Saturday at the Office

This is the kind of day I am missing by being in the office right now. The shot above is from my Birthday Road Trip of a couple of weeks ago. The drive in today was just as clear and just as bright.

This morning brought the news that the power has returned to the Blue Ridge Mountains of VA with the return of David and Fred to the blogging fold.

Oh well it’s time to get busy and take care of the things I came in to get done. Catch ya down the infoway.
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Beyond the Fields We Know

Somewhere to the south, there are wild orchids raising their heads and fields of grazing geese, but not here and certainly not for some time.

Reading the above line on Kerrdelune’s blog brought back memories of this past weeks trip to the Wildlife Refuge. It wasn’t the orchids, and the geese were not grazing anywhere around me. But the massive flights of honking geese that flew over my head for the better part of an hour were amazing. The photo below cannot do justice to the awesome sight of thousands of geese in the air at one time. Wave after V shaped wave passing over to the left and right. Coming from the southwestern horizon and vanishing to the northeast.

If you haven’t visited at Beyond the Fields We Know take a minute and wander up there to the far north where winter did come…

Source: Beyond the Fields We Know

Chicken Hawks?

Leon Hale just posted a blog entry on hawks…Chicken Hawks Inside The Loop

A life-and-death bird drama is going on out there right now. Half a dozen pigeons are dipping and climbing and wheeling in a desperate way near our building . I’ve learned that this is how they behave when a hawk comes around. This time of year big hawks are fairly common inside the Loop.

I think the one I see most often is a red-tailed hawk, but I’m not certain. We’ve got a lot of hawks in Texas and I’m not wonderful at identifying them. In my early times in the country we called any big hawk a chicken hawk. (That term has evolved to have an interesting meaning in political discourse, as you’ll see if you check out that link.)
If a hawk was big enough to swoop down and get a full grown Domineker hen, we said it was a chicken hawk.

Reading his post reminded me that I had taken some shots of a hawk in a tree down at the entry to the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge back before Christmas. I thought I had posted the photos on one of my blogs, but hey, I can’t find them so maybe not. So just cause I was reminded here is a front and back shot of the same bird from Dec 22.

In trying to ID this hawk from my Peterson’s Birds of Texas, the closest I can come is to guess it’s a Red Shouldered though it bears some resemblance to a Swainson’s. If someone can give me a positive ID it would be appreciated.

This fellow(?) was nice enough to sit for quite a while and let me snap away out the window of the car.

One of the things I really like about this part of Texas is that during the winter we get quite a few of the northern hawks visiting for a few months. Not that there is ever a time when we don’t have numerous hawks and buzzards flying around. But during this time of the year, you’ll see hawks setting in the tops of trees, on telephone poles, even on fence posts.

When we first moved to this place the field that is our backyard would get pretty grown up during the summer. At some point I had stuck a tree limb in the ground that stood up about 10 feet tall (3m for those from across the pond). Regularly we would look out to see a Red Tail sitting on the top of the limb. I am sure the field was a haven for mice and rabbits so he was just shopping for his supper.

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NC Mountain Fix

I am having a really busy week at work so I’m not doing as much reading and posting as I would like. The mail today also brought a time consuming bit of always appreciated reading pleasure, the October issue of “Our State, North Carolina”. Between “Our State” and “Blue Ridge Magazine” I manage to get a semi regular fix of mountain scenery.

Reading the Editors Page brought back the passing of Hugh Morton this June 1st. I think it was my very first solitary trip up the Blue Ridge Parkway and the crossing of the Linn Cove Viaduct for the first time that set my love of Grandfather Mountain. To this day I get that same thrill every time I round that bend and see the mountain.

Anyway, I want to get on with my reading, so I am going to stick another shot from Sunday here and leave you all for the evening…

Photo of The Day

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Windmill in Brazoria Wildlife Refuge
Brazoria County, Texas

A Drive In The (Almost) Wilderness

One of the places I visit on a semi-regular basis is the Brazoria Wildlife Refuge. It’s located about 40 minutes from the house along Bastrop Bayou. Today I ran down to see if the rain from last night had done any good at filling the dried up lakes. With the left over cold front providing cover, the views were stupindous.

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For some reason this trip I did not see a single ‘gator. Two or three weeks ago when I ran down gators were everwhere. About the only thing stirring besides the wind were some birds.

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I’ll try to make another run after the fall migration rolls in and get some more shots…