Deep inhale, deep exhale. There is something to be said about perseverance. One of those words that pack a lot of meaning into a mere 4 syllables. Half physical, half mental, a quarter of support from family and friends with heaping spoonfuls of luck that together give you a formula for success when whatever barrier before you takes well beyond 100% to make it through (don’t worry, I stayed awake in my math classes ha). I find runners tend to embrace this word, wrap themselves in its comfort like a warm blanket straight out of the dryer. Eyes forward, focused on the finish line.
My mantra, “one foot in front of the other”. No more, no less. Ignore the failure demons in your head and focus on the immediate that is within your control. Sure, there will be pain, sure there will be some self-doubt, but as long as that back foot makes it even the slightest amount of distance ahead of the front foot you will eventually get there… and when you get there, you can raise your wings, turn to your doubters and gloat like a proud Pelican.
Hit the jump to see a few more pictures of our friends from the southern coastline!
Coming to you once again from the land to the North. Things seem to be progressing overall up here at Mayo, however, there are those points where frustration starts to step in. Linda has now made her way through three different surgeries in under a week and now preparing for the fourth and hopefully final one. Her valve replacement appears successful, but the heart rhythm hasn’t returned to a proper level requiring a permanent pacemaker to be put in. At this point, we are just waiting around to find out when that is going to happen. Comforting to know she is being cared for by some of the best there is.
Thought I would get started with a new post until news came through on the schedule.
If you recall from the previous post, I had dragged out the soapbox and was venting some displeasure on some of the bird names out there. Specifically bird names based on features that are difficult to tell with one in your hands much less trying to discern the characteristic out in the field. My blogger friend CJ noted the Latin naming takes some of that out of the equation, but Aythya collaris just doesn’t roll off the tongue like Ring-Necked Duck and it gives my Latin education brother Ron a definite advantage (not to mention it is impossible to see the “collaris”… sorry). While looking through the post queue, noticed this series.
Hit the jump to see some of my favorite pics of this coastal bird.
It appears I finally broke my consecutive post streak. Was on a roll thanks to outside forces driving me to get through as much of the Texas related birding encounters as possible. Deadline is still there, I just had the opportunity to enjoy a guilty pleasure this weekend – I happen to be part of a top ranking fake group on Rock Band and we were able to get the band together Friday. It has been awhile and we were all a bit rusty. We had a great time even though my arms are now sore from the night of drumming – I may have to start warming up before we play now eesh. Before you laugh at me too much, we have put our computer engineering skills to good use – our singer has modified a real mic and I have a full electronic Roland drum set that feeds through an Ion head to a midi converter to now an Xbox-360 to Xbox-One pigtail converter and then to the console. Thinking that still isn’t helping my case any ha! Reality of it all is I am now trying to get back in the posting saddle. Thanks to having to do this while traveling on the road, thought I would go with a post that doesn’t need a lot of research – had to leave my reference books at home.
Today’s featured post comes to you courtesy of Seawolf Park near Galveston Texas. We were visiting that location for the first time back in January 2017 which produced a number of intriguing experiences. While hunting for dolphins from their wharf, I spotted a Double-Crested Cormorant looking tauntingly at a nearby Brown Pelican. Screw the dolphins, this might turn out quite interesting.
Slowly their paths converged. An entire gulf of water to explore, yet each one refusing to yield their path to the other. Hubris had once again taken root in its victims giving false confidence to its host. So there it stood, the formidable Crested-Fu style of the Cormorant paired off against the more physically dominating Pelikido of the larger bodied Brown Pelican. Surely cooler heads wood prevail – maybe a respectful bow and mutual diversion of their conflicting trajectories.
Hit the jump to see how this angry bird encounter turns out!
Might as well get the third post out on the Pelican series. This post is also from the draft queue like the last few posts – definitely chipping away at the processed backlog. Pretty soon I will actually have to open the door to my digital darkroom and start processing again or I’ll be short on the upcoming quotas. Always good to have a few held back in case of emergencies, but it is a somewhat demoralizing to have so many laying around just pleading to hit the mainstream ha. I promised you a different perspective of the bird in the previous Brown Pelican posts and here it is ….
Umm, well, not exactly that picture. I forgot I wanted to set the stage. That is the traditional perspective of the Pelican coasting through the air with little care in the world. However, there is one aspect of life that does required attention by all living things… nourishment. When that time comes for a Pelican, there is a decided transformation from the calm, cool and collected behavior we are used to seeing. In fact, the whole thing is turned on its head … literally
Hit the jump to see how this plays out
It’s another day of playing catch up here at Life Intrigued. In the same pattern as the last post, this one comes from the draft queue – Yeah, I’m taking the easy way out but I’m dragging today having completed my first outdoor hill room of the young year. Only ran a little over 6 today, but it was a struggle thanks to all the black ice that was doing its best to put me on my ass. Only lost traction a couple of times, but the required shorter stride only added to the burden. I still miss being in Texas a few weeks ago, so to help bring back some fond memories, going with another post from our November 2013 trip.
These shots were taken at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge in Austwell, Texas. That was our target destination back in 2013 and more of a side stop for this year’s trip down there. Of course, we were down there for the chance to get the Whoopers (link here). After that, everything else we got down there was just a bonus. I already had the Brown Pelican from the Ft Myers trip (link here), so no +1.
Hit the jump to see a few more shots of the Brown Pelican.
The pressure is on now – definitely would have been a good time for a 31 day month. To be honest, it is actually a bit difficult to type tonight. I am in a battle with a 270 foot long 18 inch deep ditch I originally trenched a couple of months ago to supply power to a new outbuilding. Since that original dig, I’ve had to hand dig across power and phones lines, re-dug the entire ditch by hand not once, not twice, but now three times due to rain and just spent all evening laying wire in conduit. At least half of it is done now – damn you rain gods!
For tonight I thought I would go with some more shots from my Ft Myers trip. Luckily these shots were already processed so the hard part is already done. Let’s start with a gorgeous Brown Pelican.
Pretty stoic bird all around. As with the previous Ft. Myers shots, these were taken at the secret lagoon behind the Holiday Inn. Wait.. I am not sure it is a Holiday Inn anymore. My brother Ron may know for sure – he was just down there to see my parents and had an opportunity to visit that birding hotspot again – I would have went with him, but that was the weekend of my Marathon (link here). These Pelican shots were taken on the backside of the lagoon on the ocean/gulf side – you have to cross a small inlet of water, but it is definitely worth it.
Hit the jump to see a few more birds from the trip.
Against all my internal warnings I opted to head out to do some Black Friday shopping earlier in the morning. I put full blame on Linda. She was the catalyst for this insanity and she only made part of the overall excursion. It all started at 10:30pm Thanksgiving night when we gathered around the table for our annual perusal of the ads to see what the hot deals were this year and more importantly, compile wish lists for others. At midnight Linda puts the option on the table that if we headed to Target we could get a big jump on gifts for our relatives based on a positive assessment of their ad. We had just come from a trip to see the family earlier in the evening and I got a 6.5 mile run on the treadmill after that .. so sure, why not. By the time we got back it was 2:30am (we hit BB while we were at it). Home Depot opened their doors at 5:00am meaning there was really only 2 hours before I would have to leave the house to get there. Not really tired yet I opted to do that and hit Menards as well – mainly to buy gifts for Linda to give me for Xmas. Those adventures could probably be a post all by themselves (and they likely will), but let’s just say I rocked it, getting essentially everything on my list! Once again Linda owes me (anyone keeping track .. besides myself). The best part of it, I used the 2 hour wait to crank out the last set of pictures for the November quota. My drive is still being restored thanks to the crash but had these images lying around from the UB 2013 prep (link here).
On this last post for November, I introduce you to the Brown Pelican.
These first two shots were in the running for the UB competition but I am pretty sure I opted against entering them in favor of what I thought were better candidates. The courting Willets on the shoreline that were entered that year were from the same shoot. My brother Ron and I were down in Fort Myers, Florida to drive my parents back from their Winter stay. A couple of birding references indicated there was a lagoon nearby that was fantastic for bird shooting. Just meant hauling the 80-200 glass down there to see what they had to offer. It did not disappoint. There will be a multi-post series on the results from that trip as soon as my drive gets restored, but consider this a teaser. Admittedly, we had our doubts while trying to locate the lagoon since it a) isn’t marked and b) is tucked behind hotels lining the shoreline. Sure enough, when we followed the source’s directions we ended up standing on a lagoon teeming with wildlife. Ospreys, crabs, Herons, Gulls and Egrets were abundant – all hanging out around or hunting for fish in the lagoon. My Father rightfully warned us about the potential presence of alligators but we never encountered one (bummer).
Hit the jump and read more about this intriguing bird.