Category Archives: Texas

About The Size Of A Nacho Chip

A close-up view of an endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle hatchling, Padre Island National Seashore (Texas)

Today’s Feature Story in the National Parks Traveler uses a number of photos I captured during my June 2017 visit to Padre Island National Seashore, where I had the privilege of photographing a couple of endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle hatchling releases. There’s been quite a controversy over this hatchling program since the days of the trump administration, and the National Park Service is not looking so good in my eyes regarding this program. I read the article and came away feeling angry and sad.

To read this Special Report, click on the image above.

This image below is one I took while standing stock-still in the sand, surrounded by these nacho-sized little babies as they literally swam in the sand on the beach to reach the water of the Gulf of Mexico at this national seashore. The scientist in charge of this program had been gracious enough to allow me to be in the midst of this release and it was a joyful experience not only for me, but for the almost 1000 spectators who were up at 6:45 a.m. to watch these little guys head out to the sea.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under National Parks, Padre Island National Seashore, Photography, Texas, Travel

The Traveler’s Checklist for Big Bend National Park (Texas)

Blooming Cholla Cactus, Big Bend National Park (Texas)

It’s that time of year when the cactus should be in bloom in Big Bend National Park. It’s a glorious thing to see something so potentially painful to humans produce these saturated blossoms of magenta, orange, yellow, and red. If you are planning a trip to this national park for the first time, or re-visiting, then you should take a look at my Traveler’s Checklist for Big Bend, published in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler.

To read the article, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Big Bend National Park, National Parks, Photography, Texas, Travel, Travel and Photography, Traveler's Checklist

Fun Fact Friday: Big Bend Geology

It’s #FunFactFriday so I thought I’d write about the geology seen in Big Bend National Park (Texas). The Chisos Mountains (part of which you see in the image above) are volcanic in origin. One of those volcanic things you’ll see while driving the road through the park are intrusive dikes. Igneous means the rock is volcanic in origin. Dikes are igneous, and they are called “intrusive” because the magma intrudes upon and into the existing rock layers above it. You can see a long stretch of dikes exposed and sticking up out of the ground in this shot. The rocks around the dikes eroded away, leaving those flat-looking walls of rock, sort of like a zig-zaggy-edged rock fence running over the hillsides and up into the mountain flanks.

I’m looking through past Big Bend (as well as other parks) images to see if there are shots I have not edited, or – at the time – didn’t do as good a job of editing. I honestly can’t remember if I ever posted this image or not, back in 2013 (can it be 7 years ago??) captured during my December visit to this national park in southwest Texas. It was my first (out of four) trips there.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Big Bend National Park, Fun Fact Friday, Geology, National Parks, Photography, Texas, Travel

A Kemp’s Ridley Hatchling Release

A highlight of my summer visit to Padre Island National Seashore a few years ago was the opportunity to photograph a public Kemp’s ridley sea turtle hatchling release into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. If you are thinking of attending a public viewing of the releasing of these nacho-sized little guys, however, you’ll have to wait until 2021, as all public viewings have been canceled for this year due to the coronavirus. As you can see in the last photo, there is definitely NO social distancing of the 700 – 1200 participants who attend these viewings. On that particular day I took the photo, there ended up being 900 people.

https://www.nationalparkstraveler.org/2020/05/sea-turtle-releases-padre-island-national-seashore-summer-wont-be-public

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Canon, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Padre Island National Seashore, Photography, Texas

It’s Trivia Tuesday 4/7/2020!

StarknessOcotillo RaysOcotillo BloomOcotillo - With Flash

It’s Trivia Tuesday, folks! Did you know that the ocotillo, found all over the Chihuahuan Desert in Big Bend National Park in Texas is a shrub and not a cactus? Those spindly, evilly-thorny branches can grow up to 20 feet tall! In the spring, at the tips of each branch grow a cluster of little bright orange-red flowers, the nectar of which attracts carpenter ants and hummingbirds.

And now you know!

Click on each image to see where they go.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under Big Bend, Big Bend National Park, Canon, National Parks, Photography, Texas, Travel, Trivia Tuesday

It’s Fun Fact Friday 3-6-2020!

Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher

The scissor-tail flycatcher, aka Texas bird-of-paradise, can hover with its tail spread and make abrupt turns in midair. It’s numbers have declined by about 31% between 1966 and 2014.

I found this flycatcher in October, sitting pretty on the barb-wire fence at the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge back in 2013.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 1DX, birds, Brazoria NWR, Canon, Fun Fact Friday, nature, Photography, Texas, Wildlife Refuge

It’s Fun Fact Friday 2/21/2020!

The View Along Lost Mine Trail - 14mm

The view along the Lost Mine Trail, Big Bend National Park, in Texas

Hey folks, it’s Fun Fact Friday! Here are some interesting facts for you about Big Bend National Park, in Texas.

  • There are over 60 species of cactus, 450 species of birds, 1,200 plant species, and 3,600 insect species found in this national park.
  • The name Big Bend comes from a bend in the Rio Grande River, which runs along the park boundary.
  • In 2012, the park was named an International Dark Sky Park, which means it’s awesome for star gazing.

I first visited this national park in 2013 and made 4 more trips there before moving out of Texas. I visited during the winter and spring, when the temperatures were at their most ambient. Late spring was awesome for blooming cactus. And, speaking of visiting, Big Bend is entering it’s busy season, so if you are planning to travel there anytime soon, you’d probably better have alternate lodging plans in case you can’t find an available campsite, according to an article published in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler.

To read more of that article, click on the image at the top of this post.

Strawberry Pitaya Bloom

A strawberry pitaya bloom, Big Bend National Park, in Texas

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under Big Bend, Big Bend National Park, Canon, flowers, Fun Fact Friday, Landscape, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Seasons, Spring, Texas, Travel, winter

Climate Change And Big Bend National Park

Morning View of Big Bend Scenery

Whether people want to believe it or not, climage change is a real thing and it’s being factored into many things, such as the water supply for the Chisos Mountains Lodge at Big Bend National Park in West Texas. There’s an article about this in today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler.

To read the article, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under Big Bend, Big Bend National Park, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Texas, Travel

Favorite Spots For Pretty Pics

Pelican Sunrise

A pelican sunrise over Padre Island National Seashore, in Texas

We all have favorite spots for photos in the national parks we visit. We go there time and time again to see (and photograph) them.

Today’s edition of the National Parks Traveler has published my latest article in which I list some favorite spots and why I and my cameras like them so much.

To read the article, click on the image above.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

 

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Filed under Acadia National Park, Arches National Park, Big Bend, Big Bend National Park, Maine, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Padre Island National Seashore, Photography, Texas, Travel

Corporate Behavior

Corporate Behavior

Even the smallest and/or prettiest of creatures can be territorial and exhibit more than just a little bit of visciousness in the daily fight for survival. Heaven knows I’ve experienced it within the human workplace, hence the sarcastic title.

 
I’ve been rescuing photos from a dying portable hard drive. The hummingbird images I captured between 2012 – 2014 are favorites of mine and they needed to be saved to another drive.
 
As a photographer, you can learn quite a bit about birds or other wildlife by simply watching and photographing them on a regular basis. During that span of years my mother and I hung out those hummingbird feeders in Texas, I would be over there every morning and/or evening to photograph these soft, tiny little birdies. The more I watched, the more I learned they aren’t quite as sweet as everybody might think. Luckily, this extended observation led to some very interesting photos.
Canon 1DX and 100-400mm lens
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 1DX, birds, Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, hummingbirds, Life, nature, Photography, Texas