My name is Matt Spangler. When I'm not at work (for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) or spending time with my lovely wife, I moonlight as a woodworker and a birder/naturalist/photographer.
First, with respect to wood: I've been working with wood in some shape or form since middle school, when annual summer mission trips to lowcountry South Carolina exposed me to carpentry and related tasks. What I consider true "woodworking" took off in college and law school with the help of some of my grandfather's old tools. My practice has steadily evolved from figure and relief carving, to sculptural projects, to household odds-and-ends and picture frames, to woodturning (mainly bowls), and more recently, to fine furniture. I am by no means a professional, but I do strive to create well-made, visually balanced objects in an effort to give a second life to the trees that toiled countless years. I use local lumber as much as possible, often harvested from storm-felled trees.
Second, with respect to birds: I've been a lover of nature my entire life, growing up with ample woods and a creek to explore in my piedmont NC backyard. My obsession with birds began during law school and evolved from casual bird feeder watching, to species identification in the field, to far-flung adventures seeking unusual species (although I generally do not "twitch" or chase rare birds beyond a 20 mile radius from home). It's a constant learning experience that will certainly never end. You won't find me on social media, but you can find me on eBird: https://ebird.org/profile/NTc1OTcw/US-NC. Birds are not my only nature obsession; I am an aspiring naturalist, interested in essentially all fauna and flora. Odonates (dragonflies and damselflies) are my main passion after birds, but I'm also into leps (butterflies), herps (reptiles and amphibians), mammals, native plants, and other stuff. I also fell down the rabbit hole of wildlife photography, having picked up this hobby sometime after I began birding. In 2018, I upgraded from a "superzoom" point-and-shoot camera (Canon SX50HS, a surprisingly capable device) to a DSLR (Nikon D500) with a 70-300 f/ 5.6 lens; when that lens broke in summer 2020, I upgraded to a 300mm f/4 prime. I enjoy memorializing my encounters with wildlife and sharing the natural world through photography.
I hope you enjoy my website! There are a lot of pages; if you're short on time, my personal recommendation would be to check the wood gallery, best-of bird galleries, best-of wildlife galleries, and blog.