Sunday, January 20, 2013

Gifts of Bluebonnet Swamp

Continuing my quest for all things nature since the weather has been so glorious, on Friday I stopped off at Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center, a 200-acre preserve located 7 miles from my house. There I met the resident volunteer photographer who happily showed me all the hot spots, including a pair of barred owls named Barry and Brenda, and a rufous hummingbird. Barry & Brenda blended so well into the trees that I could not pull off a decent shot and the rufous was too shy. Something to shoot for (ha!) on the next visit, I guess.

I had asked God while I was wandering around, if it wasn't a bother, I'd really like something special to shoot. I've never asked God for anything remotely frivolous, and I felt bad even asking, but if you don't ask...
The male cardinals are exceptionally red right now. This has not been saturated in PS.

I would have been happy if this was all that was in store.

A brave little female worked her magic. Little did I know something even more special was waiting for me.

This was cute to watch them sharing, though at first Mr. Chickadee was doing his best to let Mr. Squirrel
know that his presence was not wanted by swooping around his head for several minutes. Didn't faze the squirrel one bit,
so I guess if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

This chickadee posed right nice for me. 

The red-eared slider made an appearance.
Just as I was about to give up, my God-gift was about to be handed to me on a silver platter. Look what greeted me as I approached the exit! At first I thought it was stuffed, like some sort of display. Not taking any chances I stopped dead in my tracks, slowly lifted the camera to my eye, and took a couple of shots, then I took two more steps and another two shots. I repeated this one more time, getting a total of six shots, and then he fled. After emailing the photo to a worker at the center, she was thrilled that I was able to capture this elusive fellow that they had only seen on the critter cam: a gray fox! She shared it on Facebook and I was a little bit of a sensation for a day. :) God is so good.
Gray Fox
Today I had another awesome gift awaiting me. Something I never thought I'd be able to shoot unless I traveled to another state. Stay tuned!

33 comments:

Jori said...

Awesome photos! Your cardinal photos are wonderful! I'm still trying to take a decent one! You have such a talent for wild life photography!

TexWisGirl said...

first your mom, then God. you're on a roll! :) great shots, and especially cool on the fox!!!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Isn't that just like our God to give us more than we dare ask for. These pictures are amazing. I have only seen a Cardinal twice and both times before I had a camera.

Brian King said...

Your bird shots are fantastic, Gail! The cardinals are beautiful! Way to go on the fox! That's awesome! I've never seen one close enough to even attempt photos. Great job!

Happydog said...

This are amazing...I'm always impressed with your bird photos (even if I don't always comment) but this are outstanding!

Tricia said...

I love the bird shots! Don't you just love cardinals? I had a pair make a nest right outside my dining room window a few years ago...they were so fun to watch. That fox photo is spectacular, Gail! How nice of him to stop and look right at you for a photo :)

Lisa Gordon said...

Gail, these are truly magnificent photographs! Each one is so nicely composed, and the backgrounds are just perfect. I especially love the turtle. Such a great capture.
Wishing you a wonderful day!
xo.

Amy Burzese said...

Beautiful, beautiful bird shots. Love them. And I believe that asking for something like that is also a thank you. Enjoy it.

Gone Country said...

Gorgeous photos! I love your ability to capture the light just right.

And what a special treat... the gray fox! Spectacular!

Lynn said...

Stupendous shot of the gray fox, Gail. Like he waited for you. Congratulations. I love his marking colors in the sunlight.

Carol L McKenna said...

Wow! What an array of wonderful photography of wildlife ~ especially love the fox ~

(A Creative Harbor) ^_^

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

I'm so excited about the fox! How cool is that? You got a wonderful assortment of wildlife shots!

Linda said...

Oh great...a blogging cliffhanger! :)

The cardinals, chickadees, squirrel, and turtle are gorgeous. You really captured some neat detail in that turtle. But the fox...what a special treat that was! And what a pose he gave you. You need to ask more often. :)

Nancy Claeys said...

Amazing shots and awesome capture of the fox! Wonderful!

hootnonny said...

As we say in my neck of the world, "God is good all the time; all the time God is good!" What a gift He gave you! There's a red fox family in my daughter's neighborhood that shows themselves now and then, but I never have my camera!

The birds are awesome. Particularly like the cardinals!

Have a great week, my friend.

Stephanie said...

What wonderful photos - the Lord is so good! :)
When I was younger, I used to stand outside with bird seed in my hand and the Chickadess would eat from my hand - such sweet birds.

Your pictures are such a gift and a blessing to look at - thank you for sharing!

Hugs to you,
Stephanie

ladyfi said...

So many beautiful gifts! Lovely shots.

Renae at simple sequins said...

ok Gail! How far away was Gray Foxxy? I would have been so frightened that takeing a snap would have been my last thought.

Yes LL and I are loving being together. He pats with his right had on any surface when he is excited; me, table, bed where ever when he sees something exciting.

Ruth said...

Oh! So beautiful, all of them of course but I do love foxes, you captured them all so beautifully Gail, that Cardinal sure is handsome too isn't he?

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Gail!!! I'm nearly speechless. As I scrolled through the post, on each picture I thought "oh your prayer came true." And then the final one. Incredible...you not only saw the gorgeous Mr Fox, you got the most adorable picture of him that anyone could ever hope for. You SHOULD be a sensation. Fabulous. (If I were closer to you I'd beg for an escorted photo tour.!) Wow....

Buttons said...

Well now I am curious. I love the fox and all your pics I love coming here

Ok no zucchini I used pineapple :) make do it was delicious just like pizza:) See you tomorrow for the surprise. hug B

Beth @ E. lizard Breath Speaks said...

love the fox. awesome capture. ( :

dinascitywildlife.com said...

So many amazing shots of the birds and that last one with the fox is the icing.

beth said...

sooooo incredibly gorgeous....and that fox, i tell you, doesn't he just have the most mischievous look ever :)
xo

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Totally amazing! Your grey fox!! And she even posed for you!! All the photos are lovely--- especially the red ear sliding turtle!! Those are the poor little turtles they sell in Woolworths and pet stores. Most end up dying.
I was home in St. Augustine this weekend and took some pictures of some grey pelicans while I was on a pier. Such a difference from my pelican photos and yours!! NO comparison!

Karen said...

Wow, what a great day out! Fabulous shots! The cardinals are so bright!

Linda R said...

So many great shots. And that grey fox looks so cool. How exciting to get a photo of him. And what a great photo it is..

Hugs~

Evelyn S. said...

It looks to me as if each one of these wonderful creatures deliberately posed for your camera! I already commented on that fabulous fox image on FB. What a prize!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

I love cardinals! And what a beautiful fox!!

Mitzi said...

Oh what a wonderful treat indeed! Cardinals are such beautiful creatures! Naturally, the fox was indeed an awesome surprise! Happy Tuesday! Big hugs, xoxo

Coloring Outside the Lines said...

I love perfect photo shoot days like this one- a blessing for sure. Nice shots too!

She Who Carries Camera said...

Oh Gail! What a wonderful response to your prayer! (He was SO listening!) :-) Superb captures!

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

GOD does seem to come through for even the smallest request. I too often think he is way too busy for my simple photography request but He does come through and he did for you too. LOOK at that FOX! He was posing for you big time! You also captures my cardnial perfectly too.