Memorial Day – New Images

This has been a rather quiet holiday weekend for Ann and I.  Yesterday, Sunday, I spent most of the day in front of the TV.  As I have done for as many years as I can remember, except for the three that I spent in the Air force near Istanbul, Turkey, I watched the Indianapolis 500 auto race.  When I was a kid my dad and would spend Memorial Day listening to that great race on radio, then later watching it on TV.  So it’s a little like a tradition for me.  Of course, like everything else, it has changed over the years.  I remember that 50 years ago, I think it was Jim Hurtabise qualified at 150 miles per hour.  It was thought then, that would be an unsurpassed record.   Yeah, right.  This year, Helio Castroneves qualified right at 228 miles per hour.  That’s 235 mph on the back stretch.  Hmmm…..

This morning, the actual Memorial Day, Ann and I done our daily enjoyable task of going to San Angelo State Park to get the feed out for the birds at the wildlife viewing area.  Since we had nothing better to do this day, we decided to spend a few hours doing a little driving around the park.

Western Diamond Back Rattlesnake

Even though it is getting a little warm we still found that the birds are still active.  We saw no snakes though.  I mention this because a few days ago as we were driving down the path from the bird blind, we came upon a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.  It was sunning itself in the path, and as we approached, it started to move back into the deep grass.  But not before I got a photo of it that I have posted here.  So beware when you are hiking there.  These snakes, if alerted they will move out of the way.  But if you surprise one, it will coil into a defensive posture.  You will hear the rattle, and they can strike out to the length of their body, maybe a few inches further if they put enough force behind the strike.  They can come out of their shoes, so to speak.

Lark Sparrow

In my experience, when wading through deep grass, watch carefully, but don’t be afraid to be a little noisy, as they may sense you coming and move away.  But my wife, Ann, doesn’t take chances.  She makes sure that she walks behind me.  🙂

But, today, as I said, no rattle snakes.  I got a couple of new photos that I will post here.  One of my best photograph of a Lark Sparrow.  This one stayed in place long enough for me to pick up my big 500mm lens.  I took the shot hand-held from the window of the mini-van.  Later I got this cute shot of a Western Kingbird.

Western Kingbird

Click on any photo to see an enlargement.

So we hope that everybody has enjoyable holiday.

Happy Birding!!

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