Thursday, September 24, 2015

Remembering Hurricane Rita

This was the part of the scene of destruction from Hurricane Rita in Southeast Texas, 10 years ago today.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Watchful white-winged dove

As long as I kept a reasonable distance, this white-winged dove in my backyard didn't mind me snapping a few shots.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Grackles grapple with glass of goodies

The guy on the bottom seems to be saying "I tell you there's a way to get those seeds out.  I saw that little bird do it.  It CAN be done."  (They didn't figure it out.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Gull glides by looking for lunch

This friendly fellow flew by me slowly several times as I was at Walter Humphrey State Park on Pleasure Island shooting pictures.  I guess he was wondering why I was throwing him some of the fish I caught (I wasn't fishing).   I don't know what the hanging leg was all about.  Maybe it was in case I tried to some of his food or something.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Ominous clouds can't deliver on rain threat

This was the weather system that blew past our neighborhood last night. Ominous as it might look, it was all bluster and no rain.  The air cooled down to about 80 degrees, and it turned breezy  -- but not even a sprinkle.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Black Skimmer in flight over Port Arthur

Skittish as they were, I was still able to catch this shot of a Black Skimmer while I was in Port Arthur Sunday.  As soon as they saw my head over the bushes, the squawking got visible louder and sharper.  However, a few of them flew past where I was standing. That's how I snapped this photo.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Black Skimmers having summer beach party in Port Arthur

Daragh Castillo posted on her Facebook page that Mary Meaux with the Port Arthur News had taken a photo of some black skimmers in Port Arthur.  Since I had never seen black skimmers, I took a ride down there and found these guys.  There were about 30 of them, but it was hard to get them all in the photo.  In fact, it was hard to get a picture at all -- they were so wary.

As soon as my head popped over the bushes, the call went out and they took flight. A white bird, not a black skimmer, was doing the watch-out duties and kept flying over my head and squawking -- just in case any of the black skimmers needed to know where the enemy was.

The photo below shows why they are called "skimmers" -- they fly just inches off the top of the water and all they have to do is open their beaks. The beak easily scoops up what they are after in the water.

Both pictures were taken on a sand bar beach on Pleasure Island just to the right about 200 feet where the bridge road drops out on Hwy 82.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Feather-flustered grackle

Size does make a difference.  This grackle was frustrated because he couldn't fit on the small lip around the bird feeder and all of his blustering and puffing was to no avail.  The smaller birds were thrilled to see him fly off feather-flustered.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dragonfly defends his territory, but puts up with photographer

This dragonfly and I had a long visit, as I tried to photograph him with a short lens.  As I moved closer, he had a certain distance of comfort.  If I came into that space, he (she?) would take a short flight to assess the danger.  But in a few minutes he would be back on his perch. I suppose this stick gave him the best vantage point to watch over his neck of the ditch.  

There was another dragonfly (that had the same color markings) nearby.  But this guy made sure he stayed a couple yards away.

I suppose his little area was a prime one for hunting.  The stem was about a foot and half off the water of the ditch.  But the water was very high from recent rains.  I wonder if he will move when the water goes back down.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Wet Hibiscus Flower

When the sprinkler finished, I spotted this opportunity for a photo of this hibiscus.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Black-Bellied Whistling Duck duo dodges danger

This pair of Black-bellied Whistling Ducks were out on the Brentwood Golf Course but flew off in the direction of our house.  As we were walking home, I noticed they had taken to the safety of the top of neighbor's house.  According to eBird reports, this is about as far north as they are see in our area. They are more commonly see at the Terrell Park Cattail Marsh.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Green lynx spider lurks across sunflower

This gal was pretty conspicuous as she walked across the sunflower petals  -- from that, I assume he is pretty much at the top of the food chain in the sunflower petals realm.  I'm thinking this is a green lynx spider -- and she has a venomous bite, though it's more painful than dangerous to humans.

Friday, May 1, 2015

One of the things I love to watch on Galveston Island is the pelicans flying in formation.  They are taking advantage of aerodynamics to conserve energy -- getting a little lift from the pelican in front and a little to the side of them.

Their dawdling drift down the beach will put you in a mood to slow down and watch.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sunflower-- the Dance of Spring

A sunflower will emerge, but it this moment, the orchestra is playing the Dance of Spring.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A yellow feast for a yellow jacket

A yellow jacket must get completely delirious when he sees a feasting field like this.  Colors on flowers probably help the buzzers to find the better varieties of nectar.  This white flower, however, must be fast-food giant of the nectar industry -- "We got it. It's yellow and it's yours."