Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #250

Many rivers to cross, many bridges to build (& not burn), many steps to take. Why does it sometimes all just feel so hard. Finding our way even when the path is laid out for you can be long and tiring.

“Wise people walk the road that leads upward to life, not the road that leads downward to death.” Proverbs 15:24

Finding the path may not always be easy on your journey†nada te turbe†jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #247

This lovely lady jumped onto my foot while I was cooking outside at Rio Grande Campground in Big Bend National Park. I had my lovely lady keep a flashlight on her (it was after sunset) while I mounted up my 105 micro and 3 flash units. I had to follow her around for a 1/2 an hour waited for the right postion and pose. My wife held the flashlight so I could see to focus. While gearing down my kit, I noticed that I had left my D800 on Program, and my exposure was a shallow f 4. I would have liked a bit  more depth of field, but……

The Texas toad (Bufo speciosus) is one of nine species of “true” toads that occur in Texas, and it is arguably the most commonly seen species in backyard gardens and around building structures. It can be observed in all but the eastern one-quarter of the state and the far northwestern corner of the Panhandle. It also occurs in the adjacent states of Oklahoma and New Mexico, as well as being found as far south as the state of San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

The habitats that this toad prefers to occupy vary from open woodland areas, prairies, and grasslands, although it can also thrive in open range, mesquite-filled pastures, and creosote flats. Basically, this species can live anywhere that has loose enough soil where it can bury itself deep enough to escape the heat and drought conditions.

Show yourself, warts and all on your journey††††nada te turbe††††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #246

This little fellow found a way to beat El Nino and to stay cool. It was a hot day at the beaver pond near Rio Grande Village Big Bend National Park. There was little activity, so when this guy floated by, I was happy to frame on him for a while. He was a diver and disappeared under the surface and I was lucky enough to be framed on the right spot when he resurfaced.

Cool off as needed on your journey, rinse and repeat†††††nada te turbe†††††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #245

We found these wild morning glories (Sharp-pod Morning-glory, Wild Purple Morning Glory, Tievine
Ipomoea cordatotriloba
) growing just past the beaver pond at Rio Grande Campground in Big Bend National Park.

We were in route to the Rio Grande overlook (a fairly easy great hike for early am or late pm because of the heat) and I was toting my micro kit so I was happy to pause for these beauties.

Find the light that burns inside you on your journey†††nada te turbe†††††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #244

Chinua Achebe: Vultures

In the greyness and drizzle of one despondent

dawn unstirred by harbingers of sunbreak a vulture

perching high on broken bone of a dead tree nestled close to his mate his smooth bashed-in head, a pebble on a stem rooted in

a dump of gross feathers, inclined affectionately to hers. Yesterday they picked the eyes of a swollen corpse in a water-logged trench and ate the things in its bowel. Full gorged they chose their roost

keeping the hollowed remnant in easy range of cold telescopic eyes …

It had been a stormy afternoon in the Big Bend, with little sun showers covered with thunder. At dusk the sun appeared on the horizon and a magnificent display of color showered in place of rain. I was caught totally off-guard. I was not ready and I learned a long time ago to not try and chase the light, it moves faster than my old body. Work with what you are given.

I had seen these vultures roosting the night before on the bones of a near-bye tree. I mounted some long glass and headed to frame the tree. I walked through all the tourists pointing their camera phones to the sky, mouths filled with oh’s and ah’s. Chasing the light they were. I went to my dead tree and made my photo and thought of Chinua Achebe’s poem that in reality has little to do with vultures.

Flow with the color on your journey††††nada te turbe††††jim

Photo of Da day @ Da Pine #243

Yet another gift we got from our stay at Big Bend National Park. We had sighted this Green Heron (Butorides Virescens) a couple of times, but he was always too far away to get a decent image. I was determined to get a photo of this guy. Our last morning at Rio Grande Campground I went to the beaver pond and sat and sat and sat. There was nada, nothing, not a stirring of a bird. The only good thing was there were also few people. It was growing hot and I was about to give up. I said a quick prayer and Abba said “wait”. I waited. In a few minutes here he came. He landed about fifty yard away and gawked, gulped and eyeballed every thing around. He shook his feathers and put up his top-knot and I had my image.

The Green Heron is one of the few tool-using birds. He will drop bait in the water and sit in stoney stillness awaited a fish to take the bait. Amazing† A group of herons has many collective names, including a “battery”, “hedge” “rookery”, scattering” and my favorite a “pose”. So fitting!

Show off your plumage on your journey†††nada te turbe††††††††jim