Exquisite and Graceful

This is our fourth winter RVing along the Texas Gulf Coast, and it has not disappointed. The weather has been enjoyable this year with no mention of a polar vortex, thank goodness. With that said, I’m taking full advantage of getting out of the RV everyday to commune with my feathered friends.Shore birds

I don’t consider myself a birder, but merely, someone who admires birds, especially shore birds.  My fascination with these birds was piqued during that very first visit to the Gulf of Mexico.  I’ve always enjoyed wildlife photography, but bird photography was a new game.  It challenged me then, and continues to challenge me now.

Family of whooping cranes - mom, dad, juvenile
Family of whooping cranes – mom, dad, juvenile

I always look forward to our return trips to Texas to observe and photograph the exquisite and graceful whooping crane, an endangered species who’s numbers were in the teens back in the 1940’s and are now in the 500+ range.  Habitat and poaching still threaten these magnificent birds, but efforts are being made by various organizations to help these cranes.

Whooping Cranes - endangered
A family of endangered whooping Cranes

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this beautiful pink beauty … the roseate spoonbill. Her deep pink is truly stunning. Actually, it’s the male of the species that sports the deepest of the hue.  This is one dude who knows how to wear pink well!roseata spoonbil

However, I find the egret embodies a certain grace and elegance.  Her snowy white plumage, long black legs, and bright yellow feet have me comparing her to a princess. He or she?  In the case of the egret, both sexes are bright white and thus difficult to decipher.egret

Tri-colored HeronTri-colored Herons feel equally as regal and exude a unique level of gracefulness. Their grayish blue coloring with patches of deep purple is truly stunning.

Ah, then there are the pelicans … oh those pelicans. What can I say about these whimsical creatures?

When in-flight they exhibit a grace comparable to the whooping crane, but when they plunge into the water fishing for dinner, well let’s just say, the sight is anything but graceful and is downright comical.

I’m still trying to capture a video of a pelican diving for fish, but am always in the midst of laughing and fail to point the camera in the right direction.  I’ll keep working on that!

pelican yoga!
pelican yoga!

Overall, I find pelicans to be rather entertaining and full of character and when they aren’t flying, they exhibit absolutely no grace what so ever.pelicans

I’ve got another month hanging along the Texas Gulf Coast with my feathered friends.  I hope to capture more photographs of these amazing shore birds, and in the process, work on getting in my exercise steps 😎

Birding Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend: More Than 75 Prime Birding Sites (Birding Series)

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband, Black, Large

 

 

 

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Gone with the Wind

One of the things I love about staying in the Phoenix valley are the views.  The Arizona desert provides a unique beauty especially in the spring when she’s in bloom.  The desert sunrises and sunsets are some of the best I’ve ever witnessed.  That said, since I’ve traveled a lot I’ve seen my fair share of spectacular sunrises and sunsets but none better than in Arizona.hot air balloon ArizonaAnd then every now and then I happen to be in the right place at the right time to see the sky filled with colorful hot air balloons.  Just when I think the view couldn’t get any better….. it gets better!photographyThe moment doesn’t last long as the winds carry off the people filled baskets high above the desert landscape.hot air balloonsEach morning and evening I’ll search the skies never knowing exactly where I might spot these colorful balloons or even if I’ll spot any at all.hot air balloons

The moment is usually fleeting….. ephemeral you might say.hot air balloonsThus, I keep the camera at the ready.Hot air balloonsIt’s a fantastic sight that I never seem to tire of. hot air balloons

One minute the sky is filled with balloons and the next they are gone with the wind.hot air balloons

This post is in response to the WordPress photo challenge – ephemeral

Fodor’s Arizona & the Grand Canyon 2015 (Full-color Travel Guide)

Mission San Xavier

Today’s WordPress photo challenge is the “Rule of Thirds”. Arizona Missions

We arrived in Tucson, Arizona, a couple of days ago and my first ‘must see’ stop was Mission San Xavier del Bac.  The stunning Spanish architecture and beautifully landscaped grounds made for a fun and interesting photographic opportunity.Mission San Xavier del BacMission San Xavier del Bac is a historic Spanish Catholic mission located about 10 miles south of downtown Tucson.  The church was built between 1783 and 1797 and is the oldest European structure in Arizona.Mission San Xavier del Bac

The mission was originally founded by an Italian Jesuit, Padre Eusebio Kino.  San Xavier is still actively run by Franciscans and continues to serve the local community.Mission San Xavier del BacOver 200,000 visitors come here each year from around the world to view what is considered some of the finest Spanish Colonial architecture in the United States.Mission San XavierThere was so much to explore and take in at the mission…. more than I expected. So if you do visit, plan on spending at least an hour versus the 20 minutes we scheduled.  I guess that means, I’ll just have to revisit.RoadrunnerAnd since Jen over at WordPress challenged us to experiment with the Rule of Thirds with a little bokeh (blur), I thought I’d end the post with this photo of an unusual cactus bloom located near the entrance to San Xavier.Spanish missions

The Spanish Missions of Arizona (True Books)
Moon Arizona & the Grand Canyon (Moon Handbooks)