All posts by Mike Thomas

Fall Is In The Air

Fall Is In The Air

 

It’s that time of the year when we all welcome a change from sweltering heat and start enjoying cooler temperatures. This welcome change brings a variety of events, activities and certain rituals.  Some of these include the changing color of the leaves, going to the pumpkin patch, opening of hunting season (this blogger only hunts with a camera), and family gatherings such as Thanksgiving. Native Americans referred to the November full moon as the Beaver Moon because it signaled it was time to set beaver traps before the lakes and rivers froze over preventing them from getting the beaver hides for warm winter clothing.

The photographs presented in this blog are intended to portray that Fall Is In The Air. Enjoy!

Plymouth Rock

Beaver Moon over the Gulf of Mexico 11.04.17
Beaver

FYI

FYI

I have prepared this blog entitled FYI to hopefully raise your awareness and level of concern about some governmental actions, both state and national, that are being discussed as well as legislation that has been introduced in the US Congress regarding our pristine and treasured public lands. HR 861 would eliminate The Environmental Protection Agency. If passed or enacted, the lessening or repeal of various acts and laws that were put in place to protect our environment and the flora and fauna that inhabit these lands would become threatened.

There currently is a congressional HJR 69 to accede to the demands of anti-regulatory zealots to gut the Endangered Species Act. Should we allow this to take place, it would be calamitous for hundreds of plants and animals, local ecosystems, and the complex interconnections that sustain the natural world.

Several members of Congress are advocating turning over federal lands to state control. Many, like this photographer and outdoor enthusiast, fear this action would lead to the states then privatizing the land that would in all likely hood lead to commercial developments such as oil and gas fracking, the establishment of wind farms and other developments. National parks, national monuments and other state and national properties and their natural inhabitants and resources are ours for us and future generations to enjoy untouched. Can you imagine derricks, wind turbines, or condos/strip centers in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier, and Yosemite National Parks? How about wind turbines in White Sands National Monument, or the Grand Canyon dotted with big white blades whirring at 60 plus mph.

I hope this blog has served its purpose in capturing your attention and stirring your emotions into keeping a little closer eye on governmental actions and taking the necessary steps or actions to express your feelings when it comes to public land and our environment. The photographs in this blog were taken on OUR LAND!

Mendenhall Glacier and Icebergs – Juneau, AK
White Sands National Monument
Joshua Tree National Park
Ausable River, Lake Placid, NY
Gulf Coast Wetlands
Bison Grazing Along The Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park
Saguaro National Park
Juvenile and Adult Whooping Cranes Wintering at The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge
The Landscape Arch – Arches National Park
Black Bear – Grand Teton National Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Elk Drinking in the Madison River – Yellowstone National Park
Trumpeter Swans & Canadian Geese in The Yellowstone River
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC
US Capitol

 

 

 

 

“Home on the Range”

“Home on the Range”

 

“Home on the Range” is a classic western folk song, sometimes called the “unofficial anthem” of the American West. Dr. Brewster M. Higley of Smith County, Kansas wrote the lyrics to the poem, “My Western Home” in the early 1870’s. The poem was published in the December 1873 issue of the Smith County Pioneer under the title “My Western Home”. The music was later written by Daniel E. Kelley a carpenter and friend of Higley. Higley’s original words are similar to those of the modern version of the song, but not identical: the original did not contain the words “on the range”. The song was eventually adopted by ranchers, cowboys, and other western settlers and spread across the Unites States in various forms.

The most popular version of the song was the version sung by Bing Crosby in 1933. This turned a little-known saddle song into a most renowned western hymn. FDR acknowledged “Home on the Range” his favorite song.

I have attempted to utilize a few of my photographs to depict the first verse of this treasured song.

Oh give me a home

where the buffalo roam,

Where the deer

and the antelope play;

There seldom is heard a discouraging word

And the sky is not cloudy all day.

DUCKS IN A ROW

Ducks in A Row

 

The Black-bellied Whistling Duck is a common species that is quite tame in the wild. It is highly gregarious, forming large flocks when not breeding. Some collective nouns for Black-bellied Whistling Ducks are brace, plush, paddling, raft, and team. Since the Black – bellied Whistling Duck is one of only two whistling-duck species native to North America, it is occasionally just known as the “whistling duck” in southern USA. This duck usually nests in hollow trees. Some bird enthusiasts build nesting boxes for these ducks. The habitat for the Black-bellied Whistling Duck is very shallow freshwater ponds, lakes and marshes.

 

The photographs in this blog were taken in Port Aransas, TX. on different occasions at a location known as “Paradise Pond”. The first two were photographed March 15, 2015 and the remainder on October 15,2016. There was a total of 14 of the ducklings. Ten was the most I could photograph at any given time. The photo #3 scene just seemed like a playground full of little kindergartners running around having a good time. Photo #4 reminded me of my days as an elementary teacher attempting to line up my students to come in from recess.  There was always one or two facing the wrong direction as seen in photos #5 and #6. Always there was a late comer shown in photo #7. Then shown in photo #8 were the ones who always wanted to be the line leader. And, of course, photo #9 depicts the proverbial best friend spat “You can’t play with us”.  Finally, all the ducks are in a row in photo #10.

#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8

#9
#10

Where Do Babies Come From?

Where Do Babies Come From?

Remember when you were little and surprised the adult responsible for your upbringing with the question, “Where Do Babies Come From?”  The quick answer was “The Stork” brings them. As you grew older, how many cartoon figures do you remember seeing with “The Stork” happily floating in the blue sky wearing a Postman’s cap with a cute little cherub hanging from its beak in a diaper?  “The Stork” shown in this blog is not the one we were told about early in our lives. I suspect it’s retired. 

This blog features a Wood Stork I photographed while it was standing on a small island in a private pond near Corpus Christi, TX.  The Wood Stork is the only native stork found in the US. It is found year-round in Florida and visits elsewhere in the southeast in the summer and along the gulf coast. They have been known to fly as high as 6,000 feet and as far as 50 miles in search of food. A group of Wood Storks are often called “A Clatter of Storks”, “A Muster of Storks” as well as “A Swoop of Storks”.

 

wood-stork-1

wood-stork-2

wood-stork-3

wood-stork-4

wood-stork-6wood-stork-5

 

 

Etcetera,Etcetera, Etcetera

Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera

 

This is the last of my Etcetera Blogs. In case you haven’t figured it out, I borrowed from Yul Brynner’s line in The King and I, Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera, as he would converse with Debora Kerr.

This blog is a random collection of my photographs from A to Z.

PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT “THROUGH THE LENS OF MIKE’S CAMERA” IS GOING ON A SUMMER SCHEDULE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. THIS BLOGGER MAY OCCASIONALLY PUBLISH WHEN THE MOOD STRIKES OR TIME PERMITS.

Thanks to each of you who take the time to comment – MUCH APPRECIATED.

Until another day!!!!

 

Rufous Hummingbird
Rufous Hummingbird
Plumeria
Plumeria
My Beach Bentely used while searching for the Kemps Ridley turtle.
My Beach Bentely used while searching for the Kemps Ridley turtle.
What's Left of Shane's Cabin, Jackson Hole, WY "Shane,Come Back Shane"
What’s Left of Shane’s Cabin, Jackson Hole, WY
“Shane,Come Back Shane”
Young Moose, Grand Teton NP, WY
Young Moose, Grand Teton NP, W
White Sands National Monument, NM
White Sands National Monument, NM
West Point Military Academy, NY
West Point Military Academy, NY
Port Aransas Sand Sculpture Contest
Port Aransas Sand Sculpture Contest
Franklin D. Roosevelt's Home, Hyde Park, NY
Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Home, Hyde Park, NY
Key West, FL
Key West, FL
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands NP, Moab, UT
Mesa Arch, Canyonlands NP, Moab, UT
Outer Banks, NC
Outer Banks, NC
Gulf of Mexico Sunset
Gulf of Mexico Sunset

 

 

 

 

Michal B. Thomas