Monday, April 30, 2012

Restored Old Homes Galveston TX

When I was touring the wooden sculptures in Galveston I couldn't help but notice all the restoration of old homes. Here is an example of some of the beartiful restoration that has taken place.

Old Home Galveston TX

Old Home with one of the trees that survived Ike Galveston TX

Old Home Galveston TX

Restored Old Home Galveston TX

Wood Sculptures

April 29, 2012
I spent my 67th birthday touring the old section of Galveston TX. When Hurricane Ike hit Galveston in 2008 it damaged and destroyed many of the old Oak trees in the old part of town. Rather than just haul the wood off to the local landfill the residents decided to put the wood to good use. Some of it was used by local artists to create beautiful wood sculptures and 100% of the remaining wood went to projects such as the completion of full scale replicas of old wooden ships and local lumber yards for building material.
Here are some examples of the art work.



Wildlife Totem

Dolphin Pod with Mermaid


Angel with Bunny


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Goodbye Rockport

I was treated to a couple of beautiful sights before my departure.

Roseate Spoonbill in Flight

Male Ruddy Duck show'n off for the girls


Before I left the Rockport area I took a trip to Mustang Island State Park. The coast was quite busy with shorebirds.

Semipalmated Plover

Piping Plover

Diving Pelican

Royal Tern
Least Tern

Lizard Battle

While I was waiting for a little bird to land in front of me so I could photograph it I was surprised by the actions of two male lizards. They seem to be having a dispute over something - territory I suspect. They began by posturing then in a short time they began lunging at each other. After that they started locking jaws and rolling around. This was all taking place on a limb about 4 inches wide. They finally started to fall off the limb when one of them caught a small shoot coming out of the limb with his hind claw. They both hung like this for several minutes with the lizard on the bottom hanging from the jaw of the top lizard who was keeping them both from falling with his claw wrapped around this small shoot. They finally both fell to the ground and scurried off in different directions. One lizard had lost the tip of his tail, but other than that I don't think any permanent damage was done.
There was only myself and one other photographer to record this. It was quite a sight. After it was all over we just looked at each other and at the same time said "WOW".

Oh yeah. Bring it.

Jaws locked in battle

OK Bubba - you're toast

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Warblers and Friends

April 23, 2012

Called my sister Margaret today to wish her a Happy Birthday. Sent my friend Lolo an ecard for her birthday. Made my third trip to the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center in Port Aransas. I also stopped by Paradise Pond. To get to these places I have to take the ferry to Mustang Island, but it’s been the most productive area for warblers so far. I’ve seen more warblers than I have photographed. They are sure quick little suckers. Also most of the feeding stations and water features provided for the birds by the parks, organizations, and individual volunteers are in very shaded areas and I have discovered I need some special flash equipment to work with my large telephoto lens in order to photograph in these areas. I’m a little conflicted about using flash on wildlife. So many photographers are using it and when a little warbler comes out of the bush and lands on a water feature or limb you would think Princess Di just stepped out of a limo. I need to research this a little more. Here are the warblers and other birds I managed to catch in the sun or at least out of the very dark shade.
Chestnut-sided Warbler

Blue-winged Warbler

Black-throated Green Warbler

Canada Warbler

Red-eyed Vireo

Female Hooded Warbler

Common Yellowthroat


Sunday, April 22, 2012

USS Lexington

Stopped by the USS Lexington, but didn't get to go on board. My foot is acting up again. No walking that day.
Lockheed F104 with the USS Lexington museum in the background

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

April 17, 2012

I’m still recovering from the Storm we had Sunday night. There was so much lightning going on it was like daylight outside. There was no time to count between lightning and thunder. I could hear the crackling of lightning as it split the air. The percussion from the thunder shook the trailer. I was a bit concerned for my safety there for awhile. The next day I turned on the local news to find that there were four confirmed tornados with a 30 mile radius of the RV Park I’m staying in. I’m think’n that’s just a bit close for my comfort level. No basement to run to when you live in an 18’ travel trailer. The adventure continues.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wet Birds

I've decided to have a theme for this post. The theme is "wet birds". These birds are wet either because they have taken a bath or they are perched under a misting sprinkler. The migrants really appreciate the chance to cool off and clean their feathers after flying across the Gulf of Mexico.
We have rain predicted for tomorrow so they may get wet for another reason.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Spotted Towhee

Black-crested Titmouse

Brown Thrasher

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Common Yellowthroat

Northern Cardinal

Tennessee Warbler
White-eyed Vireo
Northern Cardinal Female

Rose-breasted Grosbeak

Spotted Towhee

Indigo Bunting

Friday, April 13, 2012

Rockport TX First Installment

April 13, 2012

I’m now staying in Rockport TX. I’ll be here until April 25th. It’s Friday the 13th. I thought about staying in bed, but the birds are waiting out there. I did a little tour of Rockport today. I visited the Maritime Museum. My dad would have enjoyed that. I also scoped out some places to find birds. I found a few birds that just wouldn’t wait so I just had to photograph them.

Ruddy Turnstone

Redish Egret

Brown Pelican

Brown Pelican

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Egret Rookery at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville TX

April 12, 2012

OK here are the egret photos I promised. I didn’t carry my 500mm lens into the zoo. So I shot all these images with my 180mm lens. Enjoy.

Great Egret

Great Egret carrying nesting material
Great Egret
Great Egrets in courtship

On the nest
Snowy Egret

One more landing Neotropic Cormorant