You’re going to Antarctica, what many refer to as the “seventh continent,” as if it’s a collector’s item accrediting them with significant prestige in a time of global travel. But the first two days of your trek are not particularly auspicious. You’ve spent them forging a labored trail through the infamous Drake Passage, rolling from side to side in the heaving swell of the Southern Ocean, the forbidding gateway to this “last and final continent.”
Arriving at Wheeler Peak campground in Great Basin National Park, I found the perfect campsite for Rover, my camper van, for 4 nights. I leveled Rover, got settled, and paid the campground fee. Then I opened the door to the bathroom and there was the snake. ACK!! A SNAKE!! ACK!! A small one, about 2 feet long, yellowish with a black pattern, with oblong head – at least it wasn’t a pit viper (venomous). Maybe a small bull snake or large garter snake. It wriggled on the floor trying to crawl up the wall. Heck, I was at 9,880 feet! I had no idea of how it got in the bathroom. I was so shaken that I didn’t even take a picture. I decided to find someone to help me (I figured I needed at least 4 hands and 2 heads).
A little while ago I was asked about the control of depth of field for photography in a field of columbine and I explained in a newsletter article. Now I want to get into a discussion conerning Gardening and Grooming. I used to talk about gardening, and if it was ever acceptible. Some of our photographers may disagree in this but, for now, I hold the stage.
You hadn’t exactly been making tawaf, that great, frenzied, swarming circumambulation of the Holy Kaaba in Mecca; and you clearly hadn’t been doing anything quite like the Muslim Hajj, either. Nonetheless, in a limited, quasi-metaphorical way, it is the first pilgrimage-like parallel you draw when you reflect on your visit to Sprague Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in early September 2019.
This is a charming, entertaining, and educational little book, written by RMOWP member Virginia Parker Staat. It brought both tears and chuckles – what more can a reader ask? Although written for children eight to 14, it’s a lovely story for all ages. It’s also a true story, and includes delightful illustrations by Andy Ramon.
As most of RMOWP knows, I retired in 1997 to pursue a second career as a wildlife photographer. A year later, I was diagnosed with ALS, commonly called Lou Gerhig’s disease after the great Yankee HOF first baseman. Continue reading My Super Power