Flora and Fauna, etc.

I woke up this morning and said to myself, “Self, (that is what I call myself at times), you need to write a post”.  I haven’t written one in several days.  It has just been one of those periods where it seems that I haven’t accomplished anything.  We had lots of rain, really gully-washers, here and the lakes have received much water.  The lake where I spend most of my time with my photography was literally over the banks, where previously it had almost dried up.  The gates were opened to bring the depth back to the normal.  That water will flow downstream to replenish yet another reservoir a few miles south.

So when I finally got out a few days ago, decided to go to several venues where I like to photograph.  First, here is a photo that I got in my own backyard, where we received seven and a half inches of the wet stuff.   A very wet, not dried off yet, immature female Bullock’s Oriole.

A very wet immature female Blullock's Oriole.

A very wet immature female Blullock’s Oriole.

We headed to San Angelo State Park.  We noticed that O. C. Fisher Lake there had received some water also.  Reportedly it rose from a dry bed to nine feet of water.  Should help the overall wildlife of the area.  Even the Prairie Dogs are happy, judging from this mother frolicing with an  off-spring.

PLayful Prairie Dogs

Playful Prairie Dogs

This photo was taken in the north part of the park at the prairie dog village there.  Also,while in that area we spotted a couple of Mississippi Kites in a tree.

Mississippi Kite

Mississippi Kite

Killdeer sheltering a young one.

Killdeer sheltering a young one.

Look close at the above picture.  No, it is not a four-legged Killdeer, nor are those training wheels.  When we first spotted the adult Killdeer, the chick was several yard away.  As we approached, it sensed danger and ran for it’s mother and hid under a wing.  I snapped a few photos, then left, as I don’t like to stress the wildlife for the sake of a photograph.

More images from the park included the following.

Bullock's Oriole

Bullock’s Oriole

Bewick's Wren

Bewick’s Wren

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus

Leaving the park, we decided to venture downtown.  San Angelo is the home to one of  just a handful of International Water Lily Collections in the world.  Ken Landon, the curator and owner, collects specimens from all over the world.  He is just now putting out the plants for the summer, but several of them were in bloom already.  The five pools, (soon to be six) are each about half full, but will be completely filled with gorgeous blossoms of all shapes and sizes very soon.  Here are a couple of images that I captured.  As you can see from the water droplets, the rains had just recently finished.

Water Lily blossom

Water Lily blossom

Water Lilies

Water Lilies

I hope you enjoyed this diverse collection of images.  Click on any or all of them to see enlargements.

Prairie Dogs say the dog-goned-est things

I was looking at all of my Prairie Dog images today, and in my devious mind I imagined what these little guys were thinking. 🙂

These were all photographed at San Angelo State Park, San Angelo, Texas.  Click on the images to see enlargements.  Enjoy.

"Do these pants make me look fat?"

"OMG, I soooo love these things!"

"I hope I don't look too suspicious".

"Someday this will all be yours".

"Should I was my hands before supper?"

Time is fleeting

Boy, I can’t believe how time flies.  I just realized that I hadn’t added a new post since November 7.  I guess that is just part of the aging process. LOL

But anyway, Ann and I haven’t been doing too much exciting.  We did go to the San Angelo State Park a couple of time the past few days.  Hey, I almost forgot!  I saw my first Harris’s Hawk.  A lifer for me.  Unfortunately, I had my binoculars in my hands instead of a camera, so I missed a photo.  We have



 seen quite a few birds, though.  A Pyrrhuloxia, pictured to the right, about 150 American White Pelicans, numerous other shorebirds such as Greater Yellowlegs, American Avocets, Great Blue Herons, and various Egrets.  The White-crown Sparrows are starting to show up, too.

We passed by the Prairie Dog town.  We have been keeping an eye on it, because we were wondering how they were surviving.  We have seen four healthy looking ones the last two visits.  I hope there are  more down in their dens.  At one


Black-tailed Prairie Dog

time, a couple of years ago, there were nearly two dozen.  But disease and predators, probably bobcats or hawks, I think are taking their toll.  We’ll continue to watch.

The last report I heard about the O. C. Fisher Lake level, was about three weeks ago and the amount of water was about 4% of capacity.  I would be surprised if it wasn’t down to about 2% now.  It is getting harder and harder to identify the shorebirds without a scope of some kind.

But better days are coming, and the birds are returning.

Happy Birding!