Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Sunday, May 14, 2023



Owl Parent

Photography has led me to so many cool opportunities.  As I ponder this, I‘m grateful for a lot of help.  I’m particularly grateful for my “spies.”

My friends know what excites me in the natural world, and they’re so good at telling me about things that I should check out.


Most recently, a friend let me know about a nesting pair of Great Horned Owls in her tree.  Since then, I’ve had several adventures on her rather slippery roof (the best vantage point) and discovered two owlets in the nest while watching one of the parents chase off marauding ravens.  These are not art quality images, but they are a window into the natural world. 

Barn Owl

My veterinarian friend lets me know when she’s doing something interesting, like helping to fledge this orphaned barn owlet. I love the chance to photograph these things.

Enough owls, maybe?

Summer Poppies, Kirkland AZ

A pair of friends, as curious as I am, have turned me on to flowers I might not have noticed on my own.  The most memorable were these “summer poppies” which sometimes pop up during monsoon season.  They look like the Mexican Gold Poppies we see in spring when I drive by at 65 MPH but they’re not related: they’re actually a member of the Creosote family.

Ajo Lily, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument

One friend is a Park Service Ranger who’s pointed me toward a huge variety of places since we met ten or so years ago, both at the Grand Canyon and at her current gig at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Most recently it was Ajo Lilies in a corner of the monument.

Solitude at Mojave Trails National Monument

Speaking of Rangers, I called the BLM Needles (CA) office for information about Mojave Trails National Monument a few years ago and had the good luck to connect with another generous ranger.  She walked through google earth with me to help me get to this and other nearby places. 

Handoff; Hashknife Pony Express

Another friend is connected with the Hashknife Pony Express.  I was thrilled that he invited me to help shoot publicity images for them.  One of these riders has since died, and the other, his good friend, has used this image several times in his memory.  RIP Wade. I’ve recently learned that the image was used on a plaque for a new sculpture in Holbrook Arizona. 

Volcan Fuego, Esquintla Guatemala

My husband and I have become acquainted with the director of the Spanish language school we frequent in Guatemala.  Knowing I was a photographer, he arranged for his brother-in-law to guide us to this vantage point of Volcan Fuego.  I was getting impatient waiting for an eruption, but he encouraged me to keep waiting.  This happened.  I only had time for one 25 second shot 

Walnut Grove Bridge over Hassayampa River

Our local waterways are lined with cottonwood trees.  I was anticipating shooting these trees upstream from the 1930s bridge in bright spring green.  The spot is a long enough drive that I appreciated the intelligence I got from a friend who is building a house out that way.

These are just a few examples of helpful spies – I’m grateful to you all. If you see something, please say something.  😊