Enough Already

I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets cabin fever about this time each year. Other years we have broken the monotony by taking a trip or doing something intended to break up the depressing lack of light and never ending cold.

This year travel hasn’t really interested us so I have been looking back at some prior Winter getaways for inspiration.

Before we went RV’ing we took a January trip to Florida, particularly the Everglades and we travelled through Tampa on the way down.

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge

We made a point of viewing as many birds as we could. Long lenses help a lot. And… we made sure to stop off at the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on our way.

Prior to this visit I was pretty much unaware of the interesting Anhinga. These diving birds spend a great deal of time drying out their feathers after fishing!

Shorebirds of every variety intrigue me, as you can tell.

It’s funny how just looking at critters can make me feel warmer even if the temp outside is a frigid 3º F.

Spring can come anytime now.

On one of my Paris trips I did a whole gallery of people taking pictures. I guess Peggy got the bug from me, because on this trip when I was shooting so was she…..

Images, Travel


Man, I’ve got the itch something terrible093360800!  The insignificant act of trip planning has me wanting to get out where there are fewer internal combustion engines and more feathers.

The scene at Bosque on a brisk winter’s morning.

The scene at Bosque on a brisk winter’s morning.

So I thought I’d put up a few shots from one of my previous trips to Bosque del Apache NWR.

Sandhills with their feet in a frozen over pond.

Sandhills with their feet in a frozen over pond.

It’s not just Sandhill Cranes that you’ll find there.  There are literally hundreds of species that frequent the marsh at one time or the other during the year.  The largest numbers come for the winter and the Fish & Game service actually raise crops to feed them — and to help keep them off of neighboring farmer’s fields.

Sandhills, Canada Geese, Snow Geese, eagles, owls, and a good number of other birds I often associate more with Northern climes than New Mexico are all to be found — in greater or lesser abundance.  Some species (in a good year) can total into 20,000-30,000 birds, others in the single digits — but it is fun to see what you might see on any given day.

093360618The numbers vary greatly from year to year.  This is, after all, a refuge for the birds, but the birds are free to take their refuge wherever they want — and I have been there when the birds have simply chosen to BE at some other place — in vast numbers — like the farmer’s field a few miles away.  But that rarely dampens the spirits of the hardy photographers who are up before sun-up and back in the afternoon around sundown to watch the morning Fly-Out and the afternoon Fly-In.

093350369Whether huddled together in masses or taking wing these birds just do something to me that I find hard to explain.

093360889Sometimes you’ll see the local coyote093361210 watching for an easy breakfast, other times it may be the pure joy of watching them taking off, or flying in unison.  It’s just a magical place that I find soothing to my soul.

Thanks for stopping by, I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

Old Diary

Bird Species of Oregon

When we got to Oregon I bought the reputed-to-be-best bird book for the Oregon Coast, only to find within the caveat that no attempt was made to include the birds specific to the Oregon Dunes area of Central Oregon — so unique were the species found here.

Well, I wanted something that was helpful to ME, so there’s a lot of links to Wiki and a few  pictures.  I hope this might be helpful to some bird-brains out there.

Order Anseriformes

Family Anatidae[edit source

Subfamily Dendrocygninae

Subfamily Anserinae

Subfamily Anatinae

Order Galliformes

Family Phasianidae

Subfamily Phasianinae
Subfamily Tetraoninae
Subfamily Meleagridinae

Family Odontophoridae

Order Gaviiformes

Family Gaviidae

Order Podicipediformes

Family Podicipedidae

Order Procellariiformes

Family Diomedeidae

Family Procellariidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Hydrobatidae

Order Pelecaniformes

Family Sulidae

Family Pelecanidae

Family Phalacrocoracidae

Family Fregatidae

Order Ciconiiformes

Family Adrienne

Family Threskiornithidae

Subfamily Threskiornithinae

Order Falconiformes


Family Cathartidae

Family Accipitridae

Subfamily Pandioninae
Subfamily Accepitrinae

Family Falconidae

Subfamily Caracarinae
Subfamily Falconinae

Order Gruiformes

Family Rallidae

Family Gruidae

Subfamily Gruinae

Order Charadriiformes

Subfamily Charadriinae

Family Haematopodidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Recurvirostridae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Scolopacidae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Scolopacinae
Subfamily Phalaropodinae

Family Laridae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Larinae
Subfamily Sterninae

Family Stercorariidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Alcidae[edit source | editbeta]

Order Columbiformes[edit source | editbeta]

Family Columbidae[edit source | editbeta]

Order Cuculiformes[edit source | editbeta]

Family Cuculidae[edit source | editbeta]

Order Strigiformes[edit source | editbeta]

Family Tytonidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Strigidae[edit source | editbeta]

Order Caprimulgiformes[edit source | editbeta]

Family Caprimulgidae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Chordeilinae
Subfamily Caprimulginae

Order Apodiformes[edit source | editbeta]

Family Apodidae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Cypseloidinae
Subfamily Chaeturinae
Subfamily Apodinae

Family Trochilidae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Trochilinae

Order Coraciiformes[edit source | editbeta]

Family Alcedinidae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Cerylinae

Order Piciformes[edit source | editbeta]

Family Picidae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Picinae

Order Passeriformes[edit source | editbeta]

Family Tyrannidae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Fluvicolinae
Subfamily Tyranninae

Family Laniidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Vireonidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Corvidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Alaudidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Hirundinidae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Hirundininae

Family Paridae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Aegithalidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Sittidae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Sittinae

Family Certhiidae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Certhiinae

Family Troglodytidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Cinclidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Regulidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Sylviidae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Polioptilinae

Family Muscicapidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Turdidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Timaliidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Mimidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Sturnidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Motacillidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Bombycillidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Ptiliogonatidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Calcariidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Parulidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Emberizidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Cardinalidae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Icteridae[edit source | editbeta]

Family Fringillidae[edit source | editbeta]

Subfamily Fringillinae
Subfamily Carduelinae

See also[edit source | editbeta]


MY apologies for not taking the time to make this post typographically consistent.  I kind of lost motivation as there were so many graphics to be important.

Images, Old Diary

Here’s Lookin’ at You Kid

We had a good storm yesterday.  This morning I was out there cleaning up the remains, and trying to get some more of the parking lot sorted.

I wanted to share this pelican from our trip to Florida.

Here's Lookin' at You Kid

Today I get to help Michael out, setting up his Ameritrade account.  One thing in-laws are good for is showing the next generation how to do things we’ve already mastered — or at least have done before.

It’s a pretty quiet week thus far — I’m hoping it stays that way for a while.


Birds in Flight

On days like today when we’re just puttering around my attention often turns to images from the past that I’ve not had time to work on.

This one is from Bosque del Apache (New Mexico).

As we get into this season of the year I find myself wishing I could be there enjoying the abundance of birds to photograph. The time will come when we are able to visit and spend some significant time; but for now I’ll have to be satisfied with these.

Old Diary

Palm Trees to Snowballs

We had a great day for a drive.  After I woke up way too early to leave, I spent some time in the hotel lobby writing and by the time I ran out of battery it was time to think about getting up (for the girls, that is).  We had breakfast at Huddle House — my first time ever. It was a nice enough breakfast.  Similar (to me) to Waffle House.

We got started about 8 a.m. and finally pulled into our hotel in Pigeon Forge about 6 p.m.  Considering we only drove about 360 miles the time alone should tell you that we did a bunch of stopping.  And that we did, including lunch at Shoney‘s in Clyde N.C..  I have not been in a Shoney’s in at last a decade.  The last three times I visited them I either didn’t get seated, or acknowledged, or a waiter hadn’t bothered to come by the table to give us a menu — and each successive time I left without eating.  How hard is it for the guy at the register (who isn’t the host/ess) to at least say, “Someone will be with you in a minute.”  So, as often as we go out to eat, I suspect laxity cost them a few hundred dollars in sales.  But today our meal was quite nice.  I’m not in a huge hurry to return, but I’m sure I will return.

When we left Pooler GA there were palm trees.  When we arrived in Cherokee NC we were in the snow.  Wow.

Our GPS wanted to route us via the Blue Ridge Parkway (about 10 miles) to the Great Smokies National Park.  When we got to the Blue Ridge Parkway entrance, lo and behold, the parkway was closed because of snow.  Barricade across the road and everything. We made a re-route and arrived at the park just hoping that U.S. 441 was open through the park.  Fortunately it was.  A closure would have resulted in more than a hundred mile sidetrip.

The weather today was infinitely better than it was last week.  Clear skies, temps in the 50’s & 60’s, not too many cars, just a great day to be in a National Park.  Most of the leaves are gone now, but the addition of snow in the park made the visit extra special.

I’ll sharemore pics over time, but one part of the day that was special was this short area of icicles.  I’ll play around with a few of these and maybe have a couple nice images.

The Smokies are THE MOST VISITED National Park — they are within a 2 day drive of over 1/2 the population of the country and they are gorgeous.  Many people living South of the Smokies rarely see snow, and there were visitors from Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, etc.,  You have to realize that these people were not putting up with the snow, they were exalting in it.  Snowballs, and snowmen and faces in the snow, and snow angels… young and old… so many of them were ecstatic to see the snow, to be in it, to play in it.  I met one old boy from Florida (now — he’s originally from Ohio) and he said it’s been 18 years since he’s seen the snow.  He was amazed at the snow in the mountains.

Saturday we have about a 13 hour drive.  I don’t know what time we’ll leave the hotel, but it will be a long day.  This will post after we have left I’m sure.

In the meantime, I hear from Milwaukee that Michael has finished the patching and sanding — the walls are ready for paint.  So, painting party it is!!!!!  Might start Sunday, or maybe Monday — but I’m sure we’ll have it finished up in a couple days.

And that’s about it for now.  I’ll talk to you tomorrow.