Photographing Pikas: A Life Above the Clouds

Photo of a pika standing up and grabbing leaves from a large plant. An American pika chooses which leaves look the tastiest in his subalpine home. In very cold areas, pika live in the subalpine, where plants are very abundant and much larger than up high. © Deidre Rosenberg
An American pika chooses which leaves look the tastiest in his subalpine home. In very cold areas, pika live in the subalpine, where plants are very abundant and much larger than up high. © Deidre Rosenberg

By Deirdre Rosenberg

There are many wondrous and surreal ecosystems on this planet: landscapes that take your breath away and make you feel small in the best kind of way, areas that we feel called to. For me, it’s all about the alpine environment. As a small child, I was immersed in the land that exists above the clouds and that’s where my heart and soul still reside. My fascination and passion for these harsh places has informed much of my life and career. Today, I am excited to share some information, a few photos, and some of my concerns about one of my very favorite alpine residents: the American pika.

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Bob Dunne, 1929 – 2019

November 13, 2010.  Bob Dunne in his home studio, Silver Spring, MD.  Made following his interview for NANPA's oral history project.
November 13, 2010. Bob Dunne in his home studio, Silver Spring, MD. Made following his interview for NANPA’s oral history project.

Last month, Wayne Sentman gave us the sad news that NANPA member and 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Robert L. Dunne had passed away at the age of 89.  Born in Brooklyn, NY, he graduated from Parsons School of Design and New York University.  Dunne joined the staff of the National Wildlife Federation in 1967 and became executive editor of Ranger Rick.  A conservation champion, mentor, educator and artist in his own right, he influenced and inspired many children and adults.

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How I Got the Shot: Gilded Flicker and Bees Pollinating Saguaro Cactus Blooms

Gilded Flicker and Bees Pollinating Saguaro Cactus Blooms

Gilded Flicker and Bees Pollinating Saguaro Cactus Blooms

Story and photo by Wendy Kaveney

The Giant Saguaro Cactus (Cereus giganteus) is indigenous to the Desert Southwest and blooms in the spring.  Saguaro flowers bloom for less than 24 hours, allowing only a little time to be pollinated. During the flower’s short life, it provides food for bees and birds during the day, and for bats during the night. They, in turn, pollinate the flowers.

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