WALKING ON THE WILD SIDE
Welcome to my blog. My name is Lea Frye and I am a wildlife photographer based in Helena, Montana. I was born in York, Pennsylvania, where I hail from a family of amateur photographers and where my spark for photography began. However life took me on a long journey of discovery from graduating with a B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management at Indiana University of Pennsylvania to later acquiring a B.S. in Petroleum Engineering from Penn State University.
Family and career took precedence for many years with photography becoming a fun outlet to document life and family adventures. In 2016 a shift to live a healthier, happier life reignited my passion for photography with a move to the Rocky Mountain region where wildlife and breath taking scenery abound.
Me in the field with "The Baby", aka my 600 mm lens.
This blog will be an avenue for me to share my love for wildlife with you, the readers. A place to pass on some of the amusing, touching and captivating stories behind my pictures like my encounter with this weasel.
Pop Goes the Weasel
My husband I had hiked in to a high country lake in Colorado one fall for some photography and fly fishing. When I stopped for a snack on a not so soft rock, I saw a blur of motion at the base of some nearby willows. The blur was the long slim reddish brown shape of a weasel as it sped by among the willows and rocks right in front of me. “Wait, come back!”, I said softly as the excitement of capturing a weasel in a picture over came me.
Not really expecting anything to happen, as wild animals march to their own beat, I was shocked when the weasel turned around and headed back toward me. As if curious about what I was and why I was talking to it the weasel jumped up from behind a rock to check me out. He looked me right in the eye and then disappeared behind the rock again. Slowly I reached for my camera and tried to sweet talk the weasel in to posing for me. Not sure if it was what I said or if just pure curiosity, but the weasel stayed and for the next five minutes the weasel would hide behind a rock then pop back up to look at me as if it was playing “pop goes the weasel”. These opportunities do not come often, so I snapped picture after picture hoping that at least a few would turn out.
Meanwhile, my husband hooked in to a really nice cutthroat trout. He was getting ready to ask me to come take a picture when he hears “Do that again.”, “Hold Still!”, and “I will make you famous”. All common phrases I utter when I have an animal subject willing to work with me. He quickly realized that I was otherwise occupied and there was no hope of getting a picture of his fish. So he released the fish and returned to casting while I continued working with the weasel.
Eventually the weasel tired of the game and went along it's merry way. I watched it scamper off between the rocks disappearing as quickly as it arrived. This is when I raced to my husband to tell him all about my encounter with a huge smile on my face. What a special day! This is a day I will always remember with great fondness.
These are the kind of moments I seek and cherish as a wildlife photographer. Through my camera's eye I capture these moments where I connect with my subjects in their natural habitat, bringing to life rare moments with images that best portray the personality, passion and struggle behind each wild animal’s existence.
The bulk of my work is done while exploring my backyard, which comprises lakes, valleys, prairies, and streams of the Rocky Mountains, and I am most in my element when immersed in the sights, sounds, and smells of nature, with a camera around my neck. My senses become attuned with my surroundings, aiding in my search for that next interaction with a wild animal. Each encounter is special and different, a few minutes in time forever engraved in my memory.
Until next time....Lea Frye
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www.leaf-images.com | Lea Frye, Wildlife Photographer | Helena, MT
Wild Animals / Wild Landscapes