Category Archives: Travel

Scenic Science In The National Parks, And Some Bison Management

Black Growler Steam Vent And Ledge Geyser

I just finished listening to the National Parks Traveler’s Podcast Episode #51. Loved it! I had the book on pre-order already and am really excited about reading it when it becomes available. And of course, I love bison. If I didn’t think the hummingbird was my spirit animal, I would think bison were. Anyway, if you like wildlife, botany, geology, or bison, you should give this podcast a listen.

Just click on the image to be taken to the podcast site

As for this image, it was taken during my atumn trip to Yellowstone National Park. It’s what I first beheld when approaching Porcelain Basin, within the Norris Basin area. Those two steamers there are, I believe, Black Growler Steam Vent and Ledge Geyser. Correct me if I am wrong. I was looking at a map of the area and they seem to be in the same position as the two named entities.
 
For all that autumn is a less-visited time (relatively speaking) for Yellowstone, this particular area was pretty crowded, mainly with tour buses. So I had to stand there a bit in order to get a clear, non-peopled shot. That gorgeous turquoise water makes me think of glacier-fed waters, but in reality, these waters are hot and would literally skin you alive if you dipped a toe in them because they are so caustic.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Solitude And Tranquility

A Quiet Summer Morning On A Little Pond

It’s the weekend, folks. Where will the trail take you? Perhaps to a quiet little pond for some solitude and thouthfulness? That’s what this image from Lake Clark National Park and Preserve brings to mind for me. It was a morning with no bears around to photograph, so we concentrated on other things during our hike out of a forest and into this misty meadow.

That’s a good lesson for you photographers out there. Often, we have high expectations of what we will see during a trip to a national park (or anywhere, for that matter). When it doesn’t pan out according to your expectations, then change those expectations and start observing what you see around you. On that morning, sans bears, I photographed a field filled with spiderwebs bejeweled with dewdrops. a downed nurselog housing a clump of tiny mushrooms, an orb weaver spider spinning a web, and this pond with it’s feathered swimmers within a golden meadow surrounded by mountains and a forest obscured by mist. It was lovely.

 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Alaska, Canon, Lake Clark National Park, National Parks, nature, Photography, Travel

Scale And Reference In A Photo

Castle Geyser EruptingPetrified Logs Along The Crystal Forest Trail

Most landscape photographers roll their eyes at including people or anything man-made in their images. I always try to get a few shots with people or other evidence of “civilization” in them because I believe this gives a sense of scale and reference to an image, thereby helping the viewer wrap their heads around the vastness, immensity, or smallness of a scene or feature within the landscape.

Becky At Grand Prismatic Overlook

This was my daily look during my 9 days in Yellowstone National Park this past autumn: bedraggled and sweaty from lugging photo gear on all my hikes, yet happy as a clam at high water to be out there doing what I love the most.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Arizona, Canon, National Parks, Petrified Forest National Park, Photography, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

It’s Sunrise Sunday!

Sunrise At The Falls

Mornin’, Folks! It’s Sunrise Sunday! And, it’s even sunny where I live (it’s been gray and dreary this past week). I haven’t posted much in the past few days because I’ve been busy with family things and working on another article for the National Parks Traveler.

I thought I’d sit down and go through Yellowstone images I hadn’t worked on yet, and found this lovely sunrise image of the Lower Yellowstone Falls. I have a thing for waterfalls, I guess, and this place is magical in the autumn, on cold, crisp, clear days. It wasn’t until later that I realized there were more observation points than I’d first thought, and I never got to see them during my 2019 stay there. Next time I visit this national park, you can bet I’ll be going to the places I missed.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under autumn, Canon, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, sunrise, Travel, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park

Must You Visit A Place In Order To Connect And Want To Protect It?

Alone In The Falls

That’s a question asked in one of today’s articles in the National Parks Traveler. It uses Katmai National Park and Preserve as an example. I found it to be a very interesting, well-written read, and it not only brought back memories of my own 2013 visit to this amazing park, but it also left me feeling a little weak, as well. Personally, I don’t need to visit a place to care about it’s welfare, although having actually experienced a place does go a long way in getting a person to connect. I’ve certainly met enough people who have never ever visited a national park or national monument who could care less about its welfare, simply because they have never been able to experience what it’s like to be in that place.

To read the article for yourself, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under Alaska, Katmai National Park, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized

Fun Fact Friday!

Baby Face

It’s Fun Fact Friday, folks! Did you know that the average weight of an Alaskan brown bear in Katmai National Park (after eating lots of salmon) is 1,000 lbs (~454 kg)? That’s a bunch of bear!

It’s hard to believe 6 years have passed since my visit to this national park. That little cub you see there should be full grown (hopefully) and around to eat plenty more salmon coming through the Brooks River.
 
Speaking of Katmai National Park, the 2020 Brooks Camp Bear Pin Logo Contest is underway. When visitors first arrive in this national park, they must undergo a mandatory bear safety orientation. The pins are presented to the visitors after completion of this training session as a visual reminder.
 
If you are interested in knowing more about the contest, click on the image above. You have until February 14 to enter.
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Alaska, bears, Katmai National Park, National Parks, Photography, Travel, wildlife

Where The Road May Take Me In 2020

Park Road Past A Teepee

In 2018, the road took me from southeast Texas up to central Washington, with stops in places like Petrified Forest National Park, in Arizona, as seen in the photo above.

In 2019, the road took me to Mount Rainier, Olympic, andYellowstone national parks in addition to the North Cascades Complex.

This year, 2020, I believe the road will take me to several places. I’ve already made reservations for a cabin in May outside Crater Lake National Park, in Oregon (yes, I’ll take my snowshoes). And, I was talking to my National Parks Traveler editor, Kurt, yesterday, who gave me a list of some lesser-visited places about which he’d like to see stories written, and I think I have a plan, now.

You see, here in the Pacific Northwest, I live closer to more national parks and national monuments and national recreation areas and national historic sites than I ever did in southeast Texas, and I’d like to explore a little “closer” to home, within driving distance, this year. So, I think I’ll make trips to Lake Roosevelt NRA (with a side trip to Grand Coulee Dam), and John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. I’ve seen spectacular landscape images of that Oregon site.

I’d also like to make a longer road trip to follow (and photograph) the 38 sites (or most of them, anyway) of the Nez Perce National Historical Park. This covers four different states (WA, ID, OR, and MT) and would certainly be an undertaking. This, though, hinges on what happens to me in April. You see, I applied for one of three Artist-In-Residence positions in Glacier National Park. They are supposed to notify their choices in April. I’m definitely not holding my breath on this, though, since last year’s applicants numbered around 600, I believe I was told. Six hundred applicants for 3 spots. That’s quite a bit of talent from which the Glacier staff can choose. So I’ll do a little alternate planning in the meantime.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under Canon, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Travel