Category Archives: Life

Photography In The National Parks: Getting Out There With My Cameras During The Coronavirus Pandemic

The view from the summit of Watchman Peak in Crater Lake National Park

It is possible to take a safe and enjoyable trip into a national park, if you prepare and use some precautions. I returned alive and well (it’s been 14 days since my return) to write how I did it and what I saw at Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

To read the story published in the National Parks Traveler, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under coronavirus, covid-19, Crater Lake National Park, Equipment, health, Life, National Park Lodging, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Oregon, Photography, summer, Travel, Travel and Photography

Wearing A Facemask / Visiting A National Park

The view along the Fairyland Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon National Park, in Utah

It may come as absolutely no surprise, but Covid-19 has not prevented people from traveling hundreds of miles to visit a national park. So says an article published in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler.

To read the article, click on the image above.

Yes, I’m going to visit Crater Lake National Park in less than a week. I’m going to be armed with: masks (lots of them, thanks to my sister’s sewing abilities), disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, my own food (I’m not eating out anywhere) that does not require anything more than the addition of hot water, and plenty of social distancing (I’m not a people person, so I was practicing social distancing long before it was the norm). My goal for this trip is not only to enjoy the fresh air and gorgeous scenery, and to bring back photos and material for articles for the National Parks Traveler, but to also demonstrate that it is possible to have a safe trip to a national park, as long as one practices social distancing and wears a mask.

Right now, the White House is discrediting Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the foremost epidemiologists around. Of course, I think everybody in the WH, including POTUS, are fucking liars, traitors, crooks, and nutbags (if you haven’t read my About Me, then I guess you are just now learning where my politics lean). In defense of Dr. Fauci, he and all the other doctors and scientists knew very little about the coronavirus during the first of the year, so of course, all of them were making points based upon the data they had at the time. Now, because of all the illnesses and deaths, they know much more about how this horrible virus works. It’s not a hoax, folks.

To that end, I made my own YouTube video about wearing a mask. I actually got the idea from watching a Tik Tok video by Bill Nye the Science Guy, who did a simple demonstration of the effectiveness of wearing a cloth fabric, 2-layer mask.

Now, if you decide to view my video, please, please bear in mind that I’m short, dumpy, overweight, out-of-shape, and when I don’t smile, I look like my Aunt Doris (sigh). Also bear in mind that, due to my not being the most telegenic person in the world, I come off as being more than a bit self-righteous … although, come to think of it, I am self-righteous, just like my sister and the rest of my family. And that’s not a bad thing, imo.

Have I gotten trolled over the mask? Hell yeah! Do I care? Hell no! The main thing is that the experiment is cool, my sister feels vindicated over the masks she’s made / making (right now, I have enough masks to wear a different one every day for at least 2 weeks, if not more), and I feel good about protecting others. Am I protected? Well, while I’ve read studies showing that mask wearers seem to get a more diluted version of the virus when confronted by non-mask wearing covid-infected idiots, I’m really more protected if others wear a mask, too.

So, please, wear a damned mask. It shouldn’t be a political thing. It should be all about how much you care about your health, the health of your family, and the health of those around you … even the health of people you don’t really like.

And, thank you!

Yes, this whole coronavirus pandemic is a fucking nightmare

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Filed under health, Life

Where Ever The Road Takes You Today

The Road Through The Rain Forest

Good morning! Where is the road going to take you, today? To work? To home? To a national park? To adventure and places unknown? Where ever the road takes you, please drive safely.

The road, in two weeks, will take me to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon. I’m looking forward to that as it will be my first long trip of the year. I don’t know if any part of the road will be as misty and mysterious as this road leading through the Quinault Rain Forest in Olympic National Park, but I do believe there will be some interesting scenery along the way.

I haven’t been to Oregon in probably 30 years, give or take, so it will be nice to see that beautiful state again. My father’s mother lived for many years along the Oregon coast. It was her favorite place – her happy place, just like living near the mountains is for me. When she died, my parents poured her ashes on a beach along the Oregon coast, then put moss agates around the ashes in a circle, since Granny was an avid “rockhound.”

As for this image, well, you know I like photographing leading lines. And leading lines don’t have to be straight. They can be curvy, too. A leading line is whatever takes your eye from one part of the photo to another, like a fence, a treeline, a line of buildings, a trail, or a boardwalk.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Canon, leading lines, Life, National Parks, Olympic National Park, Photography, Travel

Throwback Thursday!

Parking LotMom Canada

It’s Throwback Thursday, folks! Vehicles and hiking fashion sure have changed over time, haven’t they? Thanks to my father, he chronicled these changes during our national parks visits. I inherited my love of national parks and photography from him. Oh, and thanks to my mother for modeling the latest outdoor couture 😉

Copyright John H. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Life, love, National Parks, Photography, Travel

Happy New Year, Everybody!

Where will the trails take you in 2020?

Snow Path Along The Shoreline

Perhaps to Glacier National Park in the winter?

The Path To Casa Grande

Or maybe Big Bend National Park in the winter?

Hiking Down The Queens Garden Trail

Or Bryce Canyon National Park in the spring?

Very Early Morning Reflection at Nugget Pond

Or to Denali National Park in the summer?

Wherever the trails take you in 2020, remember to pack out what you pack in, stay safe, and enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

As for myself, well, I kept trying to think of what to say for myself and couldn’t come up with anything.  The “travel bug” is biting hard and I want to get out and travel right now, but responsibilities keep me anchored to home at this point.  This is as it should be, actually, because time at home gives me the much-needed time to spiffy up my photo website (adding keywords to each and every photo, beginning with the national park shots), build up my brand, and work harder at getting out there for more national park photography. Which leads me to this phrase which I have borrowed from a Facebook friend:

“I plan to carry the momentum of small steps on to bigger things in 2020.”

Yup, that works for me.

Happy New Year, everybody!

Rebecca Latson, Where The Trails Take You Photography

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Big Bend, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canon, Denali National Park, Glacier National Park MT, Holidays, Life, National Parks, New Year, Photography, Travel

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

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.

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Filed under Life, Photography, weather

Corporate Behavior

Corporate Behavior

Even the smallest and/or prettiest of creatures can be territorial and exhibit more than just a little bit of visciousness in the daily fight for survival. Heaven knows I’ve experienced it within the human workplace, hence the sarcastic title.

 
I’ve been rescuing photos from a dying portable hard drive. The hummingbird images I captured between 2012 – 2014 are favorites of mine and they needed to be saved to another drive.
 
As a photographer, you can learn quite a bit about birds or other wildlife by simply watching and photographing them on a regular basis. During that span of years my mother and I hung out those hummingbird feeders in Texas, I would be over there every morning and/or evening to photograph these soft, tiny little birdies. The more I watched, the more I learned they aren’t quite as sweet as everybody might think. Luckily, this extended observation led to some very interesting photos.
Canon 1DX and 100-400mm lens
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 1DX, birds, Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, hummingbirds, Life, nature, Photography, Texas

Where The Trails Take You Photography

Swan Lake Flats Late-Afternoon Scenery

Change is good. It can be for the better and open up new horizons.

I made a change to my living arrangements when I moved from Texas to central Washington, and I decided it was time to make a change to my photography website and my photography blogsite. No more plain old Rebecca Latson Photography.

Announcing:

Where The Trails Take You Photography

The web address to my blog is changed too, although if you still type in rebeccalatsonphotography.me I believe you should be directed to what is now wherethetrailstakeyouphotography.blog

My photo website address is https://www.wherethetrailstakeyou.com/ or you can just click on the image above to be taken to my website.

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Filed under Life, Photography

One Year Ago Today

  • I drove across the Washington State border from Idaho, 3 weeks after moving up from TX.
  • I arrived in Yakima, WA, my new home, that morning.
  • My then 71-year old sister discovered (on this same day) her (thankfully now-ex) husband of 21 years had stolen – over the course of 10 years – all but $31,000 of her $800,000 retirement fund. Had he not been found out, he would have probably totally emptied her account – HER personal account that was never his to begin with.

Not quite how I’d expected my move to the Pacific Northwest to end up, but I sure am happy I’m here. I live with my sister now, help with the yardwork (see photos below), help with the cooking, help with the errands, and help with the bills. I live in a valley with soil perfect for fruit orchards, vinyards, and vegetable farms, near wineries and whisky distilleries (Lake Chelan Blue Spirits bourbon is my fave). I don’t have to worry about tornados, hurricanes every 6 months, or flooding. I don’t have to deal with humidity, and there are actual real seasons over here, along with cool weather that occurs BEFORE late December and lasts longer than a month. I am within driving distance of three national parks and a plethora of other beautiful landscapes to photograph, from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. The geology is pretty cool around here, too.

 

The year has gone by so fast, and it’s taken a little, but not much, adjustment on all our parts. I feel needed and am glad to be helping my sister – I feel like I am paying it forward for things I should have done for Mom but didn’t.

 

The House BEFOREBecky And The House

Before and After shots of the yard. Looks pretty nice, huh? This is what my sister and I, with help from her youngest son, did – something that should have been done by my sister’s ex, instead of what he really was doing, which was sitting in his office downstairs thinking up ways to continue stealing from her.

No, I haven’t won the lottery nor am I working for any high-powered company here. I’m definitely not independently wealthy, but I sure feel like I am finally living the dream. When my parents and I moved down South when I was 9 years old (my father had a better job offer in Kentucky), I watched the mountains of Montana (where I was born) recede behind me and vowed I would eventually return. It’s taken me 49 years to finally get back to the West, but better late than never. 😁

Anniversary Becky 2

Becky at Home

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Filed under Attitude, Life, love, National Parks, Photography, Washington State