Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Houston Toads and Houston Travel!

I have not had time to give an update on the Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Missoula, Montana, or my trip to Oregon due to some intense deadline pressures and getting back in the groove at home... but I wanted to post a couple of my latest articles!

I wrote the November cover story of Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine on federally endangered Houston toads- I love the cover image! I also shot one of the images that appears in the magazine of the little princess girl - so cute!

A Kiss for a Toad: A ‘head start’ project could save the endangered Houston toad.

It’s the Houston Zoo’s first Princess Day, a benefit for the conservation of Houston toads, and dozens of girls dressed in pink and purple have gathered to celebrate. The theme plays off Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, in which a girl kisses a frog hoping to get her prince, but instead is transformed into a frog herself. On prominent display at the event is a terrarium housing four Houston toads, almost invisibly camouflaged under pine straw and sand. A princess peers inside, and a reddish-brown toad wriggles and blinks its big eyes.

“Can I kiss him?” she asks.

The AOL Travel Guide to Houston which I wrote is also out/online! It is all online (no byline) and I wrote everything - the 10 best hotels, restaurants, places to visit in town, shopping spots, a 3 and 7-day itinerary, and more. Check it out - I had a lot of fun writing it! Here's part of my "Overview:"

If you're a first-time visitor, Houston travel can be an eye-opening experience. Most outsiders know Houston—the fourth most populous city in the U.S.—as the Space City, with NASA’s Johnson Space Center bringing a major aeronautics component to the city’s economy since it opened in 1961. Locals know “H-town” as the Bayou City: over 2,500 miles of waterways wind their way through the metroplex, which lies in a floodplain merely 43 feet above sea level.

And my favorite fact is that the 10-county greater metroplex region is - get this - at 9,000 square miles, bigger than New Jersey!

As always check out my weekly Animal Planet blog! One that got a LOT of attention was this: 9/11 Tribute Traps 10,000 Birds. And one of my faves is from my road trip to the Gulf Coast: Oil & Louisiana swamp gators. It's just a fun post about a swamp tour Melissa and I took, and how the oil impacts more than just the coast and Gulf of Mexico - its impacts can impact tourism in spots like inland Louisiana. This tour is pretty cool! I got some great gator shots.

At any rate, I also have an oil spill article coming out in the December issue of Texas Parks & Wildlife mag about the spill's impacts on the "forgotten deep" - the amazing, gorgeous and almost completely forgotten deepwater corals right near the oil geyser.

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