Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A day of challenges & an anniversary story

The clouds had rolled away by this morning so I picked up Barbara, and off we went to the East Unit to try to find some mottled ducks for my photography assignment.  It was a day for multiple layers of clothing and gloves.

Sprague's Pipit

As we neared an area that had thousands of ducks in it last week, a Sprague’s pipit was rummaging around in the grasses.  Nature photography has many challenges, and birds hopping around in amongst vegetation is one of them.  It’s frustrating to not get a clear view.

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There are only a few cattle egrets left that haven’t migrated south, and I wanted to get a good picture of them doing their cattle thing.  Problem is they’re so white that it’s hard to get detail to show up in them.  They’re also very flighty so you can’t get very close to them.


                      Considering the cold temperatures, I was surprised to even see an alligator today.


There was no shortage of raptors, however.  I would have liked more detail in the face of this young red-tailed hawk.

Marbled Godwit Marbled Godwit

It was low tide when we neared the intracoastal waterway so lots of mudflats were exposed.  Only challenge here is that the birds, like this marbled godwit, are so far away.  There’s no way to get close enough for an outstanding shot.

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I could get close enough for these shots of the exposed oysters.  Oysters Rockefeller anyone?  I really don’t mind these kinds of challenges.  Give me a day out on the refuge any time, and I’m happy as a clam (or oyster).

64 Anahuac NWR 201114

Alas, we didn’t find any mottled ducks to try to photograph, so on the way back we stopped at the boardwalk that leads to the handicapped hunting blind.  This may be my best bet for getting the pictures I need.  On a day without the bitter cold temperatures and biting winds, I may hunker down here to patiently wait for the ducks to come to me.  I’ll be sure to bring a gallon of bug spray with me though to combat the mosquitoes on a warmer day.  Winking smile

Back at the ranch, the battle of the rodents continues for several of us.  My score so far: mouse 5, me 3.  When I checked the one good trap today, it had gone off, but no mouse attached.  I bought two more of the traps I like this afternoon. 

Now for the anniversary story.  Today marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  I was not yet born at that time, but I do have a remembrance.   My father was in the printing trade at that time, and was exempt from the draft because his job was considered essential.  He died when I was eight, but I think he always regretted not being able to serve his country.  Every weekend, however, he spent time in the basement of the house in Chicago playing records on the victrola which resonated through the house.  Almost 60 years later, I still remember the words…

                                                   Let’s Remember Pearl Harbor,

                                                   As we go to meet the foe.

                                                   Let’s Remember Pearl Harbor,

                                                   As we did the Alamo.

                                                   We will always remember,

                                                   How they died for Liberty.

                                                   Let’s Remember Pearl Harbor,

                                                   And go on to Victory!

I will always remember…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy