Our heartfelt prayers for those impacted by the recent Laura hurricane landfall. We have spent many vacations over the years enjoying the beautiful Texas Gulf Coast. We’ve witnessed firsthand the devastation to Rockport and the surrounding areas thanks to another hurricane that ripped through the area. Will never forget seeing an entire remains of a city literally piled up for miles in the center median of the main highway. I am not sure how much damage Laura inflicted yet, but I did hear Anahuc was hit – one of our favorite places to bird.
In tribute to our Gulf friends I bring you..
This series of shots was taken at Galveston Island State Park and nearby Bolivar Peninsula from our trip down there in January 2017. The Willet is not a new bird to the list and was actually featured back in Nov 2019 (link here). Fortunately for us, these rather regal looking birds are pretty common in the States. With the exception of the Eastern mainland and the upper west corner, these long legged shorebirds can be found at some port during the season either in their northern breading grounds or as they pass through to the coast for the winter months.
Hit the jump to read a bit more about our Yoga practicing Willet.
Continue reading Willet Yoga
Sky dandruff is once again falling on us. At least this time we are in November which makes it a bit more bearable, however, my body is not pleased that Fall was essentially skipped this year. Sure, the pretty colors are a nice benefit for those lucky enough to experience seasons, but there is one primary purpose for Fall – to gradually get the lungs and more isolated appendages accustomed to cold weather running. That’s it, just one reason – well, maybe to also force birds to come through my region on their way back home – but that’s it! Admittedly, my sample set is pretty small as the list of friends that enjoy running is thin enough and those willing to continue training through Midwest winters whittles that down to a mere handful. To a person, there is nothing worse than running one weekend in the high 60’s and then heading out two days later in low 20’s. You can bundle up all you want, but as soon as that cold air hits your unaccustomed lungs you will be thinking about your next trip to Texas!
Which was exactly what I was doing last week. Dead of night, headlight on, pounding pavement alone in a nearby park, sucking in daggers of cold air all while wondering what my 0.0 friends might think of this obsession. That answer didn’t take long to come up with leaving me many miles to think about my next post. At some point my fingers and toes started going numb – again, thanks to NO FALL they hadn’t toughened up. Told myself I was going to have to use willpower to get me through the hilly back half. Quickly began thinking of warm thoughts of Texas. Willpower, Texas, willpower, Texas, willpower, Texas, damn did my pinkie just fall off!?!, willpower Texas, willpower Texas – hey, I GOT IT!
Hill the jump to see a few more pictures of this rather drab looking shorebird.
Continue reading If You Willet They Will Come
The Halloween prop shop is in full production as we get closer to the haunt event. This year’s effort should be epic if I get everything done in time – every year there are always a few ideas that don’t make it onto the trail just purely due to only being given a mere 60 seconds in every minute (damn thee Father Time, damn thee!). The good news is I had a giant breakthrough in a design of a motor housing tonight which I’ve been struggling with for couple of days. The best part about all the Halloween activities is I get to dust the rust off my 3D solid modeling and electronics education. Now just sitting here waiting for the 3D printer to finish with my new parts – since I don’t like to just sit figured why not claw a bit of ground back on the post quota..
Decided it was time to feature the second part of my series on the big birds. If you recall, I covered the first set back in June – where the hell has the summer gone!?! (link here). That set of Great Blue Herons was brought to you from the great birding mecca of South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center. This second series comes from a couple of different places although still down on the Texas Gulf Coast from our trip down there in late December 2016 into early January 17. These first two specimens were found at Galveston Island. They were so intent on Froggies stupid enough to wander too close to natures living spear that they didn’t pay me any attention. Ended up being able to move in to the point where The Beast couldn’t retract enough to get those long bodies in the frame. No worries, always happy when I can put some nice close ups in the tin.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots of the Great Blue.
Continue reading Great Blue Take Two
Well, today is officially my one week anniversary of pulling myself away from the big bright light. Beyond the staples in the head becoming quite annoying – not to mention an apparent great conversation starter since going back into the office last Wednesday. Kind of hard to hide and eventually someone starts getting quizzical when you are deliberately trying to keep them to the front of you. Also didn’t help that my supposedly lovely wife is a Facebook junkie – had to threaten her with retaliatory hospital photos from her upcoming surgery if she followed through on her threat to post images from the emergency room! Will post more detail on the mothership blog soon, but for now things are progressing slowly. Did a quick 2 miler on Tuesday, a 4 miler on Thursday and put 6 miles in this morning’s heat. Definitely a long road back to where I was, but as they say in a runner’s world, it’s simply putting one foot in front of the other.
With the hoopla and stress leading up to the race, I didn’t get a chance to really enjoy the 4th of July celebration. Looking through my blog fodder queue, decided today we would feature an All-American bird in honor of our independence.
…and by All-American, I simply mean a bird that happens to have “American” right in its name. In the off chance you happen to be unfamiliar with our long billed friend, that is an American Avocet. Fortunately for my brother Ron, this is not a new bird for my checklist. Linda and I saw our first one back in 2013 on a trip to the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve while visiting Nevada. To simply embarrass myself, it didn’t make it on the blog and thus not an official check until December 2017 (link here). Think this may be the first time I’ve been able to get a shot of one of them flying – okay bird counters, take a quick glance and guess how many you estimate in this shot – note, this is a practice test for later in the post.
Hit the jump to see A LOT more of these birds!
Continue reading An All American Bird
I almost went with “A Wasted Endeavor” for the title of this post, however, my not so clever play on losing my marbles won out in the end. A little insight into the inner workings around here at Intrigued – there’s one key ingredient that brings it all together. Sure, the foundation of it all relies on being able to make it out in the field and discover content to feature. Then there’s the digital darkroom where I try to make everything as pretty as I can for you. There’s close to three years of outings in the queue that I am desperately trying to get through (thus the more than usual production as of late). Have to get everything uploaded to the galleries in order to reference into the posts and then the actual finger pounding the keyboard to give it all context. The fact is, all of those elements require a bit of effort on my part. Not exactly the effort you might be thinking of …
I’m talking about the effort involved in trying to maintain your sanity being a distance runner. Trust me, people like me who feel guilty when not meeting the mileage quota for the week probably need some therapy – “Hello, my name is Brian and I am a Runner. [all] Hello Brian.” To keep myself from thinking about every step during the run, I set my mind to planning out the next post. What is worth my reader’s time, what interesting photographs do have that will give life to that topic and the most important element – what is the title going to be. It is downright embarrassing how many miles I cover thinking about that component. Hardest part is being able to remember what I came up with by the time I hit the stopwatch. To be honest, it really is a giant life circle. I exercise so I can go into the field, hike all day with heavy equipment, take photos to bring back and then use my exercise time to put it all together. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Honestly, there isn’t anything I’d rather be doing to pass my free time than out in the wild staring down the barrel of large glass at a new bird for my North American Birding List. In retrospect, that seems like a long intro to simply introduce the first Marble in my collection.
Hit the jump to learn more about this tall wader.
Continue reading Gaining My Marbles
Somehow this month has already gotten away from me. Partial blame is having spent the first week of January down in Texas seeking out new material for the blog. For the next couple of months you will definitely be hearing a lot about that recent trip as well as spoils from the other trips to Texas we’ve taken over the last several years. There is a specific reason for this southern state focus, but I am going to keep that under wraps for a bit longer. For you, the Texas focus is going to be either really good or possibly irritating. If you are a bird enthusiast you will definitely be the former – if you prefer your wild without feathers, then my apologies right up front, gonna be a bumpy ride. I do plan to sprinkle in some other creatures to help you through it.
Kicking right into the new year’s theme – bringing you another new bird for my list
Hopefully you can make it through the less than stellar photography execution. The day was overcast and basically too dark to even hope to get a wall hanger. Task at hand was to try my best to get something in the tin to satisfy requirements to officially get the check on my list. Took a bit of processing in the digital darkroom, but I think they are sufficient to get credit – will let my check officiating crew (aka my brother Ron) weigh in if there is a differing opinion. For now, you will need to tolerate some fuzzy soft shots.
Hit the jump to find out with this new bird is!
Continue reading Fuzzy Wuzza Oyster