Friday, September 21, 2012
Sunday, August 26, 2012
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Sunday, July 22, 2012
The gathering seems to be an occurrence starting about 1 1/2 hours before sundown. The cacophony grows louder, the lower the sun gets and the more birds that come gliding in.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Thursday, July 19, 2012
Saturday, July 14, 2012
A flower, in the weather we have been having, is essentially a rain gauge. This battered blossom had about 3/4 of an inch of rain in the bottom of the bulb. More rain tomorrow.... and on and on.
I jest not when I ask whether we can weather this
weather liquid sunshine.
Friday, July 13, 2012
Saturday, July 7, 2012
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
If you are five years old, you may only remember this happening twice before. Strange. Wouldn't it be nice if summer and "warm enough" came around every year?
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
|The Enemy -- the big, bad Grackle,.|
|Defender No. 1, Mocking Bird|
|Accomplices for the Enemy.|
Monday, I was watching a pair of Mockingbirds doing their work-a-day chores at Riverfront Park in Beaumont, while I was leading a session on the water cycle for a Nederland sixth grade class.
This is all part of the Neches River Adventure Tours' Wet and Wild series -- it's the classroom boat you see plying the waters of the Neches many days.
When the class was over the kids ran back to the buses to get their lunch. They scurried back to park and took over their territories on the picnic tables and beneath the pavilion where we had led the classes.
As I was leaving, I was struck by the continuous crackling sound of a Grackle -- a poor imitation at that. I finally found the source -- one of the Mockingbirds I had been watching. It seemed strange to me -- this wasn't the kind of normal behavior for Mockingbirds. They like to sing a medley of 10 or more songs -- songs of other birds. They sing mostly chirping songs. But this bird was fixed on the Grackle sound.
I soon saw why -- a large Grackle (probably a Boat-Tailed Grackle) -- came gliding past and soon was met by a two-bird aerial attack squadron who needled him until he retreated in the direction of City Hall. Intrigued, I grabbed my camera and began to watch it unfold. One of the Mockingbirds would circle back and land in the tree by my car. The other would wander on patrol around the park.
Soon, the crackling sound, strange siren song that is was, would tempt the enemy and the big Grackle would swoop back. The first few times he headed to the tree with the Grackle-mocking bird, only to become the target of the daring dive-bombing duo.
About the fourth time this happened, boss Grackle headed for the tree you see him perched in in the above above. It is closer to the pavilion we had been in. Then it came to me. The Mockingbirds must have a nest over there. The were using the tree by my car as a decoy to keep the big bosses attention away from the tree where the nest was. But, the nest-close tree was only temporary rest for the Grackle, because the Mockingbirds made relentless and daring passes at him until he flew back to City Hall.
When he left, his five or six ladies and young Grackles would come and sit on the chain link fence and wait for a student to drop something -- they would then swoop it up quickly. The Mockingbirds would come sit among the Grackle band and look menacing, but they did not put on a aerial dog fight with these finger-food-fixated feathered ones. Apparently, the Mockingbirds didn't find the ladies and youngsters as menacing as the boss.
I left after about the fifth or sixth scene. The kids were starting to finish eating, so the student-supplied droppings sought by the Grackle band was coming to an end. I am not sure if the Mockingbirds were able to preserve their brood or not. I got the impression that the big boss was very determined, and he wasn't settling for some cast-off potato chips.
Sunday, May 6, 2012
We were in Houston to watch our son, Charles in a bike race at Bear Creek Park. While waiting, I noticed in one of the animal pens, the sign said pot-bellied pig, but it had some very non-piggish characters inside. A flock of about 20 of these Black Vultures had decided that the pig's water looked good, so they would fly in for a visit. The pig didn't look too nonplussed, but I bet on the inside he was terrified. How does that go? Never let them see you wallow.
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Saturday, April 28, 2012
Friday, April 27, 2012
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Friday, April 13, 2012
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Saturday, April 7, 2012
The goal in riding a bucking horse is to always go the way the horse does, A goal that is often not achievable. Especially for a horse that has a lot of experience and bumping and grinding simultaneously to send a cowboy packing. The scene is from the South Texas State Fair in Beaumont, a couple weeks back.