Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Anahuac NWR: Colors of the Day

This morning I drove over to a local greenbelt to enjoy my hour walk before today’s activities gave excuse for missing my daily exercise.  At 9:00 a.m. it was a gorgeous 61 degrees under sunny skies; perfect outdoor air conditioning for a good walk in shorts and T-shirt. 

Today’s big activity is a rare one for me:  I’m driving into Houston to meet up with an old college friend, one I haven’t seen in a good many years. We knew each other when we were young.  Seems I can’t use that sentence very often anymore.   Her life path and my life path haven’t crossed often enough.  But when we do get together, good conversation is always an offered gift.
And as I get ready for a late-in-the-day drive and visit, I thought I’d post this set of photos from last Friday’s daytrip to Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge. 

I enjoyed the slow day of birding at Anahuac.  After a lifetime of chasing the busyness of life, I rarely mind a slow birding day.  It gives me chance to take a good long look at the colors of the day.

A pair of Mottled Ducks, matching the fall colors of the marsh.  Note the brighter yellow of the male’s bill (as always, click on photos for full screen view):
Take a close look at these two Neotropic Cormorants Fall-ing in love.  Note the white V of their malars (the white V surrounding the yellow base of their bills).  These lovebirds are sporting springtime breeding plumage on this quiet November day!  And take a look at a birding field guide’s range map for the Neotropic Cormorant.  This Texas coastal bird is rarely sighted elsewhere is the U.S.

A quiet moment from a Pied-billed Grebe; grebes are divers, not dabblers, when it comes to their fishing technique.  It is great fun to watch these grebes’ sudden plunge into the great deep; they seem to make the same exaggerated motion, just before the dive, as a child will make when announcing held breath for a surface dive into a summer’s swimming pool.

Another of my local favorites, the Snowy Egret; for a quick moment this Snowy missed my quiet watch, coming so close to me, I couldn’t get the entire bird in-frame:


The Tricolored Heron with her matching living room (my Sunday’s blog post).  Her flight chastised me for staring at her lovely eyes, feathered outfit and matching d├ęcor.  And as usual, I attempted my in-flight photographic dance; and as usual, I almost got the photo:

A forest of backlit cattails, a childhood favorite:


And the ancient-middle-earthly look of this lovely forested swamp, easily accessible via the Anahuac Visitor’s Center boardwalk:

Friday was a good day to be at Anahuac.  This morning was a good time to walk the upper gulf coast of Texas in shorts and T-shirt.  

And as I listen to the north wind announcing her forecasted arrival, I’m realizing that this evening may be a good time to find and take a jacket.


  1. If you can slog through rush hour traffic, I can brave the blogosphere (I had to look up how to spell blogosphere). I had a grand time.

    Love, your inarticulate friend Judy

  2. Your love of nature and photography really shines through!


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