Concerns Warranted

As you can tell, I’ve finally found some spare cycles to get a post out.  It has been amazingly busy around Intrigued as of late thanks to two 30 year celebrations at work (wife and I), trying to finalize the schedule for Linda’s heart valve replacement at Mayo’s and then the quickly approaching 50K running event next Saturday (crap, I can’t believe that deadline has come up so fast).  As a result, my blogging and, well, just about all my secondary activities have been clipped (especially my Halloween production which is most troubling).  Every spare cycle has been spent pounding out miles on the road and on the trails – latter when the rain gods finally give me a chance.  I remember Ron mentioning his concern for me reaching my monthly blog quota which at the time still has a few weeks to go.  I had some concerns as well, but thanks to a good dose of posts on the mothership blog today’s last minute post will cover that (B. in the UK might appreciate the theme of the pumpkin post – link here).  Unfortunately, the last two weeks have had additional concerns that had/have me a bit troubled.  A week ago, I was working on more of the bathroom remodeling, simply stepped down from putting up window trim and felt a stabbing pain right in the middle of the tendon than comes down on top of the ankle from the shin into the foot. Actually though it had ripped off.  Puffed up and hurt like hell.  Had Linda look at it after an ice treatment and we eventually found a puncture point that might have caused it – possibly another bee sting in a critical point like the back episode earlier in the year.  Ended up being able to run on it without serious pain so continued on until the swelling subsided 2 or three days later.  Then yesterday I was getting the last long trail run in and managed to turn my ankle 90 degrees thanks to not seeing a rock underneath the mud.  Unfortunately, that was between mile 8 and 9 which is the farthest point from the car.  Knowing what happens if you let your ankle realize it is hurt, journeyed on for another 5 miles.  A day later the ankle is still swollen and twinges under weight.  Definitely do not need this so close to the starting line.  Will nurse it for a few days and give it a short test Wed just so I know what to expect during the race – wish me luck.

In recognition of being immobilized at the moment, figured it would be fitting to feature a creature that has a natural ability to leverage the concept of immobility.

Great Blue Heron shot at Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, Texas, December 2016

Yes, bringing out one of the big boys of the birding world on this final day of June.  Truth be told, I do not feature this bird much on the blog thanks to the thousands of images already in the portfolio.  The Great Blue Heron is one of the birds you can see just about everywhere in the continental US.  They do prefer to breed in southern Canada and down into the Dakota areas, but for the most part spend their time year-round wading through any body of water they can find across the states (except for a very odd finger down the eastern part of Idaho, Utah area according to Cornell – may be the Rockies, will have to investigate that a bit more later).

Great Blue Heron shot at Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, Texas, December 2016

Hit the jump to view a few more shots of these dagger-billed Herons.

Having taken so many pictures of these fairly large birds has a tendency to take the excitement out of the shoot.  I’ve written about what I call the Bison Effect many times on the blog, but for the new subscribers, inevitably the first visit you ever make to Yellowstone will be spent oohing and awing over the Bison that roam that state park.  On these first encounters, you end up giving yourself a finger cramp thanks to pressing the shutter so many times.  Snap, snap, snap, snap, ooh, there’s another one, snap, snap, snap, hey, there’s a baby, snap, snap, snap, snap, snap, snap – change digital cards, snap, snap, snap, snap, snap, snap – and that is just in the first couple of miles on the interior loop.

Great Blue Heron shot at Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, Texas, December 2016

By the end of the week you’re like “honey, there’s a Bison riding a tiny bike on a tightrope over Swan Lake dressed up like a Unicorn…yeah, see that, but holy crap, there’s a Chipmunk sitting on a log – let’s go take a picture of THAT”.  Then there are the overly confident Bison that come right up to your window that basically give you the opportunity to take a picture of their eyeball thanks to needing the biggest glass you can find for the rest of the wildlife in the area.  At this point in time, the setting has to be extremely interesting for me to spend a lot of shutter time with the Great Blue Heron.

Great Blue Heron shot at Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, Texas, December 2016

I’ll still take a few shots in recognition that they are indeed a bird and to back up the bird count for the day, but they are typically the last to process in the digital darkroom and often overlooked when it comes to featuring them here.  With that said, I did think this set and part 2 which is in the queue warranted being covered.  Each of these shots were taken while on our birding trip down the Texas Gulf Coast back in December 2016.  Specifically, each of these were found at the South Padre Island Bird Viewing and Nature Center – one of my top 5 birding locations.  Again, not a difficult bird to locate, but thought the backdrop and stoic look of the specimens gave a nice overall appeal.  There are actually a few more shots from the same place that moved to a second upcoming post to avoid blowing out your browser cache

Great Blue Heron shot at Padre Island Birding and Nature Center, Texas, December 2016

Thankfully these Great Blues and their brethren are meticulous in their hunting skills willing to patiently wait for their prey to come to them.  They will sit there for minutes at a time not moving, staring intently for any movement below the water’s surface – translated into photography speak – amazing subjects that give you all the time you need to zero in the manual settings to get exactly the look you want.  If you are just getting into photography, grab your glass and head out to your local body of water for some practice.  Now, those Chipmunks posing on a log, now that is damn hard to get right ….hehehehe.

In closing, sorry about the lack of production on the wildlife front this month and more importantly the delay in getting to all of my fellow blogger’s posts in a timely manner.  Hoping things will settle down a bit after the big race… if I live through it.

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