Posts Tagged With: Travel

The Rest of the Story…an Unimagined Adventure

Becci-Crowe-and-Meerkats-for-blog

Sketching Meerkats in Namibia

Twenty years ago if someone had asked me what I’d be doing today, I wouldn’t even come close to describing my life. I had just started a full time career as a wildlife artist and was about to embark on my first trip to Africa.  I didn’t know what the future would hold. I did know that I loved wildlife and traveling to wild places and I was ready to take more steps in that direction…..and share what I loved through art.

What started then as a once in a lifetime trip to Africa as an artist has turned into many life changing journeys. There have been all kinds of encounters with animals over the years, including a few close calls, and it’s ignited a passion to help secure a wild future for them all.

I’m now networking with conservationists who have dedicated their lives to protecting our planet.  But there was one I could only observe from afar. . . a trailblazer I had been reading about since childhood who has been an inspiration to me as a woman, a scientist, an explorer and a UN Messenger for Peace – Dr. Jane Goodall. She seemed unreachable.

Jane-Goodall-and-Becci-Crowe

With Dr. Jane Goodall at Wildlife Conservation Network

 

That changed 3 years ago when I met her for the first time at a Nature Conservancy Event in Seattle and then on two other occasions at the Wildlife Conservation Network in San Francisco.  Meeting her was something I had dreamed of – and held onto as a possibility –  and it was as exciting as I imagined. But that was as far as I had allowed myself to imagine. Who could ask for more?

My steps in the world are like the dots I place on paper as an Artist – one following the other, not knowing for sure what the end result will be, but remembering that as long as I follow my heart, everything else will come. And come it did.

Dr. Jane turned 80 on April 3rd and my husband and I had the honor of being with her at her birthday celebration.  I was a child in a dream.  Formal photos were taken but my favorite will always be this Selfie I took of us – poor quality and all.

Selfie with Dr. Jane at her 80th birthday

Selfie with Dr. Jane at her 80th birthday

 

 

And now the rest of the story……the unimagined adventure. I’ll be meeting Dr. Jane in the Republic of Congo at her Chimpanzee Sanctuary early next year. And, safety conditions allowing, assisting her with the relocation/release of one of the orphaned chimpanzees. There’s a Selfie somewhere in that experience!

What captures your heart? Reach for that. That’s your connection to an unimaginable life. And it will come – in ways you never thought possible.

Until next time,

Becci Crowe

Signature Member Artists for Conservation

Categories: Adventure Travel, Life, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Unknown Calls…Will you Answer?

Stepping into the Unknown transformed my life. I shared my journey during my recent TEDx talk now posted on YouTube. I was given 10 minutes. Here it is…Feel free to share and let me know your thoughts…

Categories: Adventure Travel, Life, Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

My Summer of YOLO

My blog has been rather quiet this summer but I haven’t.  Little did I know I was off YOLOing.  I just found that out while listening to Katie Kouric during an interview. Here is a video slide show with highlights from my summer YOLO:

But it doesn’t end there.  I’ve been YOLOing even after returning from Zimbabwe.  Like today enjoying one of my favorite things:

Me & dark chocolate

I bet you’ve been YOLOing this summer without knowing it too – share yours and join me on the journey.

Becci Crowe Adventure Artist

You Only Live Once

Categories: Life | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

Home

Where is home? Is it where we were born or lived as a child or is it where we end up? Is it a geographical place or a specific abode? Is it one place or can it be plural? Is what comes to each of our hearts when we say “that is home” always associated with the positive? Could you call something home if it were negative? What makes a location feel like home?

I left what I knew as home when I was 19. It was not the place I was born but the place I had lived as long as I was old enough to remember. The details of my leaving is another story, but my destination was Oklahoma where I subsequently spent the next 10 years. Having grown up on the Pacific Coast it was like moving to a foreign country. The land and culture was alien to me. Even after 10 years it never felt like home. I not only missed my family, I still missed ‘my country’.

I married a military officer and we spent many years traveling the world. It was exciting to experience so many new people and places. But as much as I enjoyed it none of the places we lived and traveled ever felt like home and I was always ready to move on. In my heart home was still where my childhood memories were created. Not a specific house – we lived in 4 different ones – but places like grandma’s and the beautiful wilderness that I was free to explore.

The Serengeti, Tanzania

Then one day, I traveled to Africa and something unexpected happened. The concept of home went deeper and wider than I ever imagined. I looked upon the great plains and woodlands, the high mountain ridges and the deep gorges of the Rift Valley that make up Tanzania and felt in my bones I was home. I don’t know where this strong feeling came from other than a deep primal knowing, buried in my DNA, that my roots were here. This feeling has never left me.

My concept of home has changed through the years. What is home to you? Has it changed as your life evolved? What is home?

Join me on the journey.

Becci Crowe   Adventure Artist

Categories: Life, Travel | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Going to the dogs

Jane Goodall, Becci Crowe, & Greg Rasmussen

Plans are in the works to return to Africa again this year. It will be my 10th trip and this experience promises to be like no other.  My husband and I will be joining Dr. Greg Rasmussen, Founder & Research Director of Painted Dog Conservation in Zimbabwe.  No safari for us – it won’t be necessary – we’ll be camped out in the bush with wildlife 24/7  as we track, collar, and collect data on the endangered Painted Dogs of Africa.We first met Greg 18 months ago while attending the Wildlife Conservation Network  in San Francisco.  I’d been following his work with Painted Dogs and we hit it off immediately.  Greg’s friends include many internationally known conservationists including the legendary Jane Goodall.

“Painted” patterns are unique to each dog

 

Painted Dogs, also known as African Wild Dogs, are unique to Africa and among Africa’s most endangered species.  At the turn of the 20th century there were half a million. It is estimated that only 3,000 – 5,000 still survive. The population in Zimbabwe is one of the last strongholds of the species and Greg’s Painted Dog Conservation  is committed to saving them.

Painted Dogs have long legs, a lean body and large ears.  Their coats vary in pattern and coloration mixing black, grey, gold, and white to produce a unique painted effect.  They live in packs and are very social.  Only the dominant male and female breed, but the whole pack takes care of the young.

Hyena and Painted Dog

 

 

 

A question I’m often asked is how Painted Dogs differ from hyenas.  Seeing them side by side makes the physical differences obvious.  Hyena will take every opportunity to steal whatever the Dogs kill.

Becci & her guide in Zimbabwe in 2004 surrounded by a large pack of Painted Dog

On our last trip to Zimbabwe we filmed our documentary  “As Close As You Dare – Africa” which was broadcast by PBS across the US.  During our filming we encountered a large pack of Painted Dogs and found ourselves surrounded.  We captured some incredible footage that shows what happened.  (The DVD is available) While in Zimbabwe this year with Greg Rasmussen we’ll be searching for this pack again to record how they’re doing.

My summer adventure.  What’s on your list?  Join me on the journey.

Becci Crowe   Adventure Artist

Categories: Travel, Wildlife | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

Go Ahead – Ask Me

     I was recently interviewed by local writer, Judy Spiers. Being interviewed is an interesting process. I’ve been interviewed multiple times – even on television, but each interview has unique dynamics and a different perspective.  Judy approached me because I’m presenting a special program “In Search of Tigers” based on my journey to India, Nepal, and Thailand in search of some of the last remaining wild Tigers on earth.  As an artist specializing in wildlife, I travel to the wild and remote places where animals live and am increasingly involved in conservation efforts. I love sharing these adventures and the state of the environment through my art, photos, video and story telling to groups and organizations.  For those of you living in Western Washington this program is free and open to the public April 9th, 7 pm, at the Puyallup Public Library.

Tracking wild Tiger on Elephant back in India

Becci and Baby Indian Elephant

But I digress…..the interview……Read on.  I would enjoy your comments and posting the questions Judy didn’t ask me.   Go ahead – ask me. Here’s The Interview 

Join me on the journey.

Becci Crowe Adventure Artist

Categories: Adventure Travel | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

What do you know for sure?

Some of the things I once thought I knew haven’t stood the test of time. I know what I love. That’s a long list. I know what I hate. That’s a short list.  But in contemplating the world around me, what do I know for sure?

Over the years my travels have taken me to all kinds places and immersed me in close encounters with people and wildlife.  I’ve stood face to face with indigenous people whose culture and language were as unrecognizeable to me as mine to them. Initially this seemed an insurmountable barrier to communication.  But who needs the same language and culture to express warmth and curiosity and humor and hunger and caring and a helping hand? Even more profound, you don’t have to be the same species. I’ve found similar characteristics in communicating with animals and wildlife.  Talk about different cultures and language!  We’ve all had these experiences with our beloved pets but I can tell you it goes far beyond that.

Becci and baby grey whale

That's me on the bottom right reaching out to a baby gray whale who repeatedly surfaced to watch and splash us

 Once I went to Baja and spent time in an inflatable raft – a zodiac – in the lagoons where the gray whales migrate to give birth. We were at water level with these spectacular marine mammals and could see mother-calf pairs spouting and surfacing around us. Then a very surprising thing happened. A mother swam with her very young calf to our zodiac and surfaced right next to us. They stayed with us for some time as the calf, who was only a few weeks old, repeatedly surfaced to look at us and splash while mother kept watch. I know I was communicating – joy and excitement – as I instinctively reached out but couldn’t quite touch.  And the baby gray was certainly captivated by us. The connection was there. It was tangible if unexplainable. 

Then the mother did a remarkable thing. She swam within inches of the stern of our zodiac, suddenly dove and swam underneath us and then gently surfaced at the bow with inches to spare.  I was able to caress her back as she carefully surfaced.

Caressing the mother gray whale's back

She was also reaching out and communicating in her way. These were wild marine mammals.  So what do I know for sure? We are truly connnected with all life on earth.

Tell me what you know for sure. What has stood the test of time for you? Join me in the journey.

Becci Crowe

Adventure Artist

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 6 Comments

Meerkats Anyone?

My Art is inspired by the adventures I have in wild and remote places around the world. I have a treasure chest of video, photos, art and stories to share. A highlight of one of many trips to Africa was joining a clan of Meerkats in the Kalahari Desert in Botswana. I was at their den as they emerged at dawn for their ‘sunning ritual’ and then followed their antics as they busily foraged for frogs and other ‘delicacies’ through out the day. I keep a journal when I’m on location to record my impressions and observations as well as doing some quick pencil sketches. Enjoy this video clip – it starts off with the Meerkats posing for their portrait!    I’ve added the portrait I created of them to the slide show on my blog’s Art Page. Take a look!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 8 Comments

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