Well, the latest exploration is nearing completion. Time to turn the RV northward and begin the return leg. Like a good Oreo, our trips tend to be a bit crunchy on the ends, but sweet and delicious in the middle. This year the special ingredient was our first fallout resulting in a Warbler extravaganza. Before you get too excited about the future posts, be patient. On a normal outing I can be a bit heavy on the shudder – after this trip I will likely need months of therapy to simply uncurl my index finger. Not to mention I haven’t even scratched the surface from the January trip. Getting way ahead of myself – focus Bri, focus!
As we are officially over the hump, I can dive back into the older captures. Tonight’s featured feathered friend comes to us from Havana. Ummm, before you start having a flashback to a bad Patrick Swayze sequel, that’s Havana, ILLINOIS. A rather nondescript small rural town that happens to sit near Emiquon National Wildlife Refuge – the jewel of the Midwest when it comes to birding.
Finally back on the keyboard. All I can really say at this point is the days have gotten a bit crazy since we embarked on our second exploration of the year. First week was a bit tiring as that was primarily travel days. Last week ended up being a birder’s paradise thanks to a bit of luck on the weather front. We really tried not to continue our long history of tugging bad Midwest weather down wherever we go – unfortunately, it continued as horrible rains raced us to our destination. Even hopped over us and pounded our first main stopping point so everything was nice and soaked for our arrival. A bit bummed, we headed to the recommended birding spots expecting the worst. Wow, were we wrong – imagine hundreds of birders standing on the roads, standing on the trails, standing under the trees, hell, hanging from the trees. Appears we managed to experience our first fallout! Will post more on that when we finally return, however, as a teaser I am at LEAST +22 for the trip so far. Now to more pressing matters – getting to the end of the month and the post production is a bit light. All hail the King of Kings.
As we are in the early part of the week, the promise is to deliver the fresher posts. Thankfully, I worked up a number of newer images before we departed. Today’s featured feathered friend comes to you from the first exploration trip of the season back in January. Seems like a lot longer than a mere three months ago. That excursion took us to Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park and to a new location called Edinburg Scenic Wetlands.
Hit to read a bit more about our rather stout Kingfisher or is it a scissors with feathers.
I think we are somehow cursed. Maybe that love of all things Halloween has finally overwhelmed my good karma or maybe it is all just a coincidence that bad weather tends stick to us like nettles on shoestrings. Regardless of the reason, we have once again brought a weather plague on the inhabitants of our exploration destination. On our southern Texas adventure we managed to bring unusually cold temps and rain to the natives and to further add in insult, managed to vacate the area just before the epic snow and ice storm hit them (please accept our apologies). Today we reached a primary destination and sure enough they are basically flooding out. Is it asking too much to have some “plain” weather !?!
Ummmm, there you go Mother Nature, jinxing me again clearly I requested plain WEATHER and what do I get.. a Plain Chachalaca. Unless this is a play on raining cats and birds, we are not properly communicating. Might as well go with it as the birding is currently at a standstill until this downpour lets up. As we are past the older post days, going with something fresh.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots of our featured bird.
Well, we are officially off on our exploration part deux for the year. Just in time, it appears, as our hometown county is experiencing some unexpected high numbers of Covid outbreaks. Not sure what is up with that, but at the moment, thankfully not something we need to worry about. So far the birding has been a bit weak, however, I have been able to get a long run in on an amazing set of trails. Told Linda it was like running on the set of The Last of the Mohicans. Good for the soul and the long steep elevation climbs was a good reminder to the legs they are still in training. As it is Flashback Friday, I get to pull from the front of the LIFO queue. Meet today’s Featured Feathered Friend.
We have been experiencing some unexpected cold temperatures on our exploration. Our destination should be significantly warmer – in the meantime I have to keep reminding myself we are officially past winter ha. While looking through the queue, noticed these shots that were taken in the same month and still had SNOW on the ground.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots of the big birds
Greetings everyone. A little off my posting pace as we’ve been preparing for another extended exploration. This put me in a bit of a bind with my earlier promise to get you more recent material. Unlike the older queue material, the newer images need to be worked up on the fly which is difficult to do on the road, nor do I really want to take the time to transfer all the data to portable storage. Instead, I’ve been working feverishly in the digital darkroom to finish up some production work to cover posts while we are out and about. All of this while Linda wants my help packing the RV – the nerve hehehehe. While getting all this squared away, thought I’d throw out an older set of images to hold you over.
How about some cute cuddly Tree Swallows to brighten these pandemic days!?! This is actually a sister post to one I made back in July of 2017 when the images were fresh to the month (link here). I needed to work up an image for a photography competition at a local fair (first shot in that previous entry) and grabbed a couple of other random shots to fill out a post. These are additional shots after I had time to go back and look at the entire shoot.
Happy Easter everyone! This morning I was out on my 16 mile training run on the trails of Jubilee State Park when I came upon not one but TWO Easter Bunnies. At first I was admittedly a bit startled. Not so much that I would come upon them in the middle of running the woods, but they didn’t exactly fit the model. Sure, both had two rather large ears, but wasn’t expecting them to each have 6 legs, 2 arms and stand 6 feet tall! One of them extended a Happy Easter and then offered me a chocolate rabbit pulled from a leather pouch. “We are playing Easter Ambassadors and offering treats to everyone we see in honor of our Savior’s rising.” I extended my appreciation for the thought, but passed – can’t imagine the gooey mess that would be by the time I finished the run. We said our goodbyes and went our separate ways. Note, this happened at mile 14.5 so assuredly the synapses were experiencing some fatigue, however, the large “U” shapes and the ummm… let’s go with presents left on the rest of the trail provided some evidence to the encounter. By the way, those bunnies must east a LOT! Made it home and thought I would get a post out in recognition of the special day and, of course, relay the events from earlier in the day. Spent a significant amount of time going through the 3+ years of backlogged images only to come up empty – NOT A SINGLE BUNNY PICTURE IN THE QUEUE. At a loss, I decided to hold a Cadbury tryout to see what would be the official substitute for the ’21 Easter Bunny. First up…
WTH, that thing doesn’t even have fur. “..but look at my big cute round eyes and I have Praying right there in my name”. Uhhhh nope. Next.