Passerines of Spring

A passerine is any of the birds belonging to the order Passeriformes. These birds make up more than fifty percent of the world’s birds. Most of them are adapted for perching. Each passerine has three toes pointing forward and one toe pointing backward which allow them to perch. They are sometimes called songbirds or perching birds.

 

The poem, Passerines of Spring, which is superimposed on the photo of the Northern Cardinal, was written by me to my wife after I had recently had heart surgery. Disclaimer – I don’t pretend to be a Longfellow, Frost, or any other poet. I think my body still contained a fair amount of anesthesia plus the pain medication I was taking. During this time of my recuperation, there was a pair of Northern Cardinals nesting just outside our window. I suppose they were my inspiration, fueled by the drugs, to write this poem. I thought of the words one night around 3 am and got up to write the poem.

Altamira OrioleWestern Scrub JayYellow Rump WarblerMocking BirdHooded WarblerAudubon's OrioleRuby-crowned KingletGreen JayNorthern Cardinal

“Wapiti”

“Wapiti” is a Native American word for elk that means “light colored deer”.

I took these photographs of elk while visiting Yellowstone National Park. I like to think of these majestic animals as “The Royalty of Yellowstone”. All of these photographs were taken along the famous Madison River in YNP.

These photographs were taken in September just as the males were beginning to round-up their ladies for the annual rut. The photograph of the two males depicts the larger male chasing   a younger male who was trying to date one of the ladies.

Standing In The Madison River - YNP
Standing In The Madison River – YNP

020 5 point bull elk Madison River YNP 09.07.18

Follow The Leader
Follow The Leader
A Little Sip of the Madison
A Little Sip of the Madison
Leave My Ladies Alone!
Leave My Ladies Alone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sonoran Desert

In May of 2012, Carol and I journeyed into the Sonoran Desert – Tucson, AZ to enjoy and photograph the area.

The Sonoran Desert, the hottest North American desert, covers large parts of the southwestern United States in Arizona and California, and of northwestern Mexico in Sonora, Baja California and Baja California Sur. One hundred twenty thousand square miles of this desert are in Arizona. The Sonoran Desert is home to the famous and much photographed Saguaro Cactus.

The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Saguaro National Monument and Sabino Canyon in the Coronado National Forest are the locations these photographs were shot. The time of year was perfect for photographing the Saguaro Cactus in bloom, other blooming plants, and birds nesting.

Sonoran Desert, AZ
Sonoran Desert, AZ
Gila Woodpeckers Nesting in Saguaro Catcus
Gila Woodpeckers Nesting in Saguaro Cactus

 

Saguaro Cactus In Bloom - AZ State Flower
Saguaro Cactus In Bloom – AZ State Flower

 

 

 

 

 

Gila Woodpecker feeding on a Century Plant
Gila Woodpecker feeding on a Century Plant

 

Octillo & Saguaro Cactus
Octillo & Saguaro Cactus

 

 

 

Curved-Billed Thrasher Nesting
Curved-Billed Thrasher Nesting

 

Saguaro Cactus
Saguaro Cactus

 

Coues' Cactus Wren - AZ State Bird
Coues’ Cactus Wren – AZ State Bird
A Cactus Flower
A Cactus Flower
Cactus Wren Nesting
Cactus Wren Nesting
Sunset Over The Saguaros
Sunset Over The Saguaros

 

 

 

 

 

Herons of the Texas Gulf Coast

I captured these Heron photos along the Texas coast in and around Rockport, Port Aransas and Corpus Christi. I like to refer to Herons as “The Mimes of the Shoreline” because they have the ability to stand perfectly motionless just like human mimes for minutes upon minutes until an unsuspecting fish swims within striking distance.

Herons are long-legged freshwater and coastal birds with 64 recognized species. They are a widespread family of birds. They exist on all continents except Antarctica and are present in most habitats except the coldest extremes of the Artic, extremely high mountains and the driest deserts. Almost all Herons are associated with water. They are essentially non-swimming water birds.

 

Black-crowned Night-Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron
Great Blue Heron

 

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron

 

Tricolored Heron
Tricolored Heron
yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron