Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Return to Bluebonnet Swamp

October 25 was my first day back to Bluebonnet Swamp since May. Except for boardwalks and established trails, the swamp is largely left alone to grow as natural as possible. The trees and vegetation get so thick it's hard to walk though there and still breathe during summer months (about half the year!). From the end of May to the second week of October I dare not enter. Well, here I was happy to be back, meandering the trails happy as a clam, when before I knew it I was slapping at mosquitoes. One would think the last week of October, these detestable insects would no longer be a problem. I forget I'm not in Texas anymore; I have to remember this place is almost like the tropics. You'll be happy to know that I put a can of OFF in my camera bag, so I will be ready next time, even if it's the middle of winter. Ha!
This was my one and only chance to shoot the titmouse. Not bad! I love their little faux hawks, big eyes and animated ways.
They're quick as lightning, though.

Double D and I were getting ready to pack it in since not much was happening, when all of a sudden
we came upon two immature ibises.

They looked like they were on a see-saw.

I spotted this one first and asked Double D if he was real. The staff had decorated the swamp for a Halloween hike, so I wasn't sure.
The ibis finally moved, so I knew it was real. They stood there calmly letting me take my shots. Sorry about the harsh sunlight, but I
was relegated to one vantage point.

Took this with my iphone to show you where I was standing while shooting the ibises.
In June I finally broke down and bought a sturdy tripod - a Benro - and I love it.

Linking with Wild Bird Wednesday and I'd Rather B Birdin'. Many, many thanks, Stewart and Anni!

36 comments:

Optimistic Existentialist said...

The ibises are beautiful. Lovely captures :)

Anni said...

Wonderful images...Of course, I have come to expect that when I stop by to visit with you!!

I like the idea of how you showed us where you are with your camera...neat idea.

Oh, and the ibis?!! Love 'em.

Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

So pretty. Congrats on the new tripod. I can't imagine dealing w/ all those mosquitos still. It got cold here this week!

Pallavi said...

The pictures are beautiful especially the first one of the titmouse . Love how your capture the vivid colors of the birds :) nice to see the "behind the scenes" shot of the photographer at work.

Stephanie said...

That first photo is so beautiful, Gail :) I always love seeing your pictures. Hugs to you!

Jacquelineand.... said...

These are stunning Gail, I especially love the titmouse!

Thank you for your kind comment and I'm trying to get back into the habit of blogging and coming to read my friend's blogs.

Rosemary Aubut said...

Awesome images Gail! Love them all and it would be hard to pick a favorite! Hate those horrible insects! Looks like a sturdy tripod! Congrats on the purchase!

Kim Stevens said...

Great capture of the titmouse for only one shot, he is so cute! And I've been seeing the White Ibis flying in the sky lately, love those guys. Not sure where in Texas you lived before, but when I walk on the coastal birding trail by Galveston Bay, I'm still swatting at skeeter too.... :(

TexWisGirl said...

awesome to see the young ibises! they're so cool. i love titmouses, too. just adorable little things.

Karen said...

That titmouse is sooo cute! Great shots of the ibis as well. I was thinking about asking for a tripod for Christmas, I've never used one.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

Nice to see your camera on the tripod!!
Beautiful Ibis!! All your photos are lovely!! Especially with the cypress tree as the back drop!! Love those ancient trees!! Awesome shots!!

Lady Lilith BloodCrave said...

Looks like you found an amazing spot. The images are really nice.

Mitzi said...

those ibises are too cute & yes, they do look like they are on a see-saw! Love the spot you picked for this session. Still have lens envy...will have to figure out where to buy one. None of the local shops have them. Beautiful photos my dear...stay warm today.

Carletta said...

The titmouse is such an endearing little bird. One shot and caught with a seed in his mouth - perfect!
I smiled when I read 'see-saw'.
Two little ones out to play
Standing so still
Hoping you'd go away. :)
I love that you included the tripod shot. It gives us a great view and sense of where you were.

EG CameraGirl said...

Althugh I've had plenty of experiences with mosquitoes, I have never seen a titmouse or an ibis! Great photos.

Rosie Grey said...

Mosquitoes at the end of October...!?! I'm so glad you didn't get scared off by them! I love your photos so much, Gail, it's like a peek into another world!

Rosie Grey said...

Mosquitoes at the end of October...!?! I'm so glad you didn't get scared off by them! I love your photos so much, Gail, it's like a peek into another world!

Rosie Grey said...

Mosquitoes at the end of October...!?! I'm so glad you didn't get scared off by them! I love your photos so much, Gail, it's like a peek into another world!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Beautiful shots. A friend of mine is heading to Florida on Friday and is hoping to go to many of the nature preserves. I am just a little jealous.Hope he at least sends me some pictures.

Willow said...

Beautiful catches !
I have never used a tripod, something I must learn when I get a nice camera :) speaking of which yours looks like a great one !

Kittie Howard said...

Your photos are so gorgeous I wish you'd send a sample to NatGeo. I have every confidence you'd be included in one of their periodic bird spreads.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Beautiful images... I've seen immature ibis before in very similar positions -- as if they're pointedly ignoring each other.

Neil said...

Beautiful series.

Dave said...

Lovely birds captured here, and not a bad bit of kit....

Dave said...

I should add that its about time I used my Tripod. I have had it 5 years and never used it (apart from photographing the moon at night...), It will get an airing soon!

bailey-road.com said...

Love those little big-eyed birds. Great shots of the ibises.

Terri Buster said...

The ibises are so cute! I need a tripod...I can't be still to save my life...it's a wonder any of my photos turn out!

Linda said...

Oh, I love the shot of the titmouse, with the sunflower seed in its beak. It's just a beautiful shot. The ibis photos are great, too. Such a nice sighting. I love that you took a picture of your camera equipment, too.

Tricia said...

Your photos are always so wonderful! I'm especially fond of that first one. I just got a new tripod too...it took me forever to make a decision.

Brian King said...

Love the titmouse! Nice shot with the seed! The ibises are so cool! One of those birds we don't have here. A good tripod is so handy.

Stewart M said...

Its a truth universally acknowledged that a photographer will eventually buy a tripod!

Nice pictures.

Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

eileeninmd said...

The Titmouse is a cutie and I love the juvie Ibis! Great shots.

Margaret Adamson said...

Hi. Wonderful shot of Titmouse and great to find the 2 Ibis

Gunilla B├Ąck said...

The titmouse is adorable. Lovely shots of the ibises. I must confess I have a tripod too, but I have never used it.

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Wally Jones said...

Great photographs, Gail!
It's tough to get a Titmouse to hold still at all, so nice work in catching that one!

Don't you know - 'skeeters all migrate from the north to Louisiana and Florida for the winter!