Posts Tagged ‘great egret’

“Going off the grid is always good or me. It’s the way that I’ve started books and finished books and gotten myself out of deadline dooms and things.” — Neil Gaiman

The Grid

Roseate spoonbill nest. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Roseate spoonbill nest. — Photo by Pat Bean

These photos were take in the aviary at the St. Louis Zoo in Missouri that was specially built for the 1904 World Fair.

Cloud reflections through the grid and a great egret. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Cloud reflections through the grid and a great egret. — Photo by Pat Bean



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Walks by the Water

Water and birds often go together, just one more reason I like walking beside water. I found this great egret at the Sea Center in Lake Jackson, Texas. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Water and birds often go together, just one more reason I like walking beside water. I found this great egret at the Sea Center in Lake Jackson, Texas. — Photo by Pat Bean

            “Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” – John Lubbock

Wet Your Eyes and Drink in the Ripples

I’ve been told that a monsoon is coming to Tucson soon. It’s hard to imagine as I pass by dry gullies and creek beds — and even rivers with nary a drop of water to be seen.


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            “The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines … It does no harm just once in a while to acknowledge that the whole country isn’t in flames, that there are people in the country besides politicians, entertainers, and criminals.” – Charles Kuralt

A lone great egret on Lincoln Trail Lake —  Photo by Pat Bean

Adventures with Pepper: Day 18-19

            I got it all figured out on the map, just exactly the best way to get to Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield. But in the end, I decided I’d rather spend my day traveling down Illinois’ backroads.

A young deer in the sunlight while the mom stays more hidden in the shadows. The park was full of deer. A staff worker said they had fawned late this year. — Photo by Pat Bean

So, with a cheat sheet of right and left turns to compensate for my lack of directional sense, I set out to drive from Chatham to Lincoln Trail State Park.

You guessed it. I got turned around numerous times. It seems my map and reality were  two different things. Too often sign markers were missing, and once even turned around the wrong way.

But it was a beautiful drive and I eventually found my way over numerous state and county roads to Lincoln Trail State Park, which was awesome.

I camped on a high lookout point with stairs leading down to the small lake that was painted by the colors of fall.

I had breakfast at the park’s marina restaurant before I left. The food was ho-hum, but the view was magnificent. — Photo by Pat Bean — Photo by Pat Bean

The large park is just west of the 1,000-mile Lincoln Heritage Trail, which marks Lincoln’s passage from Kentucky, through Indiana to Illinois.Heavily forested, the park is home to beech, oak, maple, hickory, sweet gum and sassafras trees. among many others. The air was clean and fresh, the days warm and sunny, and the nights cold and crisp, just perfect for snuggling beneath the covers with my canine traveling companion Pepper, and having pleasant dreams.

            Book Report: Travels with Maggie is now at 55,212 words. Not much time to write with traveling and other commitments, but I’m trying to at least keep it moving forward every day.    

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

        Bean’s Pat: Focus on the Eyes http://tinyurl.com/8rd5zjr Good advice for picture taking. I never thought of this very helpful hint. Perhaps other amateur photographers haven’t either.

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“Wilderness begins in the human mind.” Edward Abbey

The Poteau River

Letting the worries about tomorrow and finding help for my ailing RV, Gypsy Lee,go, I watched as a great egret fished for its dinner on the opposite bank of the Poteau River. -- Photo by Pat Bean

It was late evening when I arrived at Lake Wister State Park, a place of refuge for the night while I pondered my first on-the-road crisis in my RV, Gypsy Lee.

I watched the sun as it sank beneath the horizon and allowed it and the river to soothe my soul. I felt grateful just to be alive. -- Photo by Pat Bean

The crisis turned out to be simply a need for new brake pads. The pads, however, had to be specially ordered, which gave me three days to enjoy the park.

The first night, a Sunday when all the places that could service my RV were closed, began as a tense one at the park, where I had parked below the dam beside the Poteau River.

A walk along the river with my canine traveling companion just as the sun was bidding a good-night to all on this side of the world with a pink glowing sky, massaged away the tension in my body.

Mother Nature has a way of doing that to me. Despite my RV woes, it’s a night that I remember fondly.

Bean’s Pat: Mike’s Look at Life http://m5son.wordpress.com A gentle landscape and thoughtful blog that lets me see the world through fresh eyes.

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There's gotta be a tasty morsel down there somewhere -- Photo by Pat Bean

“For man, as for flower and beast and bird, the supreme triumph is to be most vividly, most perfectly alive.”– David Herbert Lawrence
Bird Talk
Went birding this morning instead of posting my blog. So all you get today is a picture of the great egret I watched fishing for its dinner at the Sea Center in Lake Jackson, Texas.  I hope you had a great day, too.

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Birds, like this great egret that flew into Sea World in Orlando for a closer look, are what this traveler seeks. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“When you are strong enough to love yourself one-hundred percent – good and bad – you will be amazed at the opportunities that life presents you.” Stacy Charter.

Travels With Maggie

 Many of today’s travel books seem to be written by young women in search of love. One reason this old broad enjoys reading them is because they show me travel in a way I’ve never experienced.

I didn’t get on the road until I was in my 60s, and I spend my days in search of new life birds, like the elegant trogon that  I saw for the first time my third day on the road in my RV, or the golden-cheeked warbler I finally saw last year after five years of searching for one.

Once upon a time, I could probably have been like the women who write about the wonderful or not-so-wonderful men they meet in their exotic travels. I certainly spent many a night after I was divorced dreaming that I would find my perfect soul mate, or crying into my pillow because I didn’t think I would ever find him.

Take time in your journey to smell the flowers and watch the butterflies. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Fortunately I spent my days in a job I enjoyed and my time off in getting on with my life. I finally woke up one morning realizing, man or no man, what a great life I had.

It seems even more perfect since my dog, Maggie, and I got on the road. She, my friends and family, give me all the love I need these days.

I don’t envy my younger, female comrades, and truly hope they find what they are looking for – or have the sense to get on with life if they don’t.

I’m just grateful the journey itself is enough for me.

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Great Egret

Snowy egret

 If you just see the photos of the two egrets on the right, you might think they were the same size, or even that the one on the left was the largest of the two. It’s all a matter of perspective — as you can see from the picture  below of the two of them together. 

                 — Photos by Pat Bean


“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” — Friedrich Nietsche

Travels With Maggie

One of my proudest accomplishments when I was a journalist was to get comments about a story I had written from people representing two sides of a polarized issue, each claiming my article had taken their opponent’s side. It was only then did I pat myself on the back for getting the story “mostly” right.

How each of us view life is colored by a unique perspective – our own. Truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

Eyewitnesses accounts of events can vary so greatly they sound like two different happenings. I see this frequently when I read accounts by two different reporters covering the same speech.

As you can see when you get the full picture, the snowy egret on the left is quite a bit smaller than the great egret on the right. These two were sharing a log at Estero Llano State Park in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.

For example, an environmental reporter might lead with a lumber industry spokesman’s quote: “A tree can produce enough oxygen to keep five or more people alive for a year.” But a business reporter’s lead would more likely be: “Logging is the life blood of hundreds of small communities; stop cutting trees and people will starve or turn to welfare.”

Both reporters, in the space they were allowed, quoted the speaker accurately. And the speaker was correctly quoted both times. The stories just came from different perspectives.

Travel has broadened my perspectives. I’m constantly reminded it’s a very complex world out there and that answers to problems do not come easily, nor without compromise.

Even through my camera lens – when indulging in my birdwatching passion – things aren’t always what they seem.

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