Red Faced in Vegas

Just got done making another Halloween run.  Was able to pick up some very nice posable skeletons at Target reasonably priced.  I will have to watch those and pick up a few more when then go on sale after the season is over … unless they sell out.. maybe I should go pick some up later tonight hehehehe.  A quick run through the Party City store netted some nice pieces for a scene I was planning along with some silhouettes for a new idea that looks promising – not sure if there is enough time though.  Finally another stop at Menards to buy, you guessed it, more PVC pipe and connectors.  Also picked up a 4×8 sheet of foam as backing for the idea above.  The credit card was smoking tonight, but it’s my personal Christmas and one of the few times we (rather I) pull out the splurge word.  Now on our way back home.  Hate to waste time so popped open the laptop and went to work on the last post for the month.  You have no idea how much of a relief it will be to close this month out.

Going to shift a bit from Texas on this post and bring you shots from another trip that we took earlier that year.

Common Gallinule shot in Henderson, Las Vegas in August 2013

Specifically, we headed out to Las Vegas in August of 2013 – yes, that would officially be over three years ago so a new low point in my posting queue… actually to be technically correct, that would be a new HIGH point in my posting queue.  My queue pushes are exceeding my queue pops.  If only there was a for-loop for writing posts and then that sucker would be drained in no time.  While out in Vegas we managed to drop on over to our favorite bird photography hangout – the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve.  Any frequent visitor to this blog will know the magnitude of check marks that site has added to my bird list.  This trip once again delivered some great viewing opportunities including this alcohol guzzling creature.

Common Gallinule shot in Henderson, Las Vegas in August 2013

Hit the jump to view a few more pictures of this red-faced dabbler.

Continue reading Red Faced in Vegas

Gobbling Up My Time

Greetings everyone!  We are at the end of Summer now which translates to a mixture of sadness and stress.  Sadness in the sense that like every year I wonder where in the hell all the time went.  Each year my objectives list get longer and longer yet every year it seems like a huge struggle to get anywhere close to getting through the list.  It is this time of the year it really hits home because the finality of the limited number of days until Christmas is a blunt object trauma to the head.  The stress part comes knowing there is only one week left before our annual Halloween party.  The goal is to give our guests the best possible experience I can and by standards better than the year before.  Upping the game this year, we are adding more electronics into the show which means huge assistance from my EE/Physics/genius/cat friendly/birding brother Ron.  As I type he is busy building new heat sensors for my decorations.  While he is doing that, I am in a full throttle battle with my basement and other tasks that need to be completed before then.  It is really quite the epic battle every year to get all the decorations stuff done while getting the house prepped for guests.  A labor of love at a cost of sleep deprivation.  Add in this month’s blog quota and you have one groggy Bri.  That, however, has never been sufficient excuse to let my blog readers down so on to the meat.

Turkeys shot on Texas trip in November 2013

Today’s featured feathered friend is the American Turkey.  Due to the time compression, pretty much locked into whatever images I already have processed.  Thank god I worked up a ton of shots from our Texas trip we took back in November 2013.  Hmmm 1, 2, holy crap I’m almost a solid three years behind now.  Cleansing breath, cleansing breath, breath in, breath out ahhhhh… much better.  Note, I find it quite amusing that Ron is now experiencing the joys of a backlog now that he has started his bird blogging (shhhhh don’t say anything, it’s my decoration work that is probably the cause of his delays).   I’ll give credit to Linda for spotting this specific group of Turkeys while driving in a park.  They were just meandering around enjoying the beautiful day like the rest of us

Turkeys shot on Texas trip in November 2013

Hit the jump to see a few more pictures

Continue reading Gobbling Up My Time

Black Death

Thought I would pull out a post today that represents how my run went Saturday night.  I’ll post in detail on the Midnight Half Marathon race I mentioned in the previous post.  Let’s just say for a tease that it was bitter sweet.  There was a high moment and a whole lot of BAAAAD that happened that night to the point that Linda brought out full scorn and I didn’t even switch to the full marathon (and thank god I didn’t!).  It was “black” out for the second loop and that is the loop I felt like “death” was calling me from the graves as I passed.  This all pales in comparison to the trip home but more on that later when I can stomach the recollection.

Based on that, I cannot think of a better post topic.
Black Vulture taken on Texas trip in Nov 2013

That my friends is what I believe to be a Black Vulture!  More importantly, that would be a Black Vulture that gives me a plus one on the birding list.  I actually had to spend some time looking at this particular bird  to really determine if it was a Black Vulture or rather just an immature Turkey.  Based on the reference books, the Turkey Vulture is like everywhere in the US more Northern in the summer and more Southern in the winter.  In fact, I’d be tempted to bet you no matter where you happen to be in the US, you will likely see one tomorrow soaring overhead.  Note, if there are bunch of them circling over just your head… you might consider checking your pulse or do and immediate safety check.

Black Vulture taken on Texas trip in Nov 2013

Hit the jump to read a bit more about the Black Turkey.

Continue reading Black Death

A Cornucopia of Cormorants

Well folks, by the time you read this I will probably either on my way down to my race or even in the midst of it.  This year’s Oak Ridge Cemetery Moonlight Race is going to be a solo event for me.  Due to lack of participation, they have canceled the relay prediction race which is the event my team took third overall last year – could have been better but thanks to cheaters we were pushed back to third. – (link here).   Instead, I’ll be running the half marathon solo – probably a good thing they canceled the relay since one of my team members is out with a foot injury and the other has struggled as of late getting his miles in.  Linda is at a dog show so once again sans event photographer.  Wait a minute, no friends to talk me out of it, no voice of reason from Linda…they are running a marathon at the same time … hmmmm.  Note the question isn’t to do or not to do.. it is whether I can withstand the post race scorn and anger from my wife.  What to do, what to do?  (I’ll probably stick with the half .. Linda’s scorn can be intimidating).  With the upcoming event approaching quickly, decided to just go with a short narrative post from our friends in Texas!

Cormorants shot on Texas trip in Nov 2013

Once again back on our trip to Texas back in November 2013.  One bird they have an abundance of are Cormorants.  I believe these are Double-Crested but to be honest, the Neotropic has an upper range that is right where we were (Galveston area) and they look very similar.  If you happen to think otherwise, please let me know – the Neotropic is not checked off my list as of yet.  We encountered these interesting waterbirds wherever we stopped.  Having them already checked off the list, I focused more on the behavior aspects than getting the perfect bird reference shot.  In some cases, I wish my F stop was pushed up (or down depending on how technical you want to get) to pull a bit more of the background in focus.

This particular Cormorant spotted something of great interest not too far away from where it was floating….

Cormorants shot on Texas trip in Nov 2013

Hit the jump to see more shots of these water bandits.

Continue reading A Cornucopia of Cormorants

The Red Dragons

Welcome back everyone!  Still busy as hell around her at LifeIntrigued.  I have a half marathon race tomorrow in a creepy cemetery, Halloween is just around the corner and my basement is “finish me” shaming me every time I go down there.  Luckily almost all the materials have arrived to finish out the trim in the basement, so hoping to get through most of that this weekend barring any issues with the run tomorrow night.  Making some progress on the decorations but still a lot to do there .. not likely to get to everything I was hoping to have done, but it should be another good display with what appears to be in my means.  Of course, if that isn’t enough, I have blog quota demands to deal with as well – so far those have not been writing themselves, so let’s get to today’s feature.
Red Dragonflies from August 2013

When it comes to Dragonflies, they really do not get much cooler looking that the one above.  Well, except for the one below, but we’ll get to that in a second.  Decided it was time to get this post out there.  I’ve been sitting on these red dragons for a while now.  It occurred to me that they themed well together because they are both Dragons, and well… they both feature the color red – albeit the one above is more of an orange than a red.  One thing about them is they were shot in completely different locations.  The one above I believe is called a Flame Skimmer.  As with all posts on this site, corrections, confirmations, complaints are always welcome in the comments.  This particular Flame was located at Red Rocks Canyon near Las Vegas Nevada.  There have been a number of posts for this particular site on this blog due to its huge diversity in photography options.  Linda enjoys taking shots of the gorgeous red hues in the rock terrain and I spend my times hunting for anything that moves on the ground, in the air and guessing water if they actually had any water there.  I mention the latter because ironically, this particular dragonfly prefers hanging out near water supplies such as hot spring out in the Southwest.  Note as a unique trait, the Flamer doesn’t actually seek out prey.  They basically hang out around the house waiting for the food delivery guy to pull up and hand them dinner.  A good life if you can get it I guess.

Red Dragonfly from International Crane Foundation - July 2013

The dragon above has to be my favorite so far.  The deep red body accentuated by the orange tinted wings and the gorgeous red pattern on the lower abs and tail.  Going off of images my brother Ron sent me and some quick searches on the internet, this appears to be a Red Saddlebag.  The only thing that leaves a bit of question on that is this one has a very distinct red pattern on the back.  The reference images I see have a much  more blotchy red coloring – what do you think?

Hit the jump to see a couple more shots

Continue reading The Red Dragons

13 for 13

Now this is a refreshing change – how about a post about an event on THE Day the event took place! I know, I know, crazy talk (or maybe that should be ‘type’). To be honest, it is more out of convenience than a break with tradition. Like last month, September is one big pile of to-dos as we get ready for our annual Halloween party.  Each morning I get up and look at my list and get depressed, but each evening I try to get a few more items scratched off the list. My brother is also providing a huge amount of help as he has been working on some prop mechanics for me (that would be foreshadowing for the post part posts).

So today was the annual running of the IVS Half Marathon or as I like to refer to it as – my home course event.

IVS Half Marathon 2016

This race is held in the hills of Springdale Cemetery.  If you recall, that is my weekend training ground.  My friends (Sung and Ryan) and I climb those hills about every Sunday morning rain, sleet, snow or shine.  We probably know every pebble on that course by now.  Unfortunately, Ryan and Sung were not able to run with me today so it was a pretty lonely run.  This year it seemed like my lucky rabbit’s foot (symbolism only, I’d hate to think whacking off a cute and cuddly rabbit’s foot would produce anything good karma wise.) was replaced by black cats and ladders.  Normally I take it a little easy before a big race, but this year I had to clear trails, mow, weed, chainsaw and yesterday stain and varnish all the basement window trim.  Somehow during all of this I managed to tweak my back and for some strange reason I bruised the ball of my big toe yesterday afternoon – SUCKAGE.  I should have known something would go wrong when my race bib ended up being 13.

IVS Half Marathon 2016

Speaking of the race bib, this year’s was absolutely ridiculous.  They finally got rid of the foot chip – FINALLY, having to stand while someone tries to take those off your shoe after a tiring race is torture.  Unfortunately, rather than replace it with the more common single strip sensors on the back of the bib, they chose to use this god-awful Active-IPCO chip.  Not only is that thing huge, but it is stiff and heavy.  I can’t tell if it was to accommodate the larger sensor or they just decided to go with an obnoxious sized bib but that didn’t help things.  Look at the picture above and imagine that thing hanging across your stomach.  I heard other people complaining about it as well.   I also signed up late which means the cost of this race was out of alignment with the race amenities – which are really weak.  They have a pot luck which is okay, but this year, no door prizes, only gave out trophies to the first two in each age group (more on that later), your packet consists of a bib, a page with the course map on it and a hoodie (note, the hoodie is the best part of the race).  This year, the timers showed up just before the race and I am still baffled on how they got the start time – pretty sure they used race gun for it and assumed we all crossed the line at that point which is incorrect because I always start in the back of this race so I can entertain myself by picking people off.

Hit the jump to see how the race turned out

Continue reading 13 for 13