High Island/Bolivar Peninsula
Date(s): April 25-27, 2023
Location: High Island, Texas
Description: In late April, the Plano Photography Club will travel southeast to High Island, Texas, a nationally famous destination for birdwatchers.
With its substantial wooded areas unlike elsewhere on the upper Texas coast, High Island is a natural refuge for migrating birds making their perilous way across the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico into their northern summering grounds in the United States and Canada. During this spring migration, the birds must navigate the hundreds of miles of overwater flight to find refuge and food on their journey northward.
During a normal spring migration, birders from around the world can find concentrated and high numbers of species of migratory birds in High Island that winter in southern Mexico, Central America, and South America, and make their summer breeding homes in the north.
Resource Page: bit.ly/highisland
Date(s): June 2-4, 2023
Location: Mowdy Ranch, Oklahoma
Description: Late this spring, the Plano Photography Club will travel north to Mowdy Ranch, a 4,000-acre wild horse sanctuary near Coalgate in southeastern Oklahoma.
Mowdy Ranch is one of four wild horse sanctuaries designated as a public off range pasture for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Located 12 miles NE of Coalgate in the hills of southeastern Oklahoma, the Ranch offers daily horse tours and lodging facilities for wild horse enthusiasts.
Resource Page: bit.ly/mowdy
Date(s): September 25-27, 2023
Location: Abiquiú, New Mexico
Description: This fall, the Plano Photography Club will travel to Ghost Ranch, a 21,000-acre retreat and education center located close to the village of Abiquiú in Rio Arriba County in north central New Mexico. It was the home and studio of Georgia O'Keeffe, as well as the subject of many of her paintings.
The landscape of Ghost Ranch encompasses towering rock walls, vivid colors and vast skies. People from all over the world come to work together in creation care, to paint, to write poetry, to hike, ride horseback, to research globally renowned archaeological and fossil quarries or simply to rest and renew their spirits.
Resource Page: bit.ly/ghostranch
Total Solar Eclipse / Hill Country
Date(s): April 2024
Location: Hill Country, Texas (exact location TBD)
Description: The next total solar eclipse to visit North America comes on April 8, 2024. The duration of totality will be up to 4 minutes and 27 seconds, almost double that of The Great American Eclipse of August 21, 2017. Texas is also widely considered to have the best eclipse-day weather prospects in the country.
More specifically, eclipse weather forecasting site eclipsophile.com points out that, in Texas, "the north [or west] side of the track has a notably sunnier April climate than the south [or east]." In general, the farther south you are for this eclipse, the better your weather odds. And you can't get any farther south along the path of totality in the U.S. than Texas.
The club plans to travel to the Hill Country to observe the eclipse because historically, there is a lower likelihood of cloudiness the further west and north you go along the eclipse track.
Resource Page: bit.ly/texaseclipse