Sunday, August 17, 2014

Gulls gamble for ferry throws

"Come on dude, off my back, I was here first.  This ferry boat food is mine."  This shot is from a ride across the Galveston to High Island ferry.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Dark ferry ride conjures up phantom ships

Continuing from our ferry trip post of yesterday -- As we pulled out of Galveston Island's ferry dock, heading back to the Bolivar Peninsula,  the ship above passed by us, seeming a dark phantom on the water.  It seemed strange to only have the light from our ferry illuminating the silent somber shadow as it slid by.  However, out into Galveston Bay we were passed by another indistinct, light-less hulk that was even harder to distinguish except as it passed between us and the lighted shores. The cabin and deck lights were all off.

Though I had taken the ferry many times, this was my first night-time ride, and it was well worth the trip.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pelican sentry caught eyes wide shut.

Brown Pelican on dock

Brown PelicanI captured this shot of this Pelican thinking he was looking out from the ferry landing, waiting for the next ferry (i.e. the next meal to come rolling in.  However, when I blew up the shot, I discovered the real truth:  Look at the eyes -- he is SLEEPING!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hiding lizard is outed

I caught this crafty little guy hiding in one of our outdoor wall ornaments.  He was hiding between the letters in "God Bless Texas."  Despite his cloak and dagger posture, he was willing to pose for a couple of shots before he went off to his clandestine duties.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Grasshopper get going when the door opens

This new best friend, and me got a real good close look at each other when I opened the garage this morning.  As much as he appreciated our new friendship, I am sure that spending the night in the garage was not what this grasshopper considers luxury.   He quickly made his exit with hardly a word.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Moths also share the bees' secret meal

This moth was siphoning the nectar from a flower that just appeared this week in our front yard.   He has his proboscis firmly in the center of the flower, and our moth buddy was show no concern for my looking on to his sweet-tooth meal.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

New flower looks blooming good

I don't have a clue what they are called but this is one of the new flowers that appeared last week on a bush in our front yard.  It's a real beauty.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bees buzz through palm trees flowering bonnet.

This is the palm tree in our neighbor's yard.  The flowering tree attracted a couple hives worth of bees into its bonnet of flowers.   Our palm trees' flowering is covered under branches and never attracts much of a bee following, but the buzzing bonnet bouquet bumblers swarmed, putting on a flower power show.  Must be some pretty good nectar.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mosquito Hawk --- a mosquito's worse enemy.

This Mosquito Hawk landed right in front of me.  After all the rains if this week, I was glad to see him on duty, preying on mosquitos.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Laughing Gull gets the last laugh (and bravado)

This brave Laughing Gull landed on the hood of our car as we waited for the Bolivar ferry to Galveston Island. His was not just a quick landing and a scoot, either. He spent time enjoying the stay -- he probably went back to his buds and bragged about his coup.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Comorants take the lofty watchout

The Comorants are the generals of the birds that trail behind the ferry from Bolivar Peninsula to Galveston Island.  Gulls lead the charge, flocking up close to the boat to catch pieces of food thrown by the ferry riders. The pelicans follow close behind ready to swoop to a landing in the ferry's wake if they see something worthy of a meal.  The Comorants come in behind the noisy crowd only after the ferry is about a half mile from the dock.  They take the soaring overlook, with an eye out for anything that is worthy of their lofty watchout.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Angry skies trumpet a fierce summer storm

Angry skies rumbled in ahead of a drenching thunderstorm this evening. The lightning, while not quite a fireworks show, had some deep earthshaking booms to it.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Tree houses pose dangers for birds

Life is dangerous for creatures who live in trees.  This year was a good example of that.  I found five dead birds in my yard this spring.  They seemed to be victims of stormy winds that blew them from safety before they were ready to fly.  This seems to be number six.  It is hard to make it out from the ground, even with a powerful lens.  But it looks like a young chick didn't get very far before it was flipped over the side.  The nest is at the very top of a large azalea tree.  Such is life.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Thistle is bugged

This must be a bug's dream: slightly shaded from the wind and sun, and entangled enough to ward off lizards and birds that might pass by. Still, it seems a strange place to find rest, but what do I know -- I am not a bug.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Flowers advertise to passing bees

Summer flowers abound these days.  Just along the roadside, this bee attractor was advertising its remaining nectar and pollen.  It had several buds that had not yet bloomed, so this business was going to be open for a good while.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Gull turns on a feather

We need some air breaks here!  Time to do a quick correction change. Feathers, don't fail me now.  (I am interpreting here for the gull.  My gullian may be a little rusty). This was shot from the rear of the Galveston to Bolivar ferry.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pelican's flight floats above the froth

A brown pelican shows off his gliding skills as he skims across the Galveston, TX, shore waters looking for breakfast.

Monday, July 7, 2014

The long art of pruning your pelican feathers

Can you imagine combing your hair with a brush with a handle this long?  This pelican seems to have mastered the art, but it does give his neck a good workout. He was displaying his mastery at the Bolivar Peninsula ferry landing recently.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

There's more than flags flying on the Fourth

On the Fourth of July, when the flags start waving and the barbeque starts burning, the fearsome comes out in us all.   Slade demonstrates how to stick the perfect dive (to celebrate the USA, of course).

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Fourth of July Celebration was an eye-feast

We enjoyed the fireworks display last night in downtown Beaumont.  We were running late and pulled into downtown just as the booming started.  No wait at all.
The sky-lighting zingers were right overhead.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Raindrops bounce on the pool

You know the rain has gotten to you when you are sitting shooting pictures of raindrops hitting the swimming pool.  At least last week's rain is now history.  On to the oppressive heat -- weather du jour.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Gray Cowbird ups the backyard musical ante

I haven't seen this guy's kind in my backyard before.  This Gray Cowbird gives the Mocking Birds some competition in the "repeating-other-birds'-songs" category. That keeps the backyard sounding very musical.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Crawfish: Bugs you love to bite

The crawfish were huge, seasoned perfectly and as good as I have ever eaten, at an event yesterday out at the Wingfoot Club that our neighbor invited us to.  However, the prize of the day was the boudin.  I have never had boudin that tasty nor that spicy.
C'est la vie, chère!!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bees buzz to new nectar fly-in

Bees are just like humans it seems.  When a new flower restaurant opens up, they all swarm there to see what the food is like. This is the magnolia at our house.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Broken eggs crack many smiles

Sloan walks away looking for new adventures after cracking open a bevy of plastic eggs found in and Easter Egg hunt.  Rabbit eggs scattered in the grass hint of many shared smiles.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Azalea pollen going fast

The Azaleas in the front of our house exploded into spring's color party this past week and then in a few days, the ground was littered with glories gone.  As I shared my photo shot with a bee in a fury to find the dwindling supply of nectar, I wondered about the market scheme Azalea's use -- everybody in the shopping center (Azalea bush) advertise at one time, splashing up a color flag no bee could miss.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring is unfurling

leaf unfurling
I have been noticing this year how many things "unfurl" in the Spring.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hug this ugly mug?

Today is the last day for the South Texas State Fair in Beaumont.  It is your last chance to get up close with this beauty who has a face only a mother could love.

The pollen glide path

The petal of this iris looks like a glide path into the pollen port.  Spring has a job to do, and over the years has developed a lot of techniques to get it done.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kids and camel get close

At the South Texas State Fair in Beaumont, all kinds of stranger bump into each other including camels and kids.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Speed smiles

Speeding around the turn in the race track, our grandson and his friend take a moment to share the excitement of the South Texas State Fair on Saturday.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Springing colors

Spring has uploaded its palette and painting life's springing.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Bits and bites in the bee world

From this summer, this photo shows there are some awful sloppy eaters out there in the bee family.   Actually, I guess they should more properly be called hunter-gatherers.