Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Death of 527

The following image and report was received from the National Resource Defense Council (NRDC), November 16, 2009.
Wolf 527, pictured to the right, originated from the Druid pack - one of the best known wolf packs in Yellowstone's Lamar Valley. She was beloved by wolf-watchers and wildlife biologists who chronicled her courageous life. Sadly, she was also one of the first wolves killed in October -- during Montana's first wolf hunt in modern times. 
Here's an excerpt from an obituary written by a wolf-watcher . . .
"527 was a wolf that marched to the beat of a very different drummer." As a yearling, 527 left the Druids to join the Slough pack -- where she quickly became the beta (second-in-command) female. Then in 2007, she and a male wolf set off to found their own pack -- the Cottonwood Creek pack -- where she became the alpha (first-in-command) female. 
As a leader of the Cottonwood pack, 527 was known to be a master of survival strategies. While four other packs that inhabited the same area suffered dismal fates, her pack thrived. As her biographer recounts, "She was a genius wolf in her tactics. Strategy was her game and she was a master at it. She would return to feed her pups in the dark of night because she would not take the risk of crossing the road."  But in the end, despite 527's "unbelievable survival strategies," this resilient wolf "was not able to outthink a rifle" and was killed on October 3 when Montana unleashed its first public wolf hunt in modern times.  According to NRDC, since the public hunts began, 156 wolves in the Northern Rockies have met 527's fate. Over the next year, more than 500 wolves could be shot to death by hunters and government agents . . . reducing the region's wolf population by a staggering 40 percent!  If this outrages you as much as it does me, I urge you to contact Interior Secretary Ken Salazar (as I did) and let him know how you feel.

Mailing Address: Department of the Interior 1849 C Street, N.W. Washington DC 20240

Phone: 202-208-3100 E-Mail: feedback@ios.doi.gov

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Announcing "MYSTIC WORLD" Series

"Mystic Dancer"

I have admired the art of Bev Doolittle for a number of years. Her paintings have inspired and influenced me greatly. In fact, I am the proud owner of one of her prints, "When the Wind Had Wings." The following quote by Bev characterizes my beliefs regarding wildlife.

"In the life of the Indian, every new day, every encounter with a bird or beast, and everything he owned or wore related to his religious belief that all creatures were the creation of the same great power, and therefore were brothers." - Bev Doolittle, Season of the Eagle

Wild creatures truly are my wild brothers and sisters. In an attempt to portray the spiritual world of wildlife and their ability to communicate with us, I have begun work on a new concept in photographic wildlife imagery. Where this journey will take me, I have no idea. I do know, however, that my wild brothers and sisters will lead and I must follow.

I came up with the idea many years ago after seeing the work of Bev Doolittle. However, it was not until learning the technical skills that I was able to do anything about it. Even then, I was slow in getting started.

Work actually began about three years ago, but I never finished the project. A year or two ago, I showed the yet-to-be-completed image to a participant on one of my workshops and received favorable comments. It was not until a couple of months ago after receiving an email from my friend, Michael Wilhelm, that I decided it was time to get busy and complete it. Attached to his message asking for my comments, was a similar image. I decided to show my unfinished image to Lori Huff, my good friend and co-conspirator. She loved it. That was all it took. Looking for a new and different way to generate income in our country's failing economy, I decided the time was now or never.

So, that's how it all began. Thanks to Bev Doolittle, my friends Lori and Michael, and most of all to my wild brothers and sisters . . .

I present "Mystic Dancer," the first of my offerings portraying the spiritual world of wildlife in what I call, the Mystic World series. It is being released in a limited edition of 250 signed and numbered prints.

Check out Bev Doolittle's work: www.bevdoolittle.net

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Russia Creates Park to Save Polar Bears

The ‘Russian Arctic’ park is located on the northern part of Novaya Zemlya, a long island that arcs out into the Arctic Ocean between the Barents and Kara Seas and includes some adjacent marine areas.
The 1.5 million hectare park will protect much of the Barents and Kara Sea polar bear populations.
Still lacking is urgent global action on global climate change to ensure that the Arctic stays cold enough for species such as polar bears.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Runs With Wind

Runs With Wind

This is an image of a Medicine Hat mare that I made two weeks ago during our Wild Horses of the West photo adventure in South Dakota. It so happens that I was also there in 2005, a few weeks after she was foaled. She is, to me, one of the most beautiful horses that I have ever laid eyes upon and this year I had the honor of naming her. The name I chose – Runs With Wind. Since she was foaled and resides within the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, is only fitting for her to also be known by the Lakota translation of that name, which according to a Lakota elder is . . . tate un iyanke. TRANSLITERATION:  TAK-tay un e-YAN-a. (TAK is pronounced with a gutteral sound.

Runs With Wind and her first foal.

The term Medicine Hat is applied to horses exhibiting a rare color pattern featuring color on their ears and top of the head, which resembles a bonnet or hat, along with a mostly white body.

According to several Plains tribes, Medicine Hats were used as Ceremonial Horses, Buffalo Runners, and War Horses. They were considered to have supernatural powers capable of protecting their riders from harm. The Medicine Hat was so special that only tribal chiefs, medicine men, and great warriors were allowed to ride them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Remembering Dream Catcher

A severe winter took its toll on the Gila herd at the facility on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation in central South Dakota, where I just returned from conducting our Wild Horses of the West photo adventure. One of the losses, a mare by the name of Dream Catcher.

Dream Catcher was foaled during my first Wild Horse of the West workshop, which was conducted the week of July 20-26, 2003.

She was named by participant and good friend, Karen Flannery. It’s also significant the Dream Catcher gave birth to her first foal at the age of two during another workshop in 2005. The foal’s birth took place sometime between May 24 and May 26. Wind Walker, once the herd’s number two stallion, was the father.

We miss you Dream Catcher. You will be long remembered.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Fight To Save Polar Bears Is On

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Friday, his plan to retain the Bush administration’s rule that limits what can be done to protect polar bears from global warming.

According to Salazar, "We must do all we can to help the polar bear recover, recognizing that the greatest threat to the polar bear is the melting of Arctic sea ice caused by climate change. However, the Endangered Species Act is not the proper mechanism for controlling our nation’s carbon emissions.”

Not only is this an out and out lie in my opinion, according to Andrew Wetzler, wildlife conservation director at the Natural Resources Defense Council, "The rule endorsed today is illegal, and we will continue to fight it in court."

It is sad that the very people we elected to protect the polar bear have now turned their backs on the bears and us; and, we must now fight them in order to save the bears.

Friday, May 8, 2009

One Day to Save the Polar Bear

Congress passed legislation on March 10 giving Secretary Salazar power until May 9 to rescind with the stroke of a pen both the special rule for the polar bear and a rule that exempted thousands of federal activities, including those that generate greenhouse gas emissions, from review by expert scientists in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Marine Fisheries services. This latter rule was rescinded by the secretary last week, but he did not rescind the polar bear special rule or give any indication of whether he was inclined to do so.

Should Salazar fail to rescind the "special rule" for the polar bear, he will severely undermine protection for the species. The rule prohibits regulation of any activities threatening the polar bear that occur outside of the Arctic. The polar bear, however, is endangered precisely because of activities occurring outside the Arctic, namely emission of greenhouse gases and resulting warming that is leading to the rapid disappearance of summer sea ice.  

"The special rule is a death warrant for the polar bear," said Snape. "It makes no sense to determine, on one hand, that the polar bear is threatened, and then on the other hand to deny it that protection."

Cast your vote and sign the petition before it's too late:   http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/2167/t/8257/petition.jsp?petition_KEY=1878

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Help Feed Abandoned & Neglected Animals

I received the following announcement from a friend . . .
Please tell ten friends to tell ten friends today! The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily to meet their quota of getting free food donated every day to abused and neglected animals. It takes less than a minute (How about 20 seconds) to go to their site and click on the purple box "fund food for animals" for free. This doesn't cost you a thing.
Their corporate sponsors/advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising.
According to Snopes.com the site is legitimate.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Throwin' Spaghetti

In my recent How To Sell Your Photos workshop, I related that selling is a numbers game . . . that it's kinda like throwin' spaghetti at the wall. Most of it will fall to the floor, but some of it will stick. Sooo, that's what I've been doing. Throwin' spaghetti.
As a result, it appears that starting this fall, I will begin conducting presentations through the Laramie County Community College in Cheyenne, Wyoming. But that's not all. Based on recent conversations with Nikon USA, I will be involved in a new project with them.
With the economy in the shape it's in, you have got to make things happen. So my friends, get out there and start throwin' a little spaghetti around.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

How to Sell Your Photos Make-Up Class

My 2008, Estes Park , Colorado, "How to Sell Your Photographs" workshop is now history. Although a few snow flakes fell, the weather cooperated allowing those who were snowed-in the previous weekend to attend yesterday's class. We had a good turnout with 17 people registering for the workshop. Some of the topics I covered included stock photography, photography and writing, gallery and museums,  and the secrets of selling on the internet. There were a lot of questions, which always makes for an interesting program.
My thanks to everyone who attended and helped make this workshop a success.
THANK YOU!
If you would like me to hold a How to Sell Your Photographs workshop in your area, contact me and I will get the ball rolling.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Snow Geese - Bosque del Apache NWR, NM
Celebrate Earth Day by donating to an environmental organization of your choice. Don't know which one to choose? Here's a couple that I think are worthy of your support: Center for Biological Diversity, World Wildlife Fund, and National Resource Defense Council.
As some of you have noticed, I haven't posted regularly on my blog for some time. The reason, I've been busy.  Much of my time has been spent putting together a new website for my photo adventures using Adobe GoLive, which I also used for my online eGallery. The new website is filled with images made during workshops, both by me as well as by participants. There is a page where viewer's can add updates to my book, A Guide to Photographing Rocky Mountain Wildlife. A couple of locations in the book are not as active as when the book was initially published, plus there are numerous other locations, both within and outside the Rocky Mountains, where you - the viewer - can have your favorite wildlife location listed. In another section, I will be writing about wildlife and wildlife photography on a regular basis. I invite you to check out my new website and share your comments with me. Click here:  RockyMountainPhotoAdventures
While working on the new website, I also managed to conduct several photography workshops, put on PowerPoint presentations for three different camera clubs, and attend the annual North American Nature Photography (NANPA) Summit in Albuquerque, NM. 
I have also been invited to put on a program for the Nature Photographers of the Pacific Northwest (NPPNW) this coming November. I will be posting more about that as time draws closer and I have more details.
Last Saturday, I conducted my How to Sell Your Photos workshop in Estes Park, CO. However, due to a spring snowstorm, many who had signed up for the workshop were snowed-in and unable to attend. Therefore, I will be teaching a make-up workshop this coming Saturday, April 25.
I will be sending out our new eNewsletter within the next couple of weeks. Every issue contains special offers on workshops and wildlife photographs available only to subscribers. If you would like your name added to our list contact me at:   weldon@weldonlee.com
Please note:  I respect your privacy and will never release your email address to other individuals.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

How to Sell Your Photographs

Photo Marketing Workshop
April 18, 2009
I will be conducting a photo marketing workshop in Estes Park, Colorado this month. Topics covered will range from selling images online to photography & writing. There are hundreds of people out there just waiting to purchase your images. During the workshop, you will learn who they are and how to contact them. I will teach you the marketing skills necessary to become a full time photographer. For information, contact me by email (weldon@weldonlee.com) or telephone (303.747.2074). I would love to see you there.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Vote Earth! Switch Off Lights For Earth Hour

In March, 2009, world leaders meet in Copenhagen to agree on a post-Kyoto policy for tackling climate change. One billion people voting with their light switch during Earth Hour will create a powerful mandate for our leaders to take strong and decisive action on climate change in Copenhagen. Earth Hour is asking us to help spread the word about the importance of turning your lights out for one hour at 8.30pm on March 28. In California the Golden Gate Bridge goes dark, in Times Square the Coca Cola billboard goes dark, and so much more. This is a call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet.

VOTE EARTH

To learn more, click here:

Thursday, February 5, 2009

In the Shadow of a Rainbow

The following story was emailed to me by my good friend, Jeff Billings. It was so inspirational - both  from the photographer's determination and the spiritual aspect - that I wanted to share it with you. After a brief Google search, I was able to contact the photographer, Tom Sears, and obtain his permission to do so. Tom asked that I include his web address, saying that the sales of his photographs are his only source of income except for Social Security. Sound familiar? Sooo, here's his web address:   www.tomsears.com     And, here's Tom's story . . .
The Bears and I
Black bears typically have two cubs; rarely, one or three. In 2007, in northern New Hampshire, a black bear Sow gave birth to five healthy young. There were two or three reports of sows with as many as four cubs, but five was, and is, extraordinary. I learned of them shortly after they emerged from their den and set myself a goal of photographing all five cubs with their mom - no matter how much time and effort was involved. I knew the trail they followed on a fairly regular basis, usually shortly before dusk. After spending nearly four hours a day, seven days a week, for six weeks, I had that once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and photographed them. I used the equivalent of a very fast film speed on my digital camera. The print is properly focused and well exposed, with all six bears posing as if they were in a studio for a family portrait.
I stayed in touch with other people who saw the bears during the summer and into the fall hunting season. All six bears continued to thrive. As time for hibernation approached, I found still more folks who had seen them, and everything remained OK. I stayed away from the bears as I was concerned that they might become habituated to me, or to people in general, as approachable friends. This could be dangerous for both man and animal.
After Halloween I received no further reports and could only hope the bears survived until they hibernated.
This spring, before the snow disappeared, all six bears came out of their den and wandered the same familiar territory they trekked in the spring of 2007.
I saw them before mid-April and dream nightly of taking another family portrait, an improbable second once-in-a-lifetime photograph.
On April 25, 2008, I achieved my dream.
When something as magical as this happens between man and animal, Native Americans say, "We have walked together in the shadow of a rainbow."
And so it is with humility and great pleasure that I share these photos with you.
Sincerely, Tom Sears

Sunday, January 25, 2009

First Decent Snowfall of the Year

This is a photograph - taken January 1, 2004 - of the cabin where I lived in Wild Basin.
Melody is standing in the snow in front of the cabin.
I have since moved to another location two miles away.
We finally received, what I consider, our first really decent snowfall this winter.  Although, I have yet to venture outside, it's up to Diana's stomach when she went out a little before 5 a.m. this morning.
I love quotes and one-liners; and since Thoreau's writings have had a major influence on my life-style, I would like to share the following verse by him . . .
I frequently tramped eight or ten miles
    through the deepest snow to keep an appointment
        with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch,
            or an old acquaintance among the pines.
                                        - Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Is There Only One?

On January 2, I voiced my concerns for the well-being of our wild brothers and sisters and put out an invitation for others to join me in the formation of an organization for their protection. The next day, I followed up with a few ideas regarding focus, organization, etc., etc.
So far, only ONE person has responded. Are there no more? Once again, I put out an invitation; NO, this time it's a plea. Please, our wild brothers and sisters need our help. Contact me:
Weldon Lee
P.O. Box 487
Allenspark, CO  80510
303.747.2074
weldon@weldonlee.com

Monday, January 5, 2009

Change.gov

President-elect Barack Obama has a website, where you can ask questions regarding issues that concern you; and, vote for or against issues raised by others.
Please go to this site and cast your vote regarding the need to protect our wild brothers and sisters.
1.  Sign in at http://change.gov/openforquestions   You will have to set up a log-in for yourself at that site to vote
2.  In the "Search questions" box, type the word WILDLIFE
3.  Every post containing the word wildlife will appear. Scroll through the list and cast your vote for those questions that address concern for protecting wildlife.
Please cast your vote as soon as possible, as the voting may close at any time.
Your vote will let the Obama Administration know that you, along will millions of other Americans, are concerned about the fate of our wild brothers and sisters.
Don't forget to post a question. Although not a question, this is what I posted (before eliminating a number of characters in order to fit the available space) . . .
There are so many issues facing our wild brothers and sisters - the stripping of legal protection for some and the failure to protect others. The problems are not limited to the U.S. They are global. Henry David Thoreau wrote, "In wildness is the preservation of the world." Let us cherish and protect those wild places and the creatures that inhabit them.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Few Ideas of My Own

Tabatha Osborne, a good friend and fellow photographer who posted a comment on the blog just below this one, asked for me send her an email containing a few of my ideas concerning an organization for the protection of wildlife around the world. However, I believe it is important that I also share my thoughts with others, especially since my vision regarding the proposed, new organization is all about YOU and our wild brothers and sisters.
First, I want to make it clear that the organization being formed will not belong to me or any other individual. My vision is that it will be a non-profit entity, administered by a group of individuals that share my love and passion for our wild brothers and sisters, along with an army of volunteers who share that same compassion. TOGETHER, WE CAN SAVE OUR WILD BROTHERS AND SISTERS.
Here are the steps . . .
Prioritize the issues and determine which one/ones to tackle first
  • Global climate change
  • Zero population growth
  • Save the Polar Bear
  • Wildlife corridors
Frame the issue creatively and buy the web domain
  • SavingWildlife.org
  • WildlifeInPeril.org
  • ZeroHour.org
Build a website
  • Domain registrars (GoDaddy.com)
Give people an action to take
  • Write their Representative (USAlone.com)
  • Petition (PetitionOnline.com)
Blog
  • News
  • Organizing
Enlist complementary partners
  • Staff
  • Expertise
  • Connections
  • Money
Put together a business plan
Incorporate
  • non-profit
Form a broad coalition
  • Reciprocal links
  • Email blast
  • Press conference
Enlist a dedicated politician
Get publicity
  • talk shows
  • columnists
  • street actions
  • press conference
Ask for money
  • Paypal
Ideas for consideration:
   I.  Issues (locally and worldwide) that need to be addressed
       A.  Global warming and climate change
       B.  Habitat destruction
       C.  Apathy
       D. Stripping legal protection
       E.  Expose lies perpetrated by corporations and governments
       F.  Poaching
       G.  More greenbelts in metropolitan areas
       H.  Corridors between greenbelts, parks, and wilderness areas
     for the maintenance of healthy gene pools
      among animal populations
        I.  Zero population growth
        J.  Etc., etc., etc.
 II.  Focus on items that fall through the "cracks"
       of other environmental organizations
III.  Involve school children around the world
       A.  Develop syllabus
       B.  Make the syllabus to teachers at no cost to them
IV.  Utilize utube
       A.  Apply the Obama Campaign's method
     of using utube for success to our campaigns
       B.  Contact public frequently via email
     regarding issues and successes
       C.  Ask for small donations
 V.  Work together with other organizations
       on specific campaigns
I welcome any and all thoughts, ideas, and suggestions. Together, we can make a difference.

Friday, January 2, 2009

It's Time That We Do Something

My major focus during 2009, will be activities, projects, and the formation of an organization for the protection of our wild brothers and sisters around the world. Time is running out for many species. The time for action is now.
I am looking for individuals who share my concerns and want to get involved. I know it sounds ambitious, but something must be done. I can not do it alone. I need your help. Together, we CAN win!
If you would like to become involved, please contact me either by email, phone, posting your contact info on this blog, or by "snail" mail.
I can be reached at:
Weldon Lee
P.O. Box 487
Allenspark, CO  80510
303.747.2074
weldon@weldonlee.com
P.S.  If you have any suggestions for a name for the organization, or any thing else for that matter, I welcome all comments.

Poll: What's Your Favorite Image

I am taking a poll to find out your favorite image (and why) that I posted in 2008. Simply click on "Comments" below and let me know what you think.
Thank you very much,
Weldon