April 20, 2016
Your Best Shot
Readers submit their best photos to All Animals magazine
About a year and a half ago, my husband and I moved to a lakefront home built in the 1920s. We’ve been renovating ever since. But the upside is the mature landscape, which attracts abundant wildlife. I’ve seen deer, turtles and even a mother bear and her three cubs.
Butterflies are also frequent visitors. Monarchs come for the milkweed, and I’ve spotted a black swallowtail, tiger swallowtail, painted lady and red admiral. I’m fascinated with their little faces. Their giant eyes and antennae are adorable to me. And then there are the spectacularly colored hummingbird moths who zoom from flower to flower.
One July afternoon, I spotted this little orange butterfly outside my kitchen window. I’d never seen one like her before, so I ran outside to take photos. I later discovered she’s a great spangled fritillary. If you look closely, you can see the silver outlining her wings.
Nature’s little surprises have been a great form of therapy for life’s stresses.
— Diane Levy, Oakland, New Jersey
Nika came to live with us eight years ago. She was only about 6 weeks old when she and her little brother (now known as Rambo) were discovered by construction workers near the office where I worked at the time. My husband and I had lost our cat a few months earlier to diabetes, and it was love at first sight when I met the new little bundles of energy.
When Nika was 5 years old, my husband discovered her in the closet foaming at the mouth with her tongue hanging out. Her mouth was full of ulcers, and our veterinarian diagnosed her with a respiratory disease called feline calicivirus. A few weeks on a feeding tube for food and medications took care of that. But two months later, she lost her eye to a bacterium.
Medical issues didn’t dampen her adventurous spirit. Everyone she meets comments on her outgoing nature. She loves investigating visitors' bags and rubbing against their legs. She’s also famous for purring loudly while receiving head rubs. She and Rambo are never far apart. They groom each other and sleep curled up together on their special blanket at night. We call her our angel. She reminds us not to sweat the small stuff and appreciate life for today!
— Heather and Rob Flickinger, Charlotte, North Carolina
Animals have always been my passion. I’ve been a wildlife rehabilitator, veterinary assistant and zookeeper. Now I am a homeschool mom with two cats and one dog, all rescue animals. I love photographing wildlife but most of my most recent photos are of our pets. I like to try and catch their personalities.
This photo was taken in 2012 at Cerro Brujo on San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos Islands. My dad had just retired and taken the family there for a celebratory vacation. It was our first day aboard the National Geographic Islander, and sea lions were napping all along the beach. The rules were not to touch them, but we could get relatively close for photos since they are unafraid of people.
The Galapagos Islands are known for unique species. The tortoises there are famous, but I really liked the sea lions and marine iguanas. The sea lions were friendly, curious and very noisy. The young ones would even come and sit next to you.
Ecuador’s conservation efforts for the islands seem to have been successful. The islands are part of a national park and cannot be visited without a licensed guide/organization.
— Lisa S. Burtis, Oak Ridge, Tennessee
Submit your photo to us for possible publication in All Animals or on our website, along with an explanation of 250 words or fewer about why it's meaningful to you.
Submitted photos should be at least 300 dpi at a size of 8" by 10" and at least 2MB. (You may also send hard copy submissions to All Animals—Your Best Shot, The HSUS, 1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20037. Hard copies cannot be returned.)
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.