Mid-February means the rodeo will soon be back in town. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is purported to be the largest livestock exhibition and rodeo in the world. Thousands of FFA, 4-H, and other school-aged kids will show their livestock – everything from rabbits to cattle – competing for scholarships worth about $14 million each year. Here's an action photo from one of last year's cattle competitions. Find your comfort where you can.
This big old guy was hanging around in Elm Lake at Brazos Bend State Park. There are plenty of alligators in the park, but this one caught my eye with its sheer size. Using a rule-of-thumb based on the distance between the eyes and the nostrils, my estimate of this gator was in the neighborhood of 16 to 17 feet. This photo was taken this past December.
This big old guy was lolling on top of a knoll in Yellowstone National Park as if he owned it – perhaps he did. He was there in the morning when our tour bus drove by, and he was still there late in the afternoon when Linda and I drove by in the car. It was his spot and he wasn't going to move. I always liked this photo because of the interesting angle of looking up at the bison. This is another older photo taken in 2015.
Two fishing boats in dock waiting for tomorrow's run. The photo was taken in Rockport, Texas, a coastal fishing and shrimping town on the Aransas Bay. Rockport was hit very hard by Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017, and we could still see debris in piles waiting to be moved when we were there the following April. We were in Rockport to see the Whooping Cranes.
Creek Street in Ketchikan, Alaska is a quintessential tourist walk. It is a board walkway lined with restaurants and one souvenir shop after another while managing to remain picturesque and interesting. This view is looking up Ketchikan Creek along the the backs of the buildings. Ketchikan itself is mainly a fishing and canning town, but the cruise ships stop here and keep its tourist industry well fed. This is an old photo from our Alaska trip in 2014.
This beautiful Snowy Egret was a bit of a loner. Linda and I were touring a known birding area in Galveston when we came across a large group of wading birds that included Snowy Egrets, Great Egrets, adolescent White Ibises, and a Roseate Spoonbill. But this guy was was not with the group. He was all by himself over to one side along the edge of a water ditch.
I happened to see him just when the late afternoon November sun peeked out from behind the clouds, backlighting the tufty feathers on his head. And he was posing perfectly. Indeed, with his pose he seemed to be telling me to take the photo while I had the opportunity, as he would pass this way but once.
With birds you don't pose them, you just grab for opportunities, taking pictures when you can, hoping you get a special shot. On this day I got lucky.
Fall colors came a bit late along the Mississippi River this year with the season's uncommonly warm temperatures. But when we arrived at Cuivre River State Park in Missouri, the colors began to come out of hiding and show themselves.This field of red was just steps away from our campsite at the park. Two days after I grabbed this image the field was turning brown.
There are two versions of the image. The top one is a conventionally-sized photo (16x9) while the bottom image is a panorama that has been stitched together from 7 separate photos. It captures the full width of the field. I invite you to click on both of them to see the difference. Which one do you like?
"I was walking along
Mindin' my business
When out of the orange colored sky..."
Nat King Cole
When Nat King Cole sang about an orange-colored sky, this might have been what he had in mind. This is a sunset on Fairfield Lake, a small lake south of Dallas. The lake was originally created in the late 1960s for the Big Brown power station as a cooling pool. Because the water stays warm in the winter months, it has weekly fishing tournaments from November through February. We sometimes stop here on our way home from a road trip.
This guy is intently studying something. I don't know what, but methinks it is a potential snack. Perched on a branch rather than wading gives an good look at the characteristic snowy egret yellow feet. The photo was taken in late April and the bird's breeding plumage has almost completely gone away. He was apparently pretty far away when I took this picture as the photo file tells me I caught him with my lens extended to its full 500mm. Even so, I cropped the image to give you a closer look.
Few of you showed any love for the vultures photos post last week. So how about some eagles?
Here are a four eagles from the World Bird Sanctuary. Captain, the Bald Eagle is 5 years old and has a congenital eye disease making it almost blind. The Golden Eagle, Buchanan, was hatched in captivity in 1999 which prohibits it from living wild. The two Bateleur Eagles are native to Africa. Shadow has been at the sanctuary since 1987, making him at least 31 years old. And Tsavo was hatched in 2002 in Cameroon and captured as a chick.
Like the vultures, these birds were all in big wire cages that presented some problems for getting the photos – mainly shooting through the wire mesh of the cages so that it would seem theses are awesome photos of birds out in the wild.
Don's (not so) Weekly Photo
I do not always have a post to write, but I want to share my photos - so I started this weekly photo page.
Just one photo each week. The photo may be new or it may come from my pile of favorites. A different photo will be posted every week. Drop by and check it out.
Weekly has become a bit more erratic, hence the new – more accurate name.