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.

Jovial Black-crowned Night Herons


I can’t say for sure that they are jovial, but these Black-crowned Night Herons (Nycticorax nycticorax), seem to be enjoying themselves.  A couple of the images look like they are laughing, and I haven’t even told one of my corny jokes yet.  Anyway, I have been culling images since it is cold and windy around here today.  There are many species of Herons besides my favorite, the Great Blue.  The Black-crowned is probably my second best favorite.

Except for the image of the juvenile standing in a pool of water, the rest were all taken in Knoville, Tennessee on the Tennessee River.  Ann and I were visiting a dear friend of mine there, and she and her husband took us there.  There must have been nearly one hundred of the herons flying all over the place.

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron - juvenile

Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron - juvenile

Black-crowned Night Heron

I used my Canon 7D and 500mm lens mounted on a tripod with a Wimberley II Gimbal head, for all of the shots except for the juvie 2nd from top.  A litle story about that particular image.

Ann and I were driving slowly down River Drive, along the Concho River here in San Angelo.  Near the Irving Street crossing there is a low-water crossing and a small dam.  I spotted the juvenile, and at first I thought it was a Green Heron.  Anyway, it was close enough that I could use my 100-400mm lens.  I had to walk down a steep embankment of about 8 feet.  The path that I took was hard-packed sandy dirt.  I started to slide, right into a huge mesquite tree growing into the bank of the river.  The tree stopped me from going into the river.  I sure know how to make my life exciting. 🙂

But as my other photographic friends, like Mia McPherson, can attest, sometimes a guy has to get a little down and dirty.