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Posts tagged ‘Cat Tail Reed Marsh’

A foggy morning

Weather this time of year can be so quixotic—one day/night I am wearing socks to bed and a sweatshirt over a longjohn top and thinking bean soup and cocoa and two days later it is moquitoes and a short sleeve shirt—I don’t wear shorts. Fog always comes in on those days and the house never seems to warm up like it does on those cold blue norther days with bright sunshine heating up the tile roof–the heat dissipating over night until about 5 AM when the train starts moving its cars and the bedroom is chilly and the coffeepot is calling my name.

Today was one of the foggy days; still chilly inside but pleasant enough outside.

We had second breakfast at a WaffleHouse after making a trip to the shop to see if the garden water had been left on—yes it was— but the tomatoes were not drowning as has happened in the past with our torrential downpours.

Several options had been discussed—a trip to the Big Thicket? A trip to Anahuac Wildlife Preserver? a trip to the beach?

In the end we decided upon CatTail Marsh, the tertiary sewage treatment plant for the city. It is quiet except for the duck hunters in the distance, the golfers in the golf carts, and the cackling/giggling/snorting/chattering of the birds in the marshy grasses.

We met a young man with a really cute little fluffly dog that snarled at us–but only managed to look really cute instead of threatening. Then there was the man with the huge camera who pointed out where the eagle nest was (no we didn’t see it) We could several trees with egrets and herons circling around and landing in the upper story—it looks so odd to see them in trees instead of wading in the water.

And then there were these birds.

Were they buzzards? They were grouped like buzzards on the road.

Were they cormorants?

We each tried taking good photos of them; our good binoculars safely tucked away in their case in the front seat of my truck—-and we had taken the Tesla.

At home here I could look at them more closely—those long curved bills gave their identity away—ibis!

Recovery is a Slo-o-o-o-o-w Process

Perhaps I am too eager to be back to some semblance of a normal life–able to sweep my floors, work the bees, go hiking, visit museums. But my life is governed by the slow healing process of a torn rotator cuff and No. 4 back surgery more extensive than planned or expected. I have re-habbed in the past by climbing the stairs in my two story house several times a day—ten years ago. This time is proving to be more challenging.

Yesterday we took a trip to Cat-Tail Marsh, the tertiary sewage treatment area for the city. It is a beautifully peaceful and serene place. Sometimes there are others enjoying the day, bird-watching or exercising. We met a couple with uncle and cousin in tow with a fantastic spotting scope. They generously shared the view of the eagles nest far down at the end of the settling ponds. He had been an ortho tech salesman after a four year tour as an OR tech in the Air Force.

It was a long walk to the end of the pier for me—all without a walker–ClaraBelle is folded up and leaning against the Pillsbury table in the dining room—the last time I was here, she was still my constant companion. I took photos this time—a lot of them. Water hyacinth was in full bloom and to my surprise when sorting through the day’s photos, I had captured a bee!!!

Thinking about that bee and how routine and mundane each of their daily assignments is—they make several trips a day to a particular flower harvesting the nectar, returning to the hive having scraped off the pollen on their legs and bodies in mid flight to deposit in the pollen sacs on their back legs—to deposit the tiniest bit of nectar—and then to fly out and repeat the process.

Perhaps my progress is not as slow or as futile as I castigate myself for such slow improvement.

Hunting for ork

img_0611-mThis week’s new photo assignment is to find something that rhymes with ‘ork’. Going through the alphabet led me to ‘Stork’. Maybe the spoonbills were out at Cat-Tail Marsh.

It has been a few months since we’ve been there. A new observation post has been set up, the parking lot is nicely paved and level replacing the gravelly rutty one, and it was a fine day–in the 70’s after a few days of miserable gray dreary cold days.

img_0613-mPeople were out…with small children, dogs on leashes; one was a dedicated runner, another was a casual bicyclist. Then there were the photographers—dressed in camo with yard long lenses.

I had my trusty little Canon SX10 and no tripod.

The spoonbills were not to be seen.

img_0620-mIn fact, there didn’t seem to be many birds. Maybe they were frightened away by all the building commotion. We did learn a large eagle nest with chicks was at the far end of the pond and spoonbills were plentiful at Anahuac.

img_0616-mAnother time–perhaps—-but it was a nice day to be out.


Panoramas and my phone is on Fire

McFadden Ward House Museum in Beaumont Texas

This week’s photo assignment was to take a panorama using at least three images shot sequentially with our camera. However, I finally got up the courage to get my new Fire phone activated=========and drum roll, here—-there is a panorama option on the camera. So today–the first really nice day we’ve had for several weeks, I played around with my phone taking a dozen or more panoramas of not even all that interesting things—parking lot, bedroom furniture, and then there was the marsh. I thought this might be nice==but it turns out that one bunch of cat tail reeds looks pretty much like another and so there wasn’t anything particularly distinguishing amongst the photos—so I took this one of the museum that is just two blocks away from my house. Looking at my class mates contributions–it seems that there are two forms—the distorted form and the flat form–I sort of like this distorted form as who could tell except those of us who live here that the driveway isn’t round like this.

This week’s assignment is play around with filters—and I think I have a great subject for that—-old water pipes pulled out of the swamp and piled along one of the roads through the tertiary water treatment area.  This doesn’t sound nice but it is really quite lovely and there were a lot of people there today–running, walking, birding, bicycling–and taking photos.