An old friend of mine, Joe Des Rosier, runs the Blue Lagoon Lodge, down in Rockport, Texas. He invited me down to visit with thoughts of putting together wildlife photography tours, to add to his already popular fly-fishing tours. I had 24 hours to scout out a few possibilities. We ran into some challenges and learned a lot, but overall, it was a great trip.
The Texas coast is well known as a birding destination, and is home to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge was set aside in 1937 to protect the marshlands favored by migratory birds and other wildlife. In 1938, there was only one migratory flock of whooping cranes with fifteen birds. Today, there are over 500 whooping cranes that winter in the Aransas Bay area.
While whooping cranes were high on my priority list, I was eager to see other large birds, and any other wildlife that presented itself. After settling in at the lodge, we hopped on the boat and set out. The very first photo I took was of this Great Blue Heron, only a few hundred yards from the lodge.
Click on any image to enlarge.
We saw heron in several other locations, as well.
We also saw a few sandhill cranes, with which I am familiar from my many trips to the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. I’m pretty sure the bird below is a juvenile Sandhill Crane. Any bird experts want to confirm or correct? Do so in the comments below.
I was in southern California recently, and had an afternoon to drive over to Joshua Tree National Park. I first visited there in 2007, when I was in Palm Springs for a NANPA photography summit.
I planned my trip to arrive for sunset light. There weren’t many clouds in the sky, but I still managed to get a little sunset color. I just had a great time quietly hanging out among the Joshua Trees and watching the sun set.
Afterwards, I drove down to the town of Joshua Tree and had dinner before driving back west towards the city. It was an incredibly short visit, but I loved every moment.
Are you using technology in green or environmental engineering? I’m in search of a conservation photography project. I’ll help document and publicize your project. How can I help you? Email [email protected].
In honor of Earth Week, I’m letting you in on my crazy idea. As many of you know, I have a day job working in software, and I’m honored to work for a company that has “improve everyday life” in its mission statement. I think most of us go through life just wanting to know that we’re making a difference somehow. I try to make a difference at work. I try to make a difference in the lives of my friends and family.
One of my goals for this year is to take on at least one conservation photography project. I want to tell a story in photos and words that show the beauty of something you are trying to save. A conservation photography project is more than just photos. It’s the story around it. It’s what we’re trying to save, and why and how we’re trying to save it. It’s about the threats, and why those threats exist. And as Cristina Mittermeier reminds us in her article, What is Conservation Photography? , it’s about what you do with the story afterwards. I want to work on a conservation photography project that will make a difference.
The ideal project would be one that uses National Instruments products somehow, but I’m open to anything. No, I don’t know how all of this is going to work out–that’s the crazy part, and through Twitter (twitter.com/brianhpowell), Facebook, and this blog, I plan to take you along for the ride.
Please spread the word–retweet this, post a link, email your friends who might have some ideas. And email [email protected] with your thoughts. Thanks!