I'm getting ready to go to Panama to take a field class about Conservation Photography and the class takes place in the middle of a rain forest during the rainy season. The closer it gets the more anxiety I have about it, so I just don't think about it too much. Meanwhile, I've got a lot going on at work and home that I'm trying to balance. There's a coyote with mange who lives in the meadow where my husband and I volunteer. We're trying to help her and the rest of the pack but at the same time we want to document the process. Getting meds to them will be complicated and may take some time, but I know it's possible. She's lactating so that complicates the situation even more. We're making progress so hopefully this little lady and her pack will be healthy again.
Another conservation photography opportunity presented itself this week. A kind lady in Plano had baby bobcats living under her deck in her backyard and she gave me access to photograph them for my Urban Bobcat project. She did her research and talked to the right people. Thankfully, she decided she wants to coexist with this little family as long as they want to stay . By the time I got to her house yesterday it had stormed and flooded the entire deck area . The poor kittens were soggy and shivering. One of them was crying desperately for mom. This wasn't part of the story I had in my head that I wanted to photograph so the rescuer in me took over. With some guidance from a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, we made a dry den for the kittens to take shelter in while mom was out hunting. I got a couple of photos of one of the kittens and then left the kind lady's house, trusting that mama bobcat would be back for her babies soon and would move them if she didn't feel the area was safe for them anymore. Her babies were perfectly healthy so there was no reason she wouldn't return. She eventually moved them all but that little one's cry was so desperate and pathetic. These two situations made me think about my journey as a conservation photographer. It made me wonder if I was on the right track or if I'm wearing my animal rescue hat more than my conservation photographer hat. It's definitely something I need to give some more thought to as I continue my journey. I might even seek some guidance from others who might have found themselves in the same situation. Can you play both roles and be successful at both?