Tag Archives: Texas

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.

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

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.

Comments Off on Fun Fact Friday: Big Bend Geology

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.

1 Comment

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.

 

 

2 Comments

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.

Comments Off on It’s Fun Fact Friday 3-6-2020!

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.

 

 

Comments Off on It’s Fun Fact Friday 2/21/2020!

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

USPS To Honor Big Bend With Stamp

Santa Elena Canyon VERT

Hey Big Bend National Park fans: in January 2020, the U.S. Postal Service will be honoring this national park in Texas with a priority mail postage stamp!

To read about this and when you can pick up your own stamp, click on the image above to be taken to the National Parks Traveler article.

 

Comments Off on USPS To Honor Big Bend With Stamp

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

A Stormy Day At Cross Trails Pond

Stormy Cross Trails Pond

I’m up early because the inside of my cheek is killing me. I had a back molar implant put in this past Wednesday and my cheek got the brunt of some burring work on the cap and the upper back molar. Bleah. So, I can’t sleep. I’ll take an aspirin after I have something for breakfast later. Whenever I can’t sleep, I get up, turn on the laptop, and work on photos. I’m still (and will be for months, I’m sure) cleaning up my photo website and I happened upon this image in my Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge gallery. It was an awesome morning on that June day. Sometimes, going to the refuge was a hit or miss prospect. I either saw lots of birdlife, like here, or no birdlife. On this stormy morning, not only were there large numbers of egrets and spoon bills, but the clouds were awesomely dramatic. Out of all the images I took at the refuge, this photo numbers as one of my favorites.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under birds, Brazoria NWR, nature, Photography, Seasons, summer, Texas, Wildlife Refuge

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.

 

 

Comments Off on Dawn Along The Seashore

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

A Year Ago Today

IMG_9865IMG_9866IMG_9869IMG_9870IMG_9871IMG_9883

One year ago, today, I watched the movers load up my stuff and leave to put it in their temporary storage. I, in turn, hopped into my little car and began my almost-3-week road trip adventure to central Washington, stopping at 5 national parks and 1 national recreation area before finally arriving at my destination. It took me 2 days to get out of Texas (the drive from Houston to Amarillo was long, hot, humid, and boring, and all my Hershey chocolate bars melted, but I was glad it was interstate). When I crossed into the New Mexico border, I burst out crying from happiness.

 

 

Comments Off on A Year Ago Today

Filed under Life, Travel