The Big Boys Come Out to Play

I’ve been featuring a lot of birds as of late and just wanted to assure all my readers out there that … you are in store for a lot more of them.  Just being honest, my backlog of bird shots is so large now it is going to buckle the floor in my den.   So, if you happen to like bird posts, you are going to be extremely happy over the next couple of months.  Now, on the other hand, if you happen to consider bird posts as simply pointless filler between my liberal rants or book reviews… well, my absolute apologies.  There is a reason I am trying to get through the bird posts as fast as possible – no, I am not going to reveal why until I get further along with that project.  I’ll try to sprinkle some non bird posts in whenever I can, but for now, check out one of the Greats
Great Egret Shot on Texas Birding Trip - November 2013

Obviously the Great Egret is not a new bird on my list – it appeared on Life Intrigued way back in 2011 (link here). The best thing about the hobby of bird photography is even though you have a bird on your list already … you can always try to improve your shots.  Maybe you can get it in a new setting, displaying some new behavior or maybe just improve on the technicals of taking a photograph.  With the exception of those damn Coots, I’ll still take shots of whatever I see that has feathers.  Just so happens that the Great’s are a lot easier to see (ha).
Great Egret Shot on Texas Birding Trip - November 2013

Hit the jump to see a couple more pictures of this long necked member of the Egret family.

Continue reading The Big Boys Come Out to Play

T in Texas

Been a tough week in Peoria – apparently the plague is making its rounds through the area.  A lot of people have been hit with it at work and now it’s made its way to my household – Linda has been pretty ill the last couple of days.  Not a doctor,  but at this point looks to be some kind of stomach attacking flu (yuck!).  Anyway, trying to keep my distance so I do not fall prey to it.  I can’t afford to lose any training time at the moment with the April half marathon quickly approaching.  While I tend to Linda, figured I’d pop out another post.

Once again digging into the November 2013 Texas birding trip grab bag, I bring you this intriguing bird…
Texas Birding Trip November 2013
Apparently our subject likes to look at himself in the large glass of The Beast.  Strutting its stuff for the camera – “I’m too sexy for my orange legs, too sexy for this beach, and I’m too sexy for my feathers”.  You can thank me later for embedding that song in your head for the rest of the post and likely the rest of the week.
Texas Birding Trip November 2013

Hit the jump to see what this bird is  (although you probably already know!)

Continue reading T in Texas

Dive Bomber

Might as well get the third post out on the Pelican series.  This post is also from the draft queue like the last few posts – definitely chipping away at the processed backlog.  Pretty soon I will actually have to open the door to my digital darkroom and start processing again or I’ll be short on the upcoming quotas.  Always good to have a few held back in case of emergencies, but it is a somewhat demoralizing to have so many laying around just pleading to hit the mainstream ha. I promised you a different perspective of the bird in the previous Brown Pelican posts and here it is ….
Umm, well, not exactly that picture.  I forgot I wanted to set the stage.  That is the traditional perspective of the Pelican coasting through the air with little care in the world.  However, there is one aspect of life that does required attention by all living things… nourishment.  When that time comes for a Pelican, there is a decided transformation from the calm, cool and collected behavior we are used to seeing.  In fact, the whole thing is turned on its head … literally

Hit the jump to see how this plays out

Continue reading Dive Bomber

We Got the White

Fresh off a huge win for the Green Bay Packers over American’s team the Dallas Cowboys.  This was one of those strange games where it didn’t really bother me who won the game.  I have a lot of respect for Aaron Rogers both in the way he plays the game and probably more important how he handles himself on the field – calm cool and just goes about the business of winning even when the chips are stacked against.  On the other side I have similar respect for Tony Romo.  A fine product out of Eastern Illinois, but he was on the sidelines today watching his rookie replacement Dak Prescott.  Dak has impressed me as well, especially the way he has taken over the reins since Romo’s injury.  With admiration for elements of both teams I have to look for the negatives to determine my favored side.  Front and center Dez Bryant.  ‘Nuff said, go Pack!

Decided to catch a bit of the Steelers vs Chiefs game and since I cannot just sit and watch a game (what a waste of time), figured it would be a good time to pop another post off of the draft queue.  Since I went with the Brown Pelicans in the last post, figured it was only fair to give a little love to their white counterparts.
White Pelican Shot on Texas Birding Trip - November 2013

Unlike the Brown Pelicans in the Texas region, American White Pelicans are not year round inhabitants.  They migrate down from the colder regions to bask in the sun like the rest of us heat seekers.  Thanks to Robert who was giving birding talks at the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, Linda and I now know an interesting fact.  White Pelicans are the largest birds in the region … when they are down there.  When they migrate back, the Brown Pelican inherits the top of the size chart.  In jest, that tidbit became our mantra for the rest of the trip repeated at every sighting of the Pelican.  This was generally prompted by Linda who basically doubled her bird knowledge thanks to that informative comment from the local bird authority.   If we had more time we might have taken Robert up on one of his birding talks – seemed like he was up on his aviary facts and the details on what all the local restaurants were doing for New Year’s.

White Pelican Shot on Texas Birding Trip - November 2013

Since the Whites are pretty common here in the Midwest I didn’t spend a lot of time getting new shots in the tin – just took a few that I thought were interesting.  Wish I could tell you where we took these, but my memory is failing me at the moment – these were taken back in November 2013.  My guess is somewhere in the Galveston area or possibly off the shore in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.  That is the downsize of having such a backed up photo queue and an aging brain.

White Pelican Shot on Texas Birding Trip - November 2013

Before I let you go, it might be worth mentioning that neither one of these two White Pelicans were breeding – neither one are sporting the large knob that protrudes off the top of their bill (about 2/3rds the way down) signifying they are a breeding adult.  Admittedly a crappy picture, but you can see what it looks like in a previous post (link here).  Also note, the more dusky one in the back is likely a juvenile.

Just a quick post today folks, catch you again real soon.


How Now Brown Pelican

It’s another day of playing catch up here at Life Intrigued.  In the same pattern as the last post, this one comes from the draft queue – Yeah, I’m taking the easy way out but I’m dragging today having completed my first outdoor hill room of the young year.  Only ran a little over 6 today, but it was a struggle thanks to all the black ice that was doing its best to put me on my ass.  Only lost traction a couple of times, but the required shorter stride only added to the burden.  I still miss being in Texas a few weeks ago, so to help bring back some fond memories, going with another post from our November 2013 trip.


These shots were taken at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Austwell, Texas.  That was our target destination back in 2013 and more of a side stop for this year’s trip down there.  Of course, we were down there for the chance to get the Whoopers (link here).  After that, everything else we got down there was just a bonus.  I already had the Brown Pelican from the Ft Myers trip (link here), so no +1.

Hit the jump to see a few more shots of the Brown Pelican.

Continue reading How Now Brown Pelican

Except for that One with the Yellowy Eyes

I’m  in a bit of a clean up mode at the moment.  During the last couple of months of last year (wow, that seems so long ago as opposed to the reality of it being less than a month) the digital lab was working overtime trying to pop a number of items off the photo queue.  The thought of going 3 years behind was too much to take so gave it a scouts try to give me some buffer.  This meant there were a lot of posts prepped with all the shots worthy of posting from the processing blitz – all put in draft mode just waiting for the special day when they get the call to the big league.

Osprey on our Texas Birding Trip November 2013

Unfortunately, my prep work exceeded my publishing capability leaving me a basket full of potential posts.  Most of these were results of the Texas trip we took back in November 2013.  It is time to flush those out of the system or I am going to do something stupid like forget they are there – a total waste of the all the effort to get them to this point. So, as a step in the right direction, here is one of those drafts.
Osprey on our Texas Birding Trip November 2013

Hit the jump to see a few more shots of this killer.

Continue reading Except for that One with the Yellowy Eyes

2016 – The Year in Review

Welcome to 2017 everyone!

This month officially puts me in my 10th year of blogging and an anniversary I would have never believed would be reach when I started this little project (you can thank my brother Ron for getting me started on this journey thanks to his blogging over at Dead Reckonings – link here). Keeping with tradition, the turning of the calendar year means it is time to do my yearly assessment of my blogging production.  Over the last 9 years, the blog has gone through a number of transformations (hoping all for the better from a reader perspective).  Today, it is squarely more focused on our photography work at Eddiesoft Photography.  However, I do try to give a variety of other topics ranging from personal events to recollections, which are as much a historical documentation of what goes on during the course of a year in my little world as it his, hopefully, an entertaining read for you.  Kind of nice to have 9 years of writings to go back through whenever I get to a point where I’m wondering how all those gray hairs came to be.  No regular reader should have any question about my political leanings or my views on how our government should be run.  I’m fairly open about it, but usually try to spare you all the gory details but depending on the tone of the news that day it is likely a few barbs make their mark somewhere in the post.  Needless to say, I am optimistic that the change in the guard will bring good things – god knows it could not get any worse than the last 8.  Now we just need to deal with all these snowflakes from the participatory trophy generation.  Losing is character building and if you take that experience away… well you can see what you get – Generation Whine – hope the socialist academics are proud of their handy work.  .  See, there I go again – sorry about that but I feel the biggest drive in my life is competition – to overcome my weakness, to challenge myself to accomplish something more physically challenging than I am capable of now, to produce a better photo than the last.  That is my mantra, a core tenant that defines my existence.  And following that goal, my hope is to be sitting here next year with a better blog summary than this year – although I am pretty happy with this year both in the content of the blog and on the personal side having finally knocked off the full marathon on my life list.  There have been a handful of times in my life when I’ve had to look into the core of my soul and do battle with the demons that try to hold us back.  Those times are memories that are etched in my grey matter never to be forgotten – the last 4 miles of that Marathon are now on that list. I set my goals at the end of this month (gives me time to really thing about what I want to go after) and now that my life list is currently empty it is time to figure out what’s next.  Rest assured, like the rest of my personal challenges, you will get to experience the journey with me (I feed off your comments and encouragements).  Speaking of comments, once again I want to extend my heart felt thank yous for all the comments I have received again this year.  I know it takes time to read my ramblings and taking that extra time to provide feedback is extremely appreciated.  Keep up the good work and let me know about the things you like and definitely anything that could be better.

Special thanks goes to my brother Ron for all the time he has put in on the blog, on my projects and most of all for the enjoyment on those occasion when we get to out in the field and hunt down our feathered friends.  Hoping we can get out there a lot more this year (likely when it warms up for him hehehe).  We also need to give him all the encouragement we can to get his birding blog in full gear (link here) – he has progressed into quite the bird photographer and I’m sure everyone wants to see more of his work on his blog (besides, he needs to build his count up now that he has to abide by the birding rules for the official count).  I did take notice he is now experiencing what it is like to fall behind on the processing queue – he isn’t as bad as I am right now (over 2.5 years in the hole) but he is starting to inch up there.   If it wasn’t for my self imposed post quota, who knows how far I’d be down.  By the way, for the sixth year in a row I managed to hit my minimum 6 posts per month goal (yeah!).

It should be another exciting year around here at Life Intrigued.  The run training season is already in progress, new birding trips are being planned, Halloween projects are in their design phases and most of all… my radar is up and my observations are already being cataloged.  Assume there will be plenty of political fodder to comment on, photos to critique and that all important UB competition is just around the corner.  Hoping you will keep my little corner on the web bookmarked and visit when time permits.  Enjoy the details in my blogging summary below and raise a glass with me – to another year in the blogging books – here’s to wildlife that brings excitement and beauty to our world, to the creativity of others and most of all to the social experiment we call life that gets me up each and every day in anticipation of learning what it is that defines being human.

Thank You!

And now, the annual stats for the year’s worth of blogging.

Hit the jump to see the 2016 stats!

Continue reading 2016 – The Year in Review

Welcome 2017!

Happy New Year Everyone. It has been busy around Life Intrigued this year and thankfully this little project of mine is still enjoyable – although those quotas can get a little taxing at times. I’ll get my year end summary up as soon as I can (right now birding like crazy and filling up the queue with all kinds of new birds for the coming year). Looking forward to starting my 10th year of blogging and hope everyone has enjoyed my posts – if there is something that isn’t meeting your expectations or new topics you would like me to consider, just let me know in the comments and I’ll see what I can do. Take care everyone and be safe on your way back from wherever you are celebrating the dawn of a new year. It will definitely be an interesting time and I’m pretty sure I’ll be weighing in on whatever interesting things that catch my attention. Note, I should have extra time to spend now that my list of entertainers that will no longer profit from me has been growing at a logarithmic rate these last couple of months.