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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Birdwatching the Day After Christmas


Even though the day was very cold, Jan and I decided to take a walk around the neighborhood to walk off some of the Christmas festivities. As we walked through the Town and Country sports park, we stumbled upon a most beautiful hawk in a willow tree just 25 feet or so away. Did I have the camera? No. So we decided to high-tail it back to the house and bring the camera back. I didn't have much hope of seeing that hawk again.

As we walked through we passed a young dad and his daughter and mentioned we had seen the hawk. He said there was one on a wire just a bit ahead. We walked as quietly as we could and there he was! I got three shots before he flew off.

Looking on the Whatbird website the closest match I can find is the Red Shouldered Hawk. It appears to be a young one, but I am no expert. I got this on max zoom and manual focus, and I hope it's clear enough for an expert to confirm my ID of this beautiful bird.  (or not, if I'm wrong...)

Another hawk across the waterway

We took some more shots of various birds, a couple of which I think are robins? but that will be for another post. Hope your Holiday was wonderful, and thanks for stopping by!

All the best,
Mike Z

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas, Everyone!


I wish you, your friends, and family the Merriest of Christmases, and the Happiest of New Years in 2011. May your New Year be everything you want it to be!

Thanks for visiting,
Mike Z

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Paisano Pete in Ft Stockton TX


I had been through Ft Stockton TX a few times in my travels around south Texas, and a few years back had been asked by a friend to take a picture of  Paisano Pete. I didn't know there was such a thing as Paisano Pete. At that time I did not have a digital camera, so I bought a throwaway Kodak, snapped a few photos, had them developed, and mailed them off. The CD I had gotten as part of the photo developing has been lost.

Jan and Paisano Pete
So fast forward to our recent trip to Big Bend, and we decided to go through Ft Stockton again on the way to I-10 and home. By now I had been told that "Paisano" is the nickname for the Greater Roadrunner, whose photos I had taken on our trips to Big Bend. Things started to fall in place...


I remember Paisano Pete being somewhat more drab the last time I had taken his photo. There was also a sign proclaiming Paisano Pete as the World's Largest Roadrunner. We stopped at a local gas station to fill up, and the manager told me that the city from time to time "refreshes" the paint on the local landmark. He certainly looked more colorful!

Portrait of Paisano Pete
 So that's my story of Paisano Pete. The Ft Stockton web page describes the "Paisano" as the world's largest roadrunner sculpture, but Roadside America website showed that a larger roadrunner sculpture made of junk is in Las Cruces NM. 

Thanks as always for stopping by. I hope you enjoyed this one.

All the best,
Mike Z

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Waterlily

I took this photo of a white waterlily in San Angelo the week of the International Water Lily Association Convention.
This one is one of my favorites from that photo shoot. I particularly like the reflection of the lily in the water.
One of the things I learned (I may have mentioned this before) is that many of the waterlilies found in the Water Lily Display in San Angelo are found nowhere else in the world.
Thanks for stopping by. More photos to come!
All the best,
Mike Z

Friday, December 3, 2010

Grey Morning in Galveston



This week I spent in the Galveston area, and stayed at a hotel on the waterfront. Moody Gardens was across the bay, and I wanted to go, but never got the chance. The first morning was relatively warm and hazy, and when I opened the curtains the photo above was the sight that greeted me.

I did a small amount of color enhancement to bring out the colors of the buildings, and cropped out some of the sky, but did little else to "photoshop" the picture. The next morning was bright sun and MUCH colder, but I didn't think to get a contrasting shot of the same area.

12/16/2010 Note: One of my favorite photo-friends pointed out that the billboards behind the houses were taking away from the scene. So, I confess I did a small amount of fixup in Photoshop. I agree the photo looks better now. Thanks, Bob!

And thanks to you for stopping by! I'll have more photos up soon.

all the best,
Mike Z