nine lives, and he's using every one to hang out with you.

The serval is native to more than 35 African countries and is found mostly in savannas.

10. Lorikeet tongues end in a kind of hairy brush, which helps them get nectar from deep inside flowers.

This brightly colored rainbow lorikeet did not come to play with you, parrots. She came to slay.

(At least that's what they're telling ornithologists.)

11. This white-lipped tree viper is most comfortable in trees, but some people are bold enough to try to keep them as pets.

This white-lipped tree viper might seem dangerous — and she is. Especially if you talk shit about her friends.

Beware, however, as the wise prophets Bell Biv Devoe once said: That girl is poiiiiiiiison. Never trust a forked tongue and a smile.

Wilson's remarkable photos are a beautiful reminder to appreciate the natural world and the animals we share the planet with.

Wilson hopes that his images "remind us, despite the pronounced feeling of isolation that too often characterizes our contemporary existence, that we are not alone, we are not separate — we are part of a beautifully rich and interconnected diversity of life."

We live on this planet with some pretty amazing creatures. It's our responsibility to protect and celebrate them.

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When Molly Reeser was a student at Michigan State University, she took a job mucking horse stalls to help pay for classes. While she was there, she met a 10-year-old girl named Casey, who was being treated for cancer, and — because both were animal lovers — they became fast friends.

Two years later, Casey died of cancer.

"Everyone at the barn wanted to do something to honor her memory," Molly remembers. A lot of suggestions were thrown out, but Molly knew that there was a bigger, more enduring way to do it.

"I saw firsthand how horses helped Casey and her family escape from the difficult and terrifying times they were enduring. I knew that there must be other families who could benefit from horses in the way she and her family had."

Molly approached the barn owners and asked if they would be open to letting her hold a one-day event. She wanted to bring pediatric cancer patients to the farm, where they could enjoy the horses and peaceful setting. They agreed, and with the help of her closest friends and the "emergency" credit card her parents had given her, Molly created her first Camp Casey. She worked with the local hospital where Casey had been a patient and invited 20 patients, their siblings and their parents.

The event was a huge success — and it was originally meant to be just that: a one-day thing. But, Molly says, "I believe Casey had other plans."

One week after the event, Molly received a letter from a five-year-old boy who had brain cancer. He had been at Camp Casey and said it was "the best day of his life."

"[After that], I knew that we had to pull it off again," Molly says. And they did. Every month for the next few years, they threw a Camp Casey. And when Molly graduated, she did the most terrifying thing she had ever done and told her parents that she would be waitressing for a year to see if it might be possible to turn Camp Casey into an actual nonprofit organization. That year of waitressing turned into six, but in the end she was able to pull it off: by 2010, Camp Casey became a non-profit with a paid staff.

"I am grateful for all the ways I've experienced good luck in my life and, therefore, I believe I have a responsibility to give back. It brings me tremendous joy to see people, animals, or things coming together to create goodness in a world that can often be filled with hardships."

Camp Casey serves 1500 children under the age of 18 each year in Michigan. "The organization looks different than when it started," Molly says. "We now operate four cost-free programs that bring accessible horseback riding and recreational services to children with cancer, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening illnesses."

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