Category Archives: wildlife

Wildlife

Looking Hopeful

Looking Hopeful

While this little guy photographed next to the Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim is looking hopeful for a handout, please remember that ALL wildlife – even the cute little ones – are dangerous. A bat collected at Phantom Ranch in Grand Canyon National Park has tested positive for rabies. To read the article in the National Parks Traveler, click on the link.

https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/…/bat-tests-positive-…

Remember: never touch, feed, or approach the wildlife, no matter how badly you want a closeup or a selfie with the animal. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen someone try to get a closeup of a little chipmunk or squirrel with their smartphone, getting as close as 12 inches or less in come cases. Even the little cute ones can pack a hurtful bite.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Grand Canyon National Park, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, North Rim, Photography, wildlife

Please Don’t Litter In Our National Parks

Squirrel Eating A Tissue

As I was returning to my car from a view area just before the summit of Logan Pass in Glacier National Park, Montana, I looked down and saw this adorable little squirrel munching on that icky discarded tissue as if it was starving. I moved a little closer, hoping it would let go of the tissue and skeedaddle, but it didn’t move. Heaven only knows what that tissue will do to its internal system. This is a good example of why people should NOT litter in the national parks (or anywhere, for that matter), and adhere to the tenet of packing out what you pack in. On this particular day, I picked up a discarded chapstick tube, a paper coffee cup and a hair comb.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

1 Comment

Filed under 1DX, Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Glacier National Park MT, Photography, wildlife

An Early Summer Visit to Padre Island National Seashore, Texas

Becky At Padre Island National Seashore

It seems like only yesterday, instead of 2 months ago, that I visited this national seashore southwest of my home.  I drive the 3 hours back down there last week (June 6-10) on assignment with the National Parks Traveler to photograph at least one public release of the endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle.   It was a wonderful experience and I’ve written a couple of articles about this trip that will be published on the Traveler’s site.  I’ll let you know when that happens.

In the meantime, here’s a sampling of what I saw and experienced at Padre Island National Seashore in the early summer.

Moon Sky Stars Sand

A full moon, starry sky and sandy beach at Padre Island National Seashore.

Pre-Dawn Sky

Taking in the vast view.

Just Before The Sunrise

Looking northeast along the beach, just before sunrise.

Looking South Before The Sunrise

Looking southeast.  That barricade you see on the upper far right is the divider between the pedestrian-only portion of the seashore (where I was standing) and the pedestrian/vehicle portion of the seashore, which is basically the rest of the national seashore, all 60 miles of it.

Sunrise

Sunrise

Closeup Sunrise

A pelican-kind of morningOn Their Way To The Sea

En route to the Gulf of Mexico

About The Size Of A GoPro

A Kemp’s ridley sea turtle hatchling “swimming” across the sandy beach to get to the water of the Gulf of Mexico.  These little guys are smaller than a GoPro action cam.

Looking Down On The Hatchling Release

Standing atop a dune on this morning, overlooking a hatchling release.  There were about 400 people at the public hatchling release, that day.  The next day after this, there were 860 attendees (weekends are usually more-attended).

A Little Bit Of Sunshine

Another sunny day at Padre Island National Seashore

 

Leave a comment

Filed under National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Padre Island National Seashore, Photography, Texas, Travel, Uncategorized, wildlife

It’s Almost Year End

It is.  It’s almost the end of 2015 and I, for one, am ready for it to be done with.  Except for my boob job in January, it’s been a pretty shitty year I’ll admit.

N6A0653_Becky and Her Baby

My 89-year old mother became ill in early February and subsequently died on the 19th, one day prior to my elder sister’s birthday.  We can’t thank our lucky stars enough that we were both there to care for Mom at the end of it all.   From then on, life and work went to hell in a handbasket.  I’d break into tears every time I thought of Mom or thought of (or heard or saw) something that reminded me of Mom, My sister and I constantly second-guessed ourselves concerning Mom (woulda, coulda, shoulda).  I found myself working for a horrible boss who made my work life miserable.  I was not in the least interested in photography.  And my entire life revolved around being Executrix of Mom’s estate.

Poor Mom.  She thought she was leaving my sister and me with a nice little nest egg of her savings.  As it was, my sister and I spent every single penny of that nest-egg savings getting Mom’s house up to snuff so we could finally put it on the market; fingers crossed that this sale goes through smoothly so we can be done with it.  These upgrades included a total re-grade and re-sod of the entire front, back and side yards around the house (including the addition of what they call “French drains” to get the standing water to drain into the ditches around the house thanks to the horrid spring thunderstorms Texas constantly experienced all April and May); installation of more foundation pillars in the hallway; patching and repainting the cracks in the walls caused by the foundation work as well as the house’s normal settling issues here in southeast Texas; re-carpeting the hallway, one bedroom and the large den; getting the electrical issues worked out; installing a new roof to replace the one damaged by a freak April hailstorm; fixing the garage door, removing all of the high-tech hurricane storm shutters; and a number of other smaller issues  – all required by the home inspector’s and the structural engineer’s report and the current realtor’s suggestions to make the house more – well – salable.  This work has all taken two months shy of a year since Mom’s death.  It’s been an albatross around my neck and I can’t thank my sister’s husband enough for all of his help – his 30 years in the construction business has enabled me to keep from going mad and throttling most of the people and businesses within this horrid little Podunk Texas town in which I currently reside.  My experience this year has lead me to believe that there is absolutely no business here in this town that is totally trustworthy.  At least, not when it comes to dealing with a divorced, middle-aged woman such as myself.  Fuck ‘em all, I say.

As you can probably tell by now, this entire experience has given birth to the New Me:  Angry White Woman.

I don’t take shit off of anybody anymore and I’m far more vocal about my feelings, opinions and beliefs (this includes my political and non-religious leanings, much to many of my Facebook friends’ annoyance).  I have discovered I am also far more willing to stick my neck out at work and push back to the dirty politics I experience on behalf of myself and my friends who either cannot or will not push back themselves (it’s easier for me to do it since I’m close to early retirement and I don’t have a family for whom I must provide – this allows me to follow the courage of my convictions).

It’s taken me 54 years, and I’m absolutely certain Mom’s death was the catalyst to make me realize what is truly important in my life.  Hint:  it aint work.  Work is not my life and never has been – it just pays the bills, pays for my camera equipment and allows me to travel.  No, what is really important – to me – is family and people who love me.

Thanksgiving Dinner

I no longer have family here in Texas.  They all live out in the Pacific Northwest, and sooner rather than later, that is where I will move.  I am making my plans little by little.  I don’t want to grow old and spend my remaining days alone in a Texas nursing home, waiting to die, far away from people I love and who love me.  Besides that, I’ve never been a huge fan of Texas and am ready for the next adventure further west where the mountains and my family live.

I’m also trying to regain my photo mojo.  I’ve done a few small photo projects this year, including:

Storm Front On The Refuge

Portrait Of A Juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night HeronAnoleSpiny Backed Orb Weaver

Using my new 11-24mm, 100mm macro, and 500mm prime lenses at Brazos Bend State Park, Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, and around my home and my mother’s home;

Jupiters Eye On The HelldiverWaiting For SunriseThe Rising Sun 2The Rising SunKnife Edge Fly ByAleutian P40K WarhawkGrumman TBF AvengerJapanese FighterTexas Raiders Taking Off

Spending a wonderful sunrise photo shoot as well as an entire day in the photo pit at the 2015 Wings Over Houston Airshow;

Pirate Spooks On Stage

Reaching Across The Stage For A Toast

Dessert At The Kings Feast

Preparing To Serve The Beef

Feast Staff 2015

Halloween Becky In The POW Pub

Pirate Spooks

A Witch And A Zombie

Performing my duties as staff photographer for The Merchant Prince and capturing images for his use out at the 2015 Texas Renaissance Festival;

A Crown For A Princess

Photographing my newest great niece whom I have never met until last year (for only 20 minutes before getting to the airport) and who is now almost 3 years old;

_83Q5951_83Q5973_83Q6720

And photographing my company’s annual gingerbread decorating event.

I haven’t really taken any photo holiday because almost all of my annual vacation days were spent caring for Mom and thereafter taking care of the estate.  I did take a short trip to visit my sister and her family in eastern Washington over Labor Day, spent a weekend in Santa Fe NM during the Memorial Day holiday, and visited my sister and her family, again, during Thanksgiving.

My main vacation is coming up and I hope it will be the jump start to much more photography in 2016:  I’m going to be spending 10 days in Europe (including Christmas and New Year):  8 days in London and 2 days in Paris.  Everything is paid for, I printed out all of my tickets, and I am all packed, including my camera backpack:

  • Canon 5DS body
  • Canon 5DS-R body
  • Canon 1DX body
  • Canon 11-24mm lens
  • Canon 24-105mm IS lens
  • Canon 24-70mm IS lens
  • Tripod, a gazillion memory cards, a small Canon flash, a couple of wireless shutter releases, and lots of extra, fully-charged batteries

I’m not taking my 70-200mm lens because it’s heavy and my backpack is already heavy enough (plus I’m taking two suitcases as well as my laptop bag with travel laptop, mouse, memory card readers, 2 external hard drives – 1 TB each, iPhone, iPad, book, and folder with all of my ticket information for the various venues I will attend).  I can only take so much – don’t even ask me what I’ve packed in the suitcases (grin).

I apologize for not publishing more blog posts.  I know one is supposed to do that to keep readership and to keep one’s writing skills in tip-top shape.  I’ll get back into the groove, I promise.  I’ll have free WiFi in my London and Paris hotels, so I know I’ll be editing photos and writing about my experiences, uploading to both my Facebook photography page as well as my Twitter account.  I may even publish a post while there.  For now, stay tuned to forthcoming imagery from my 2015 trip, as well as the trips I have planned for 2016.  I plan on making up for lost time.

N6A3701_Seahawks Becky Cap

1 Comment

Filed under 1DX, 5DS, Attitude, Aviation, birds, Brazoria NWR, Brazos Bend State Park, Canon, Canon 11-24mm, Canon Lens, Equipment, Landscape, Life, macro, nature, Photography, Texas, wildlife, Wildlife Refuge

The Summer Essential Guide – National Parks Traveler

H5T4090-31.jpg

I made the front cover *and* back inside page of the latest Essential Guide published by The National Parks Traveler!  Click on the photo to be taken to the article where you can click on the guide to read it (so many clicks, I know).

Leave a comment

Filed under Alaska, Katmai National Park, Photography, wildlife

National Parks Traveler: My 5 Fave Shots for 2014

The National Parks Traveler website has just published my latest photography article:  My 5 Fave Shots for 2014.  Click on this link if you want to go check it out!

1 Comment

Filed under bears, Big Bend, Big Bend National Park, Canon, Denali National Park, Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, National Parks, Photography

Reptilian Reminder

Reptilian Reminder

Just a little reminder that the Chihuahuan desert can be a dangerous place.  I was driving toward the Chisos Mountains and noticed ahead of me what looked like a traffic jam.  As I got closer, I noticed the truck was a National Park Service truck.  I drove slowly and glanced to the right side of the road to see one very angry snake lunging at my car as I passed by (look at the lower left of this photo).

In my single-minded pursuit to photograph the beauty of the park, this was a reminder to me to be ever-observant of the more venomous side of the desert.

1 Comment

Filed under Big Bend, National Parks, snake, Travel, wildlife