Category Archives: Spring

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

Dawn Along The Seashore

Dawn Along The Seashore

How about a nice, peaceful, beach scene colored by the blush of “rosy-fingered dawn” to start your weekend? I have a feeling dawn won’t be as pretty where I live – it’s been overcast with a low cloud ceiling for the past few days.

Padre Island National Seashore in Texas is a great place to watch the sun rise. I got there at dark-thirty a.m. and just watched the play of colors over the sky and Gulf of Mexico, as the shore birds pattered along the water’s edge looking for breakfast.

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, National Parks, nature, Padre Island National Seashore, Photography, Seasons, Spring, sunrise, Texas, Travel

I Spy With My Little Eye …

I Spy With My Little EyeLittle Birdy

I had reached the Washington Pass Overlook and was dying to get out to photograph the view and stretch my legs. So, I hefted a camera with a wide-angle lens and another camera with the 100-400mm lens both around my neck (I;m used to doing this from my past experience photographing weddings) and trod up the trail to the part of the view looking back down along the North Cascades Highway (opposite view from the previous posts). One of the first things that caught my eye, after taking in the view, was a little “knob” I saw on top of that second tree to your left. I couldn’t figure out if that was a tiny birdy or just a part of the tree, itself. When I looked through the telephoto lens, I saw that it was indeed a little bird. I have no idea what it is called (other than “bird”). Anybody know about birds in the West and Northwest?

Anyway, this is a good example of how being observant not only creates good photo ops, but also makes you a better photographer in general. I mean, how many other people standing up there even noticed there was this little bird waaaaay up on that tall tree?

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under 1DX Mk II, 24-105mm, 5DS, birds, Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, Equipment, nature, North Cascades, Photography, Seasons, Spring, Travel, Washington State

Peering Into The Lowland Forest

Peering Deep Into The Forest

It’s Forest Friday! Yeah, still trying to work on those alliterative terms for the photos and days of the week. Sometimes it works, other times are iffy.

As for this image, when I was growing up, even into my early 30’s, I was never really interested in the forest. Hiking through it was boring and a means to an end of getting to some awesome mountain vista. Then, my digital camera days began, and things changed. I began to actually observe my interior forest surroundings. Even though green has never been a favorite color of mine, I began to discern all the myriad shades of green a forest possesses. I began to see the different mosses on the trees and nurse logs, and I began noticing fungi, from large, dish-shaped ones to teeny tiny delicate little ‘shrooms growing out of the side of a decaying log. That digital camera opened up a new world for me – one that had always existed but for which I never had much time or inclination to explore, and I began to actually *observe* my forest surroundings, which, in turn, has made me a much better photographer.

If you look at this image and keep peering at it and through it to as far as your eye can make out, you’ll see all sorts of different colors and textures and patterns, thanks to the waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 24-70mm f2.8L II, 5DS, Canon, Canon Lens, Equipment, forest, Mount Rainier National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks, nature, Photography, Seasons, Spring, Travel, Washington State

The Geometry of Nature

Water And Woods On A Rainy May Day CROP

When we go out into nature with our cameras, our attention is grabbed by geometry, whether we realize it or not. We are fascinated by patterns, lines, arcs, angles, circles and ellipses.

In this particular image, the first thing catching my attention on that rainy morning in Mount Rainier National Park were the tall trees standing at attention next to that somewhat-arc of a swiftly-flowing stream.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 24-105mm, 5DS, Canon, Canon Lens, Mount Rainier National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks, nature, Photography, Seasons, Spring, Travel, Washington State, weather

Have A Safe (But Adventurous) Memorial Day Weekend!

Sunrise Over The Tatoosh Range

What are your plans for this Memorial Day weekend? My plans are to stay at home and work on another article for the National Parks Traveler. My nice little 3-day trip was last week, before the hordes ascended upon Mount Rainier National Park. This past Thursday, while grocery shopping at the local Fred Meyer, I drove past the Fred Meyer gas station and saw all sorts of RVs lined up for gasoline. Some of them even towed boats behind them. All were getting ready for their trips out into Nature. I will admit, the nice thing about living in central Washington is that I’m so close to so many beautiful places for R&R.

This shot was taken after the sun had risen a bit above the horizon. Mount Rainier behind me was still hidden by the clouds, so I concentrated my camera lens on the Tatoosh Mountains in front of me, in the Paradise area. At the time I captured this shot, there was only one other person out there some distance away – another photographer using his telephoto lens. Getting out in the early morning is a great way to start a day of photography, because most people are not yet up, so it feels like you have the entire place to yourself.

For those of you who celebrate Memorial Day (mainly the U.S., I guess), have a safe and enjoyable 3-day weekend.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under 24-105mm, Canon, Canon Lens, Memorial Day, Mt. Rainier National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, Spring, Travel, Washington State

Returning to Paradise: Restoration and Celebration

Paradise And The Paradise Inn

The National Parks Traveler has published my Feature Story of the Paradise Inn Annex renovation. If you are planning a trip to Mount Rainier National Park and want to stay at the Inn, then check out this story to read about the amazing undertaking to renovate this historic Annex. To read the story, click on the image above.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Canon, Mt. Rainier National Park, Mt. Rainier National Park, National Park Lodging, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Paradise Inn, Photography, Seasons, Spring, Travel, Washington State

Not Today

Not Yet

Yellow Iris

I thought the time for iris blooms was over, since it is one day away from May and even the daffodils are gone, and the tulips, while still around, are waning in my yard. Guess I was wrong! The first thing I thought when I saw these lovely yellow iris on the side lawn was Arya, in GOT, saying “Not today,” when asked what she would say to Death.

The iris will shrivel up “not today,”

P.S. Instead of using a macro lens for my flower close ups, I like to use my telephoto lenses. This image was captured with a Canon 1DX Mk II and a 100-400mm lens.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 1DX Mk II, Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, death, flowers, nature, Photography, Seasons, Spring

A Cup Of Sunshine

Tulip

The tulips are now blooming. Our house only has small patches of them in yellow, red, and the striped orange & gold you see here. I believe they are my favorite flowers, although I do like the colorful calla lilies, too, and fragrant sweet peas. I’m posting this bit of sunshine because I think it’s supposed to be a little overcast today. That’s ok. I finished sweeping up the shop roof yesterday and trimmed the overhanging branches. And don’t worry – I was very careful. I have a slight fear of heights – well, maybe more than slight, since there is no way in hell I would ever hike that last half mile on the Angels Landing Trail in Zion National Park 😉😟🗻

This photo is brought to you by my 100-400mm telephoto lens, then cropped a little more. I used to own a macro lens but realized I didn’t use it much. So, I traded it in for a different lens. And this is a lesson to you in how to get close-up “pseudo-macro” shots using just your telephoto lens on an SLR or telephoto setting on a point-and-shoot camera.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 1DX Mk II, Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, flowers, Photography, Seasons, Spring, telephoto lens

Star Magnolia

Star Magnolia

After a search on Google, I discovered that the spindly, dead-looking “bush” out there that keeps sprouting these long-petaled blooms is called a Star Magnolia! This is certainly not the same kind of magnolia that I used to see blooming in southeast Texas, that’s for sure. I learned there are actually 8 species of magnolia. I might have to go out, now, and take a sniff to see if these blooms are fragrant (and hopefully not trigger any spring allergy).
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under 1DX Mk II, Canon, Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM, Canon Lens, flowers, Photography, Seasons, Spring