A Few Fourth of July Images


The Fourth of July holiday dawned cool with a high overcast.  Feeling lazy, I had a great Scrabble game going on with a dear friend in Houston when my iPad’s battery went down.   Alas!  What was I to do with no iPad or no Scrabble?  Well, I forgot my laziness and grabbed my cameras, after putting my iPad on the charger.  With the high overcast, the light was perfect with the sun’s light diffused and no harsh shadows.

This time of year, between the spring and fall migrations, the birding aspects aren’t too great.  I guess they call this the dog-days of summer.  Anyway, the temperature started warming, so we went to the bird blind at the San Angelo State Park.  There the water was trickling into the pond and there were a few birds around.  We sat on the bench and opened the large windows for easier viewing and photography.  Here are three images that I captured there.  Click on any of them to see enlargements.

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

House Finch

House Finch

Curve-billed Thrasher

Curve-billed Thrasher

After leaving the bird blind, we took a quick drive around to see what else may be hanging around.  I caught this Greater Roadrunner in a tree.

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Then who can refuse this bird that only a mother could love.  There is a certain beauty to the Turkey Vulture.  It’s not his fault that he appears to be, well, er, ugly.

Turkey Vulture

Turkey Vulture

Thank you, thank you, thank you……


I am getting back into the routine again after my bout of illness and a stay in the hospital.  But I would be remiss if I didn’t thank everyone that wrote and wished me well during that period.  The list is long, but at the top of the list would be Shannon of the Dirtnkids Blog.  She is a friend from Houston, Texas that went above and beyond.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that she is a fiend at Scrabble, but she and I kept an on-line game going during my entire stay at Shannon Medical Center.  Name co-incidence?  Maybe, but everything happens for a reason.  And one of my nurses’ name was Shannon.  Figure that out.

Of course, I can’t leave out my wonderful wife, Ann, who probably had the worst job of all;  catering to all of my wishes and needs, and generally just putting up with me.  Perhaps she should be at the top of the list.  I wonder if I am now in trouble…….

Great Blue Heron taking a walk through the brush.

Great Blue Heron taking a walk through the brush.

Also special thanks to another dear friend, Deb Tappan, also a photographer from Knoxville, Tennessee.  She has been quite instrumental in helping with the technical side of my photography through the years.  She made a special phone call as soon as she heard of my plight.  Also special thanks to my friends of many years, Johnny and Jerita Harper of Midland, Texas.

Pretty House Finch

Pretty House Finch

But there were so many others that wished me well.  Ron Dudley, Mia McPherson, Lisa Rest, Martina Landolt,  Melissa Koski, Dwynne Lafleur, Alison of Northern Desert, Toby of Dumb-ass News, Bonnie Gunkel, Syl Lobato, Jo Woolf, Derrick Birdsall, Beth Bradlley, Lyndi Simms and Jerry at QuietSoloPursuits.  I am sure that I probably missed someone, so forgive me if I have.

Don't just sit there like a turtle on a log.  Get these two idiots off of me.

Don’t just sit there like a turtle on a log. Get these two idiots off of me.

Again many thanks to all for helping me get through the hospital stay that was only a nuisance and inconenience.  Click on any image to see an enlargement.

Back among the living…….


Sorry that I kept you all waiting.  You probably thought I was dead, but I have been away for a bit.  I actually thought I was dead when I had another painful attack last Saturday morning.  I just spent another delightful week in the hospital for removal of some more stones.  I think the doctor said that he removed enough sand and gravel to re-do my driveway. 🙂 But through laproscopic surgery, it was a piece of cake.  Besides that, I have a dear friend that lives near Houston, who loves to play Scrabble.  We had an on-line game going constantly, and the hospital food at Shannon Medical Clinic was awesome.  Things couldn’t have been much better.

In case you are wondering about all of these attacks that I have had the past seven months, it seems that I have this peculiar condition, called “choledocolithiasis“. (Now that would be a great Scrabble word).   Anyway it  causes the liver to produce stones, even though my gall bladder is gone.  Leave it to me to come with something weird to add to my health resume.  But all’s well that ends well.  I am back to nearly 100% and am anxious to resume some photography and birding outings.

Ann and I did get out Saturday morning for a little foray around the local parks.  The birds weren’t real active, but I managed to get a couple of shots that are presentable enough to show here.

Cedar Waxwing

Cedar Waxwing

I love it when I can get a good close-up of a Cedar Waxwing.

Squirrel emerging from tree nest.

Squirrel emerging from tree nest.

This park where we do a lot of birding is over-run with squirrels.  For the most part, I usually just ignore them.  However, when I saw this one coming out of his (or hers) nest, I couldn’t resist getting a shot.

So until the next time, click on any image to see an enlargement.