Saturday, January 31, 2009

Making a flap

We were down at Tug Boat Island in Port Neches today.  We walked down to the Neches River to look at the birds and boats with the grandchildren.  The seagulls were really putting on a show for us.

--steve buser

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Friday, January 30, 2009

He had a leg up on me.

This cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) may look like he is walking but actually he was doing just what you see. As I drove up to park down at Lamar State College Port Arthur, three of these egrets were just standing there sunning. They were kind of indignant hat I had spoiled their party, and started walking away. I pulled out my camera and started shooting from inside the car to keep from disturbing them.

This fellow walked a few more feet. He then stood still and raised his leg back behind him. Before I got this shot, the leg was higher. It really looked kind of awkward. I suppose he was sending me some kind of sign of indifference.

--steve buser

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Shadowy solar phantasm

Heading home the other night in Beaumont. The low clouds were zipping by -- giving the sun a chance to play hide-and-seek with anybody who wanted to stay still long enough to be in the game. He was trying on a dozens of masks. I pulled over and shot a bunch of shots until the sun had gone down so far there wasn't much light. That-wasn't-much-light time was a lot early than you would think.

--steve buser

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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wave of destruction

This was the levee by the marina on Pleasure Island after Hurricane Ike scrummed the coast of Texas last year.  The boats and yachts were strewn everywhere and then covered with a thick, smelly mass of sea grass.  Dozers were pulling out some of the boats when I went by at the end of October.  Others were still awaiting contact with their owners.   The work of rebuilding the marina and the island goes on.

--steve buser

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Praying hard

Just what this this praying mantis was including in his petition. One thing for sure, he picked the wrong place to do it. Right in the middle of the slide. Of course, that scared all the kids. They had never seen anything like it before. But when I brought my camera up to take his picture before scaring him away, they all took immediate interest.

"What's it called?" "Why do they call it that?" "Does it bite?" Finally, so that the kids could get back to play, I decided to scare it away. Little did I know that the thing was doing his transcendental meditation. He ignored me. And continued to ignore me. Not till I turned to leave did he final move along.

--steve buser

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Hurricane Ike -- the rusty aftermath

Rust is a color that nature uses to show it's time to slow down. It was a color that was all over the Tony Houseman State Park and Wildlife Management Area at Blue Elbow Swamp near the Texas/Louisiana border after Hurricane Ike trample its way through the forest of Southeast Texas. The Cypress trees were especially tainted by the salt water that had swam miles up the Sabine River.

This photo was taken behind the Texas Tourist Center on the I-10 at the state line. When I saw it, I was thinking it was a fall water color painting. The rust stains of the boat merge with the Cypress rustiness. If you look closely you will notice a slight oil sheen on the water.

It all had spent hours sloshing, and fomenting from the brute force of the winds. Now, calm had returned. Nature had raised its rust flag -- "I'm tired," she signalled. "Be still."

If your heading through Texas on the I-10, stop for a spell at the Visitors Center. Take a walk out on the boardwalk (out the back door of the center). There's no real "park facilities" to this state park. This board walk is a close as you can easily get. This is a real wildlife management area -- most of it only accessible by boat.

-- steve buser

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Do not spindle.

How willing would you be to assume that the cloud shape overhead was just an accidental formation as the clouds swirled around?

I walked outside and saw this one day back in November.  I then ran into the house and grabbed my camera and started shooting.  I'm still perplexed what it was all about.  Despite what you see, it didn't seem to be spinning rapidly.  At least it wasn't spinning any more rapidly that anything else in the sky which look more like a ocean full of splashing clouds that a sky.

This is a SkyWatch Friday post.  Hundreds of other bloggers post sky-based photos each Friday
Go and check out more Skywatch images at the Skywatch Site!

--steve buser

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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bees do what bees do

If you saw yesterday's post, you will understand that time waits for no one. Bees have things to do and will only pose for a short while. No sooner had Igor (I hope you don't mind me using his familiar name -- though it does seem a bit more informal than a post should be) showed up to add human interest to my flower shot, than he was on his way doing bee-things.

Tsk, tsk.

--steve buser

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The sting of missed opportunity

This is a flower picture. I promise you.

I was setting up my shot when suddenly the bee landed right in the middle of my view finder. I'm never one to pass it up when nature gives very unsubtle pictures such as these. So snap I did.

Well, it wasn't like it was the perfect picture anyway. The darn bee could have at least turned around and smiled.

That would have won the National Geographic Picture Contest.


--steve buser

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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Stairway to ?

A building that caught my eye off of Studemont in Houston the other day.  I am sure a ladder would be sufficient to get to the roof.  There must be a sun deck or something up there.

--steve buser

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Monday, January 19, 2009

Sweet sixteen

Our son, Charlie, competed in the Houston Marathon this past weekend. This is Charlie raising his arms as he gallops toward the finishing line. At this point he was about 300 yards from the finished. Last year, the Houston Marathon was the first marathon he had ever done.

Since that time he has competed in 16 races including marathons, half marathons, 1/4 triathlons and 1/2 triathlons. Quite year and we are very proud of him.

--steve buser

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Baby, That Is Rock And Roll

" I know it's only rock and roll but I love it..."

Little Sophie has learned how to play my electric piano -- she knows most of the buttons -- the one that starts a song, the one that starts the drums, etc. She'll start a song going and play along with it. Since she is only two, I doubt she has learned this on her own.. Her brother, Sullivan, has a head start on her and no doubt taught her all the tricks. After all he is FIVE!.

--steve buser

Friday, January 16, 2009

Flying hi!

These guys fly overhead every morning and just after 5 p.m. Maybe they fly the rest of the day across here, too, but I am doing things then. I love it when one soars by one way while another cuts back across his path.

Anyway, everytime I see one fly a way across the sky I think of that Paul Simon song "A train in the distance," and the words:

"Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance
Everybody thinks its true"

What is the point of this story
What information pertains
The thought that life could be better
Is woven indelibly
Into our hearts
And our brains"

I guess the fact that it's 30 below zero up where that plane is and the trail is water vapor from the exhaust that instantly freezes, doesn't fit to well with the metaphor here. Does it?

That's the point of it all, you either live in metaphors, or in reality.

--steve buser