Horoscopes are for the birds.


My horoscope this morning seemed to imply that I would be presenting you with a message with great authority.  I have no idea in the meaning of this.  I will probably give you a bit more of my nonsense enhanced with a few pictures.  How do astrologists come up with this stuff?  They explain that it is all in the ways the stars align.

Well, I can never see any stars align when I look at that wonderful Milky Way.  Heck, I took my trusty plumb-bob outside to check for some kind of alignment.  I couldn’t make out any two stars that seem to be in line with each other.  So I put that ol’ plumb-bob back in the garage with all of my plumbing tools.

Great Egret with sunfish

Great Egret with sunfish

I went out yesterday to see if I could get some usable photos.  I came across this Great Egret, (Ardea alba), and I don’t think the stars were aligning for him as I watched him for twenty minutes, trying to swallow this sunfish.  He finally gave it up, contributed to the catch-and-release program.

Mute Swan

Mute Swan

Now this Mute Swan, (Cygnus olor), felt very comfortable in his element.

Eastern Phoebe

Eastern Phoebe

As did the above Eastern Phoebe, (Sayornis phoebe).  So maybe there is something to be said about the alignment of stars being inducements.  Anyway, my thoughts on the stars are that there a heck of a lot of them.  Astronomers haven’t yet seen how far away the farthest one is, but so far they have seen nearly 400 billion light-years away.  I imagine that when they see the farthest one, they will see a plate-glass wall.  On the other side of the glass they will see a little kid with a dirty face.  He will have  lollipop in one hand, and a hammer in the other, that he is fixin’ to swing at the glass.

Well, enough of this nonsense for now.  My wife read this and clobbered me, and now I am seeing stars. 🙂

Mute Swans – A rarity in San Angelo


The past few weeks Ann and I had seen these two Mute Swans (Cygnus olor), out around the Lake Nasworthy area here in San Angelo.  One evening it was late, and they were pretty close to shore in Mary Lee Park.  I decided to take a few photos of them.  It was when I was taking a closer look at the images, then looking in my guides, that I discovered they are very, very rare to Texas.  They are usually found in the Northeast and Great Lakes area.  When Ann sent our sightings to E-Bird they immediately put them on their Rare Bird Alert list.

Mute Swans

It’s funny how you can see something and just take it for granted.  As I said, we got used to seeing them, and it was not a new specie to us, and we didn’t realize that it wasn’t supposed to be around here.  I must say, though, that if they hadn’t been continually dipping their heads in the muddy water they might have been prettier.  But I am not particular.   I photograph what I see.  Like the guy said, “you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your swans”. 🙂

Pertinent photo info:  Canon EOS 7D with Canon 100-400mm lens.  1/2500 sec. @ f8, -0.3EV.  Center-weighted metering and aperture priority.  Hand-held.

Click on image to see an enlargement.