September Flickr Photo of the Month: Baby Alligators!

_DSC8853_R1_C1BM-LR
_DSC8853_R1_C1BM-LR by Mark L 2010.
Shared with permission.

There are some amazing photographers that wander the halls of HMNS – as well as our satellite facilities in the Sugar Land area. When we’re lucky, they share what they capture in our HMNS Flickr pool. Each month, we highlight one of these photos here on the blog.

This month, we’re featuring a photo from Mark L 2010, taken in Brazos Bend State Park – home to the Museum’s George Observatory. Spending the day there wildlife spotting is a perfect lead in to stargazing at the Observatory on a Saturday night. And as you can see – the animals are really cool!

Here’s what Mark had to say about his photo:

On Labor Day, 2011, we visited Brazos Bend State Park to take a look around and shoot a few photos. Just beyond the shore line of 40 Acre Lake against the fishing pier we saw a dozen or so baby alligators. The duck weed coated them completely, making an interesting sight.

Maybe more striking was the fact that as they were sleeping in the sun they were laying on one another much like you would expect of puppies. It was just a nice view of young wild life. We all wish our area could break out of the grip of this destructive drought, but it is surprising how beauty remains available in this park. Thanks to all who participate in making it available to the rest of us.

Inspired? Most of the Museum’s permanent galleries are open for photography, and we’d love for you to share your shots with us on Flickr, Facebook or Twitter. Check out the HMNS photo policy for guidelines.

Flickr Photo of The Month: Dinosaurs!

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E5_P6110278 by etee on Flickr

There are some amazing photographers that wander the halls of HMNS – as well as the areas surrounding the Museum in Hermann Park. When we’re lucky, they share what they capture in our HMNS Flickr pool. Each month, we highlight one of these photos here on the blog.

This month, we’re featuring a photo from Ed Truitt (known on Flickr as etee), taken during one of this summer’s Prehistoric Monsters member events – where we previewed what’s coming for our new paleontology hall (opening summer 2012!)

I loved this photo for two reasons: one, it’s almost impossible to get a photo in the planetarium, because it has to be incredibly dark in order for the projection to function properly. So in addition to being a pretty compelling image (what are they looking at?!) this photo is excellent for being rare. Also, these people are learning about dinosaurs, from one of the world’s most famed paleontologists. And that’s pretty cool.

Here’s what Ed had to say about his photo:

I actually had two things in mind when I went to the Museum this particular evening. The first was to try out a new camera I had recently acquired (how I got it is a story in and of itself.) Of course, I have never found the Museum lacking for subjects to shoot (photographically speaking), and there are enough different lighting situations it is a good place to test a new camera.

The second reason, of course, was to hear Dr. Bakker speak. As a dino-nerd from the time I was in elementary school (I still remember the day in 4th grade where I gave a 45 minute lecture to the class on dinosaurs: I was just getting warmed up with the teacher thanked me and said she really had to get on with the rest of the subjects), I remember the twin pillars of dinosaur orthodoxy: they were reptilian, and they were cold-blooded. So, the chance to hear the Great Heretic speak? Was something I just could not pass up.

Anyway, as far as the picture goes: I had been taking photos of Dr. Bakker, the slides being displayed on the ceiling, and the posters. Every so often I would go for a crowd shot. When Dr. Bakker moved to the back of the room, I decided this was a good opportunity to test the Live View function of the camera, as well as the articulated LCD screen. So, I swing the LCD out, pointed the camera over my shoulder, and got the shot. While more the result of serendipity (some might call it ‘luck’) than a planned and carefully composed image, when I saw it I really liked it, for it told a story – several, in fact.

One story I think this photo tells is how Dr. Bakker interacts with the audience. Unlike a traditional lecturer who stands at a podium and talks through a PowerPoint slide deck, he was walking up and down the aisle throughout his talk, interacting with the members. The other story I see is the fact that there is something – though exactly what, isn’t shown – that has the audience’s collective attention. Men, women, and children, there is something ‘out there’ that has them all (or most of them, anyway) enthralled.

You can also see Ed’s photos of Audrey, our new corpse flower!

Inspired? Most of the Museum’s permanent galleries are open for photography, and we’d love for you to share your shots with us on Flickr, Facebook or Twitter. Check out the HMNS photo policy for guidelines.

Flickr Photo of the Month: Fiddle! [June 2011]

Texas! The Exhibition by photine on Flickr

There are some amazing photographers that wander the halls of HMNS – as well as the areas surrounding the Museum in Hermann Park. When we’re lucky, they share what they capture in our HMNS Flickr pool. Each month, we highlight one of these photos here on the blog.

This month, we’re featuring a photo from Laurie Ballesteros, known as photine on Flickr, who is a regular attendee of the Museum’s Flickr meetups. This photo is from the meetup we held in our current Texas! The Exhibition which features hundreds of fascinating artifacts from Texas’ long and rich history – from the first people who set foot in the state through the Spindletop era.

I loved this photo because it features an artifact that highlights an aspect of a very famous Texan’s character that we tend to forget. But I’ll let Laurie tell it:

My favorite part of Texas history is the Texas Revolution. The characters, stories and battles are bigger than life and I have traveled to several of the battle sites around the states to walk in their footsteps.

I was especially interested in this part of the Texas! exhibit and took my time looking at all the artifacts. As a musician I could not pass up Davy Crockett’s fiddle. It is obviously well used and I love to imagine the tunes floating up from this instrument in the hands of a Texas legend.

You can see more of Laurie’s lovely photos of the Texas exhibition on her blog. Many thanks to Laurie for allowing us to share her image here!

Inspired? Most of the Museum’s permanent galleries are open for photography, and we’d love for you to share your shots with us on Flickr, Facebook or Twitter. Check out the HMNS photo policy for guidelines.

Texas! The Exhibition is a temporary exhibit, and photography is restricted outside of special Flickr meetup opportunities. Follow our posts in the HMNS Flickr pool for announcements about upcoming events.

Flickr Photo of the Month: Summertime! [May 2011]

Flowers - HMNS Demonstration Butterfly Garden
Flowers – HMNS Demonstration Butterfly Garden
by Michael A Sanderson.
View Large.
Posted here with permission.

There are some amazing photographers that wander the halls of HMNS – as well as the areas surrounding the Museum in Hermann Park. When we’re lucky, they share what they capture in our HMNS Flickr pool. Each month, we share one of these photos here on the blog.

Even those who visit the Cockrell Butterfly Center frequently may be unaware that our staff and volunteers maintain a living butterfly garden just outside the Center’s doors. While the indoor rainforest is home to unusual species from exotic locales from Malaysia to Costa Rica, the outdoors butterfly garden is a great spot to check out local Houston species – and learn a little bit about attracting them to your own garden.

I loved this photo of flowers in the Museum’s demonstration butterfly garden by Michael Sanderson, who generously shared it in our Flickr pool and also agreed to let us share it with you. Here are his thoughts on the image:

I love the demonstration butterfly garden at HMNS. It’s kind of out of the way of the main people traffic and at the time of year this photo was taken, many of the other flowers in the area were suffering from the heat and drought. This little area was an oasis in the shade.

Inspired? Most of the Museum’s permanent galleries are open for photography, and we’d love for you to share your shots with us on Flickr, Facebook or Twitter. Check out the HMNS photo policy for guidelines.