Please buy this mug!

Friday, July 29, 2011


You never know what kind of wildlife you'll see in urban Texas. I had parked my car in the parking lot of the Marriott Courtyard hotel in Houston TX, and was heading to the checkin counter, when I spotted this very large hawk catching a snack in the driveway. Not having my "big camera" with me, I pulled out my cell phone and slowly moved toward the hawk. He didn't seem to care if I was there or not, so I named him BraveHawk.

But even BraveHawk could not stand to have another human walk up behind him. The other gentleman took no notice of the intrepid bird, but BraveHawk decided to take his dinner up to a branch of one of the pine trees near the hotel.

I am really glad I got to see this beautiful bird. It is by far the closest I have been to a wild bird like this, and I was very impressed with him. I am glad to get a couple of photos to share with you, and I hope you like them.

Till next time,
Mike Z

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Some wildlife around my house

Green Heron

We are walking around the neighborhood a lot more often lately, trying to get in shape for the next travel adventure (and trying to shed a few pounds as well). This Green Heron is usually around the Town and Country grounds in the evening hours, and this time I was lucky enough to have a camera.

Black Crested Titmouse

I was experimenting with manual focus on one of my lenses recently, and sat in the front yard and took photos of anything that stood still long enough for me to take its photo. This is the first Black Crested Titmouse I can recall seeing. Our neighborhood birder Mikael (Birding on Broadmeade) says they are pretty common. Maybe I've been getting "new eyes" to see more kinds of birds.


While I was photographing the birds, this little squirrel came over from the trees in the yard next door to check me out. He stayed quite still so I got a few good shots of him. Pretty soon he headed back over to the next door tree. I guess he figured out that I wasn't going to feed him.

Till next time,

Mike Z

Friday, July 8, 2011

Lesser Goldfinch in Sedona AZ

Lesser Goldfinch

Last month Jan and I enjoyed a wonderful weekend in Sedona, AZ. I had been there several years ago, and had told her I wanted us to go together. Little did I know back then how many years it was going to take! We stayed in a beautiful Bed & Breakfast called A Sunset Chateau. I highly recommend this place if you are ever in Sedona.

We were close to pretty much everything in Sedona, and took several hikes around the beautiful Red Rocks. As usual, I took my camera along. Next morning, I was out in the yard in front of our room, and happened on this great bird. It seemed to have no fear of me, so I snapped away.

When I got home, I did my usual internet search to see what kind of bird it was. My initial guess (they all are) was a summer tanager. I sent this photo to my friend Bob Zeller (See his website here) and he said he thought it was a Lesser Goldfinch.

And so it will be, always, for me. I hope you like the photo.

Till next time,
Mike Z