"Leave Nothing but Footprints, Take Nothing But Pictures"

Born and raised on Long Island; presently based out of South Carolina LAURA SALZHAUER is a recent graduate with a B.A. in Environmental Studies and self taught photographer.

My major subject is wildlife photography, however I love taking pictures of just about anything. I hope my pictures inspire others to appreciate the biodiversity on Earth and support conservation.

Please feel free to contact me through my email for any questions. laura.salzhauer@gmail.com

This tumblr blog is my digital portfolio. Please explore my page by clicking on the pictures. There is also the ARCHIVE button to see all posts.

 

The only thing you actually have to watch out for, CATEPILLARS! Miaranony, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.
Normally back in the United States I’d be picking catepillars up, but not in Madagascar. Nothing can kill you here unless you fall off a mountain, however catepillars are really itchy. They do something like the human reaction to poison ivy.

The only thing you actually have to watch out for, CATEPILLARS! Miaranony, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.

Normally back in the United States I’d be picking catepillars up, but not in Madagascar. Nothing can kill you here unless you fall off a mountain, however catepillars are really itchy. They do something like the human reaction to poison ivy.

The Village of Miaranony, next to Ranomfana National Park, Madagascar

Our camp was at the top of the mountain that this group of awesome villagers lived next to. They were all kind and welcoming, the Ampanzaka (the king) of the village brought us in his house to do a blessing. The only thing that makes him king is that he is the oldest. They put on a show for us, they sung and danced. We danced with them once their show was over. Oh, and the guy in the Slipknot t-shirt is Sambatra he was part of the team!! Sambatra’s name means “the lucky one” and he proved to be just that!

We must have looked crazy to them, vazaha (white foreigner) living on that crazy mountain, doing weird science things and coming down once a week to visit. James Herrera and his team come down every Sunday to show the village what they are finding in the forest. And a few of my classmates worked with the kids of the village, showing them the forest, teaching them what wonders that they should protect (mothers also came with them, they have also never been in the forest). Everything turned out great! They are still doing research on that mountain, I hope one day to return.

Giant Snails - Miaranony, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar
Sorry unsure of the species, I couldn’t find the exact one online. I saw some with the same shell type but these species had a gray body with spots. Either way they are really cool and the biggest snails I’d ever seen (although I’m sure there are bigger) and weird sight that they were on this tree.

Giant Snails - Miaranony, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

Sorry unsure of the species, I couldn’t find the exact one online. I saw some with the same shell type but these species had a gray body with spots. Either way they are really cool and the biggest snails I’d ever seen (although I’m sure there are bigger) and weird sight that they were on this tree.

Bits and Pieces of Miaranony, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.

Again, this was the most beautiful, pristine forest I have ever been in. I have a ton of pictures, this is just pieces of what I’ve been going through, more will be up soon.

The last three pictures were taken early in the morning on my way down the TRAIL (I emphasive that this is NOT your normal trail, this entire mountain is INSANE). We were in the middle of the “real mud slide” part (there are a bunch of these but this had to be the most slide like), this was really difficult to get. I had support for not sliding.

Hemicentetes semispinosus - Lowland Streaked Tenrec, Miaranony, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

This guy was found near camp and he was so cool we had to take measurements! No worries though we placed him back where we found him unharmed, except maybe with a few less quills (defense mechanism, ended up in the gloves). Quills are made mostly of keratin, the same protein our hair and nails are made out of, so they should grow back like nails and hair do.

Brookesia spp. - Miaranony, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

Not the best picture, I know. However there were a ton of these guys (most likely all different species) roaming around on the ground in Miaranony. I should have photographed all of them but that would have made my transects even longer! Anyway these guys are really awesome and cute. Enjoy.

Galidia elegans - Ring-tailed Mongoose, Miaranony, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar

I was actually doing the botany part of my project and as I was measuring trees two of these guys were about a 90 degree angle from my transect. I got to witness one of them steal an egg from a tree (second picture)! These guys are really awesome and cute of course!

Bits and pieces of our trip to Miaranony, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar.

I did research here with the most wonderful team! This forest was every word out there, in every language, that means beautiful, for now I’ll use soa, or manja be! It was a 20 k hike from the one road to get to this mountain. It was two of some of the best weeks of my life, even if mother nature kicked my ass everyday, I loved it. This is just a few pictures, if I ever get them all up it would be a miracle.