A Grey Day

Ever have one of those days in the field when you come up on a subject that just doesn’t want to cooperate with you no matter how hard you try.  Perhaps you are initially elated to witness a bird for the first time and as the encounter plays out that early jubilation fades away leaving a soured feeling behind.  Has that frustration embedded itself so deep in your psyche that you are willing to simply clear the digital record and forget the whole event?…

Grey Hawk found at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park, Mission, TX in January 2020

Yeah, me neither ha!  When the feathered friend is already in the tin, then that may be  different story.  When it comes to +1’s you take what you can get, work it as much as it deserves in the digital darkroom and be happy you can make the little mark next to a new entry in the check list.

Hit the jump to learn about one such experience – warning, the images  only get WORSE!

Continue reading A Grey Day

A Splendid Encounter

It is a new week and you know what that means… yep, time for some LIFO popping off the photography queue.  We happen to be in the middle of a March ice storm and keeping one eye on the trees in our forest  to see what kind of damage we might be in for.  Usually not a problem as the density of the trees usually keeps the swaying to a minimum, but the wind is picking up and I am starting to see some ripples.  It is quite beautiful with the shimmer off of the ice covered limbs.  Speaking of beautiful, let’s get to today’s very special featured feathered friend.

Female Elegant Trogon found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco TX in January 2021

How about that for a gorgeous bird!?!  Even for a female, this aptly named Elegant Trogon has an aura of nobility.  Be sure and check out the stunning color sported by the males if you want to see what it looks like to be clothed in splendor.  Today, however, we will be focused on this lady in the trees.

Female Elegant Trogon found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco TX in January 2021

Hit the jump to see some additional images taken of this new check on my birding list and learn about what it took to get it in the tin.

Continue reading A Splendid Encounter

You Call that a Curve?

As this is officially Flashback Friday, I can finally get to the post I had originally planned for last Friday.  Before I do that, a quick self-pat on the back.  Runkeeper recently notified me I had reached the 10,000 total miles mark.

Runkeepr 10000 miles

99.9% of that was thanks to tracking my runs since April 2011.  That was about 10 years after I had transitioned to this hobby due to some serious injuries in my true love martial arts that signaled those brutal days in the dojo had run their course – new pains/bruises/breaks were coming faster than I could recover from the last ones.  So, in actuality, well short of the total miles covered in my brief running career, but those first few years were training to complete the 7 mile Bix7 race where now the roads have been replaced with ultra-trails.  My body definitely appreciates this lower impact hobby (although thanks to running I have had two trips via ambulance to the emergency room where I was able to make it there myself during the combat days ha!)  Enough about me, bring on the featured feathered friend for flashback Friday.

Curve-Billed Thrasher found at McAllen Nature Center in McAllen, TX in January 2020

Our rather menacing looking bird comes to us courtesy of our birding trip along the Texas Gulf Coast back in January 2020.  Seems odd to be talking about flashbacks for an outing that occurring a little more than a year ago – in the past that would have been considered fresh out of the camera.

Curve-Billed Thrasher found at McAllen Nature Center in McAllen, TX in January 2020

Hit the jump to read more about our menacing looking bird.

Continue reading You Call that a Curve?

Zoomba

Welcome to March everyone!  (or as I like to call it, my second month of less stress and better sleep.)  I gave you a break from all of the birds in the last post.  The choice of material may have not been the wisest decision as I am still waiting to be released from the couch.  Didn’t know those Iowa women could hold a grudge that long.  Good news as today’s featured creature won’t set her off.  In fact, this may turn out to be one of her favorite insects.

Without further rambling I present to you an incredible transformation.  Take a look at this boring, plain looking Butterfly.

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Now for the surprise transformation.  Our dull subject has a secret rave side.  Fold those fragile wings down, catch some light and presto – vegas baby!

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Hit the jump to see all the beauty this Butterfly has to offer. Continue reading Zoomba

I Shake My Little Tush on the Pond Catwalk

Good news as I am for once ahead of the game when it comes to my self-imposed post quota.  February used to put a lot of stress on me thanks to the missing days – apparently retirement is already showing benefits.  Still trying to iron out the approach details, but thinking about burning both ends of my photo queue at the same time – for the techies out there, popping traditional FIFO and then swapping the head pointer and popping LIFO.  For the record that was a test to see if I missed work.. relieved that was an internal “nope”.  Jargon tabled I need to continue featuring old birding outings and would like to start featuring the newer finds – as B. in the UK hilariously put it, nice to read about a bird that might actually still be alive.   Last post I featured a find from our January 2020 Texas Gulf trip.  We saw this little one just before coming up on that Y-CN-H.

Least Grebe found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco TX in January 2020

There is a birding blog challenge that B. alerted me to that  I am desperately working to get caught up on so I can participate on a regular basis.  The most recent one I missed covered birds you love.  I would need to think about that a bit as there are really multiple ways to view that.  Photographing Whooping Cranes (link here) in the wild brings the biggest smile by far knowing how successful conservation efforts were to bring them back from the brink (at least some distance).  Then there are the shoots where cuteness takes over and warms the heart.  Black-Necked Stilts (link here and here) take the prize in that category.

Least Grebe found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco TX in January 2020

Hit the jump to read more about the bird too sexy for this post.

Continue reading I Shake My Little Tush on the Pond Catwalk