TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE FOUNDATION – FOCUS ON THE WILD – June Contest

The subject of the June 2016 Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation Focus on the Wild photography contest is “Texas views from the hiking trail.”  I live near Palo Duro Canyon State Park, so I figured I’d enter three of my favorite Palo Duro Canyon photographs — all of which were literally taken from hiking trails.  Check out my three entries!

The following photograph was taken from the Givens, Spicer, & Lowry Running Trail.  It’s one of my favorite trails because it’s incredibly scenic and it doesn’t have nearly as many people on it as the Lighthouse Trail.  There are quite a few places to do some off-trail exploring, too.

The following photograph of a dry creek bed and storm clouds was taken from the Lighthouse Trail.  The combination of scenery and stormy weather in this photograph always makes me pause to take a closer look.

There have been a few new trails created at Palo Duro Canyon State Park since I moved to the Texas Panhandle eight years ago.  This photograph was take while I was hiking one of them — the Rock Garden Trail.  The Rock Garden Trail directs hikers through an area that fell victim to a rock slide many moons ago.  There are quite a few interesting rock formations along the trail.  I love that you can see the Spanish skirts in the background of this photo (top right-hand quadrant).

Wildlife Wednesday – Horned Toad

I moved to the Texas Panhandle during summer 2008.  At the top of my list of “things to photograph now that I’m living in the Panhandle” was the horned toad (a.k.a. horny toad, horned lizard, and horned frog).  While growing up my dad saw them on occasion, and he’d come home and tell us about them; however, I had never seen one for myself.  I thought that I’d have to wait awhile to fulfill my “goal.”  Never in a million years would I have bet money on seeing a horned toad during my first trip to Palo Duro Canyon State Park.  But I did — and it was nothing short of awesome — almost like God put this little horned toad on the trail just for me to see!  In the nearly-eight-years that I’ve lived here, I’ve only seen horned toads two other times.

In 1993, the Texas Horned Lizard was declared the state reptile of Texas.  Three types of horned toads call Texas “home;” they vary in length from 3 to 6 inches.  Horned toads are listed as a threatened species in the state of Texas because their population has declined sharply over its historical geographical range.  If you see one, please leave it alone!

Other pictures that I’ve taken at Palo Duro Canyon can be seen on my Flickr page.

Horned Toad

Photography Contests Galore!

Photo Contest Entries Collage September must be the month for photo contests. Birds & Blooms’ Backyard Photo Contest entries must be postmarked by September 15th, and entries for Solvay’s Specialty Polymer’s Business Group’s 2016 calendar are due on September 15th, as well.  Entries for the 2015 Amarillo Tri-State Fair are due on September 17th.

Birds & Blooms – Backyard Photo Contest

I was cleaning up my office when I came across a page out of the September 2015 Birds & Blooms issue about a photo contest that I had intended to enter but had completely forgotten about.  There are three categories in the competition – Best Flower, Best Bird, & Best Butterfly.  I regularly take photos of all three of those items, so I decided that I’d go ahead and purchase one print to enter into each of the categories.

The flower photograph that I’m going to enter is a photo of some gladioli that I planted this year.  I love that they’re tri-colored, because all of my other gladioli are only one color.  I also think that our “rustic” fence makes a nice photo-background.

Backyard Gladioli

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