The Wild Side of the Lake

See nature through my camera lens.

Welcome to higgins lake nature CO.

Higgins Lake  is 16 sq. miles in area and has 22.2 miles of shoreline.



       My name is Phil Robinson and I live on the lake near the animals through the year's four seasons, working to follow them with my camera in the areas' woods, marshes, swamps and waters to check on what they're up to. 

Higgins Lake  forms the headwaters of the Muskegon River and empties southward through the Cut River which flows into nearby Houghton Lake, Michigan's largest inland lake. Higgins has an area of 16 sq. miles and 22.2 miles of shoreline and a maximum depth of 136 ft. Its spring-fed character makes it a lake of extraordinary clarity and beauty.  It is located within Roscommon County, principally in Lyon and Gerrish townships, and was recently voted Michigan's most beautiful lake. Two of Michigan's most popular state parks are located at the north and south ends of the lake.

The wildlife of this northern Michigan region provides many interesting opportunities for observation and photography.  In my travels I am also able to share other photos from locations far removed from Higgins Lake, Michigan. including Georgia, Florida and South Africa.




About HLN


The Photographer's Background

The Higgins Lake/Houghton Lake region of northern Michigan is a photographer's delight. Capturing images of animals being themselves in nature is a satisfying, addictive and sometimes thrilling adventure. My experiences as a wildlife biologist and veterinarian add to my appreciation of animals in the wild and the enjoyment of getting glimpses into their fascinating personalities and lives. I am originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan and received my academic degrees from Michigan State University. My graduate studies and subsequent field studies in wildlife ecology were carried out in the rainforests of West Africa, Sierra Leone and Liberia in particular.  My principal residence is now on Higgins Lake, Michigan. 

- Phillip T. Robinson, MS, DVM, Diplomate, American College of Zoological Medicine


Authored Books  (Also visit for individual titles)

LIFE AT THE ZOO: Behind the Scenes With the Animal Doctors

 Columbia University Press, 2004 {  }

TRAVEL SKETCHES FROM LIBERIA: Johann Buttikofer's Rainforest Explorations in West Africa

Brill Academic Press, 2012 {  }

THE PYGMY HIPPO STORY: West Africa's Enigma of the Rainforest

  Oxford University Press, 2017 {  }

Chief Veterinarian and Director of Veterinary Services at:

The San Diego Zoo

The University of California, San Diego

The University of Toledo


Photography as Communication

It is our human nature to be curious about our natural world. The more we observe and understand wild creatures, the greater appreciation and affinity we have for keeping them in our natural landscapes to pass on to future generations. 

My Images were obtained with Sony a6000 or a6400 mirror-less cameras and Sony G 70-300 mm or Sony 16-50 mm lenses.

All photo images are original and copyrighted by Phillip Robinson


Sharing Images and Information

Photographing wildlife can be much more than a pastime. It can be an enriching experience that should be generously shared with others. In a sense we are storytellers for creatures who need our appreciation and support in order to keep our natural ecosystems part of our future. I hope some of my photographs inspire others to become involved in and supportive of wildlife conservation, in the world and in their own back yards.