Kehoe Beach at Point Reyes National Seashore in the San Francisco Bay area.

Travel Theme: ANIMALS

As a vegan animal lover and uncompromising defender of their total liberation from human oppression for food, clothing, experimentation, and entertainment, this week’s theme from Where’s My Backpack? is naturally right up my alley!!

Coyote contemplating his life in Death Valley.

Yellow-bellied marmot, Yosemite National Park.

A couple gorgeous Oystercatchers (thanks to Kirsti, Joey, and Joanne for alerting me to exactly what kind of bird they are!) on the Mendocino coast of northern California.

At Kehoe Beach, Point Reyes National Seashore in the San Francisco Bay area.

Acorn woodpecker (thanks to Joanne for identifying the exact species!)  just outside Yosemite.

Turkey vulture, (ubiquitous in) northern California.

Right by the San Francisco Bay in China Camp State Park, a great white egret (top) AND a snowy egret!! <3

Great horned owl (I think) in Red Rock Canyon State Park. Two of her young offspring were in the area, too. Apologies for the atrocious quality, but I didn’t yet have a good telephoto lens and this animal is too amazing and rare for me to not share my only picture of her!

Another magnificent coyote, this one in Sequoia National Park.

Newport Beach, Orange County in So Cal. I just LOVE his/her eyes!

Newport Beach again; I was showing a group of kids some tricks to finding sand crabs, and one of the girls dug up this beautiful beast! <3

17-pound boa constrictor named Baby :)

Some good friends and I were eating dinner at my favorite restaurant, Wheel of Life in Irvine (100% vegan Thai food that even meat eaters go crazy for!, owned and run by FOURTH-GENERATION vegan, Victor, 66 years vegan and still lookin no more than early-50s, with his infamous    catchphrase–VEGAN POWAH!!); when I spotted a guy eating soup at a table outside with his buddy draped over his shoulders.  Apparently he got her when she was “even smaller” from the shelter.  I’ve always loved snakes, ever since my veterinarian Aunt Janet had a garter snake whom I would hold, who would wrap himself around my little 7-year-old arm, and who would dip his head into Janet’s fishbowl and gobble up goldfish.  But I’ve never held a snake this big.  It was a spectacular experience; you can truly feel the life in every square inch of their bodies, muscles pulsing, pulling, as they slither atop your torso.  There was something totally humbling about it–knowing that if Baby decided she didn’t like me or didn’t like what I was doing, she could wrap herself around my neck and squeeze the life out of me.  A possibility I was minorly concerned about:  “How will I know if she gets upset?” I asked her guardian.  “Oh,” he said, “well, she’ll squeeze your jugular and you’ll pass out in about 15 seconds.”
I laughed, and enjoyed the experience even more.  I absolutely LOVE any experience where I am humbled by nature or nonhuman animals; it makes me appreciate them even more, reminding me of why I love and fight for them, reinforcing and validating my knowledge that humans are just one species of millions, that we are not the pinnacle of evolution or the point of evolution, that every creature and wild space is marvelous and worthwhile for their own reasons, irrespective of human usefulness or greed or desire.

And of course, what animal-based photography post would be complete without a little Joie de Rikki??

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18 thoughts on “Travel Theme: ANIMALS

    1. TheRewildWest Post author

      Thank you!! Yeah, that starfish does look like he’s bending for something, doesn’t he?? =D

      Reply
  1. Pingback: travel theme: animals « my sweetpainteddreams

    1. TheRewildWest Post author

      “WOW” works! ;) Thank you; I love coyotes, one of my favorite animals–did you see what I wrote about them in a comment on Ailsa’s blog? If not, I’d be happy to copy and paste, because it’s very important. RE the snake: hahahaha, what is it about snakes that creep so many people out?? I love them!

      Reply
    1. TheRewildWest Post author

      Thanks, scrapydo!! Can you tell how exciting this was for me? Haha. Scenery stays put, but getting good animal photos can take a lot more patience, luck, perseverance, etcetera. They don’t hold still like a tree or a flower or a mountain (all relatively speaking, of course ;)

      Reply
      1. TheRewildWest Post author

        Yeah, my owl picture being a case in point; but it was such a spectacular experience for me, seeing a mother great horned owl and her two young offspring in person, and they’re such beautiful majestic animals, that I had to share it despite the blurriness.

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