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?


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

266 Plus 1 as of 2 of 2021

Things couldn’t be going better early in the retirement cycle. Getting a lot of projects completed around the house and putting a serious dent in the honey-do list. One of those tasks was to finally get to the 2020 blog summary (see last post). That has been a dark cloud hanging over me as I continually procrastinated due to the amount of effort it takes to gather up the numbers. The problem is that triggers a project taking even more labor- the refresh of the bird list count. Mentioned in the summary that it was in progress – relieved to say that is now complete! I was going to chronicle that entire 48 step process, but decided that added no value to you and scrapped it (at least it is documented for my future refreshes). Drum roll please…. the current official bird count number is …more drum roll please .. 266 (well, it was.. more on this later). Not a number that is going to impress any serious birder for sure, however, I am rather proud of it as a count requires an identifiable photograph and an official feature here on the blog. I’ve decided to push to make it into the 300 club by the end of the year and to keep me motivated put it front in center on the left pane – go ahead and look, it should be right there to the left of your screen. I wouldn’t consider this a stretch goal as there are a number of new birds already in the queue just waiting their turn to be processed and featured. Good news is this means you will also be getting more recent accounts as I try to stay on top of the +1s (assuming everyone just muttered “about damn time” under their breath hehehe).

So that explains most of the cryptic title except the “Plus 1” part and the past tense in reference to the number above. Here is the reason for that.

Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron found at Estero Llano Grande State Park on our trip to Texas Gulf Coast in 2020

Hit the jump to see/read more on the newest entry to the bird list.

Continue reading 266 Plus 1 as of 2 of 2021