Monthly Archives: December 2019

Where In The National Park System Would You Go?

Lost Mine Trail - 14mm

Ok, so say a loving aunt gave you $100,000 for Christmas, and you have to spend it in the next 365 days. Let’s also suppose you have to use at least some of that money for national park travel. Where would you go?
To read the short article and leave your own comment, click on the image above. I left my comment so you’ll know where I would want to go with that amount of money.
On a side note: this image is a 14mm wide-angle shot of the Lost Mine Trail in Big Bend National Park. It’s a cool hike with some great desert, valley, and mountain scenery.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Big Bend, Big Bend National Park, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography

Sunrise Sunday

A Wide-Angle Sunrise

Sunrise over Padre Island National Seashore in Texas

Here’s to sunrise on the last Sunday of 2019. I wonder what the next decade will bring. Hopefully more national park and national seashore sunrises to photograph.

Speaking of national parks and seashores, the National Parks Traveler Podcast Episode 46 talks about looking back on 2019 in the National Park System.

To listen to the podcast, click on the image above.


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Filed under National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Padre Island National Seashore, Photography, Podcast

The Last Weekend Of 2019

Over The Bridge And Up The Trail To Marymere Falls

A part of the Marymere Falls Trail in Olympic National Park

Wow! I just realized earlier this morning that this weekend is the last one of 2019. Next weekend will be in a new decade!

I wonder where the 2020 trails will take me. Hopefully to more photographic adventure. There are a couple of national parks that I want to visit for certain.

What about you? Where do you think the 2020 trails will take you?

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.



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Filed under Canon, Canon Lens, National Parks, Olympic National Park, Seasons, summer, Travel, Washington State

Merry Christmas, Everybody!

A Bowl Full Of Christmas Colors

I hope you have a great day and even managed to sleep in a little bit!

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Filed under Christmas, holiday, Holidays

Christmas Eve Gift!!

Holiday Colors And Decorations

Many of us have some sort of holiday tradition – maybe even more than one. In my family, the tradition was, on Christmas Eve, to see who could say (or shout) “Christmas Eve Gift” first, before the others could. That meant they’d been “gotten” and they had to hand over a little gift to the person who had gotten them.

One Christmas Eve morning, probably some 12-13 years ago, when I was living in an apartment in Texas, next door to my elderly parents, I woke up early to bake a huckleberry cobbler. An hour and a half later, fresh from the oven, I carefully bore my dark berry prize down the stairs and across the lawn to my parents’ back door. My intention was to get the cobbler safely onto their dining nook table, then go and wake them up with the words “Christmas Eve Gift!” and then we’d all have that luscious, hot, cobbler for breakfast.

Carefully setting the foil-covered hot cobbler down on the chair next to the back door, I brought out my set of keys and quietly unlocked the door. Stepping inside the dark house, I flicked on the light switch to the dining nook.

“CHRISTMAS EVE GIFT!” my parents shouted as they stepped from their hiding place behind the kitchen wall, extremely tickled with themselves. I’d been “gotten.” Thankfully, the cobbler was still outside on the chair, or else we’d have been spooning it up from the floor, because I’d probably have dropped it in surprise. Very clever, my parents were, on that Christmas Eve.

Mom and Dad are gone and we don’t celebrate that tradition any longer. All the other Christmas Eve Gift events, I cannot remember. This one, though, I remember as if it happened just a few minutes ago.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you and yours. I hope you have some sort of memorable holiday tradition of your own.

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Filed under Christmas, family, Holidays, Humor, Life, love

A National Parks 2-For-1

Today’s blog post offers you a national parks 2-for-1.

Hopi Point Panorama

How many Great Pyramids of Giza could fit into the Grand Canyon? That’s just one of the questions in a short national park quiz I wrote for today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler. In that article is also some interesting park trivia which you might not have known.  To take the quiz and read the trivia, click on the image above

Tatoosh Morning

And, after you’ve finished the quiz, stay a little longer and read the end-of-year article I put together of the photo articles I wrote during 2019. Maybe you’ll learn some tips and techniques you’ve not thought of to get cool pics during your next national park visit. To get to this article, click on the Tatoosh Mountains image above.

I can’t believe the year is almost over – where did the time go?

Merry Christmas From The Sisters

From my sister and I (and our Great Dane) to you, we wish you all the Happiest of Holidays!



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Filed under Christmas, Holidays, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Travel

Our Threatened And Endangered Parks

Mountain and Road

Here’s something I never thought about until reading the National Park’s Traveler Feature Story, written in conjunction with today’s podcast. Global warming is affecting a lot of things, including the warming of old poop left by past climbers heading toward the summit of Denali Mountain in Denali National Park. Warming is causing that old poop to essentially slide downhill “over time and via glacial melt” right into the downstream watershed. Alaska accounts for more than 40% of the entire nation’s surface water resources. That’s just one of the numerous threats to our national parks. You may pooh-pooh the poop issue, but little things add up to much larger things. Just read the article. Makes me sad and also makes me glad I’m seeing for myself, and getting photos of, the beauty of the national parks while I can.

The link to the Feature Story is below. If you want to listen to the podcast, which lasts a little less than an hour, click on the image above to be taken to the podcast.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Podcast

Happy Winter Solstice 2019

Becky And Her Snowlady CROPTrying To Straighten The Leaning SnowladyBecky And FriendBeckys Hand On The Snowladys Boob

My friend and I would like to wish you all a Happy Winter Solstice. The morning after having had fun playing in the powdery snow the previous day, I woke and the weather was warmer and the snow was wet enough (because it was melting, to some extent) for me to very quickly roll together a lovely little snowlady. I didn’t really have enough time to spend with the details – the mouth and nose are wrapped chocolate candy kisses, and the – er – anatomical details are a couple of baubles I took from the Christmas tree. I let her borrow one of my hats. Because the weather kept getting warmer, the candy kisses kept falling out. The tripod was set up and I used my wireless remote. I’d get a photo and then realize her nose was on the ground, or part of her little smile had fallen, so I’d have to get another shot or two. And then, I noticed she was leaning, like the Tower of Pisa. It got worse as the day grew warmer. By the afternoon, with a temperature of 58 degrees F, there was nothing left of my friend except a couple of small piles of slush. Ah well, we had fun in the snow for a little bit and I can say I was able to make my snowman – er – snowlady.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.


Filed under Life, Photography, weather

USPS To Honor Big Bend With Stamp

Santa Elena Canyon VERT

Hey Big Bend National Park fans: in January 2020, the U.S. Postal Service will be honoring this national park in Texas with a priority mail postage stamp!

To read about this and when you can pick up your own stamp, click on the image above to be taken to the National Parks Traveler article.


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Filed under Big Bend, Big Bend National Park, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography

Most Photogenic Parks, and Invasive Animal Species in Our Parks

The Road To The Desert

Where will that park road take you? Well, if you are driving through the park road above, which winds through Big Bend National Park in Texas, you’ll be taken to some pretty neat photo ops.

And, speaking of neat photo ops, I’m interviewed in this week’s National Parks Traveler Podcast, Episode #44, about most photogenic parks to visit (some of which might surprise you). The podcast also discusses the invasive animal species in national parks (such as Burmese pythons in Everglades National Park, and wild hogs in Smoky Mountains National Park, and even feral cats at Cape Hatteras National Seashore) and how the National Park System is working on the problem.

If you feel like sitting back for an hour and listening to the podcast (and these podcasts are quite popular, according to our stats), then click on the image above to be taken to the podcast.



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Filed under Big Bend National Park, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Podcast