Most of these hummers were photographed in 2011 in Arizona, New Mexico, and Big Bend National Park in Texas. I finally got around to making this collection.
I did have to do a lot of digital enhancements – my Nikon D80 doesn’t have the resolution that the D600 does, nor does it focus as quickly. I prefer to darken the background and add a digital blur when necessary to minimize hotspots and noise. Read the rest of this entry »
I decided to do something different and go retro – back to black-and-white. These are a few of my favorite BW images of Big Bend National Park in far west Texas. I worked and lived in Big Bend for two winters, and it is truly a special place. Of course, these are all digital images. Read the rest of this entry »
|Cottonwoods along wash near Sam Nail Ranch|
Three weeks ago the only spring green to be seen at Big Bend was on the cottonwood trees, which had only lost the last of their tangerine leaves two months earlier. (In Maine the trees are leafless for seven months!) These cottonwoods were sprawled in snaky washes like green apple lollipops. The effect on the landscape after so much brown and beige was startling. Read the rest of this entry »
|Red-tailed Hawk on blooming Acacia|
In addition to the Common Black Hawks of my last post, there are many other birds returning to Big Bend from their winter getaways, as well as year-round residents exhibiting annoying testosterone-fueled behavior.
|Turkey Vulture eating dead lizard
Turkey Vultures have peppered the sky for a few weeks now, having spent the colder months in Mexico, Central and South America. These birds have extremely acute olfactory organs for finding rotted meat, and have some nasty (to us) habits such as urinating on their legs to keep cool, and vomiting when alarmed. They also have trouble getting out of the way of speeding cars, and can easily take out a windshield. Should a vulture’s guts be ripped open in the process, you might just decide to give the car to a junkyard. I understand the smell is Putrid Times Ten. Well, as Jan Allen, one of our volunteer interpreters calls them, they are the Road Kill Cleanup Crew. They serve an important purpose in the ecosystem, and despite their reputations, are a welcome sight to nature lovers.
The Common Black Hawks have returned to Rio Grande Village from more southern climes, and were busy today adding to their nest and making whoopee. Read the rest of this entry »
|Composite of the “Super Moon” rising March 19, 2011|
It’s the first day of Spring.
It was 102 degrees in Castolon yesterday, in the park’s southwest end, ushering out the last day of winter at Big Bend National Park. The moonrise was much-heralded as the largest perigee moon in 18 years, because it was closer to the earth. (The moon orbits the earth in an ellipse, the farthest point being the apogee.) I watched it rise from behind the Deadhorse Mountains, along with other folks who had come to hear moon lore from one of our rangers. Read the rest of this entry »
I have added some new birds to my favorites list, thanks to a trip to the Lower Rio Grande Valley recently. The above Green Jay is one. I have a fondness for jays, and this is particularly striking in its tropical coloration. It’s a Mexican bird that ventures north of the border in South Texas – quite common there actually, but no less of a jewel. Read the rest of this entry »