Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving Day Parade of Color

I find it difficult to write stories about time with family.  Not because of some family secret to hide; but because I’m not very good at expressing my feelings of joy without sounding mushy.  Simply stated:  I love time with family.  But when you grow up with brothers, you never want to sound too mushy.  Rough-and-tumble and tough-cookie is the legend made. 

My in-state sibling knows that spending Thanksgiving Day with me will mean a day of birding; not a day of home-cooked extravagance.  There was a time in my life that I hosted family feasts, with all the traditions and southern specialties of turkey and dressing, sweet potato casserole, peach cobbler and such; but those days are long gone.  Those sit-down food-oriented gatherings were from a much different way of life.  Those days were wonderful; as these days can be.
The common thread of the now and then is that I’m blessed with siblings that enjoy outdoor days in the field.  Those childhood family-camping years left a positive mark on each of us.  We each focus a bit differently on Mother Nature’s creation and bounty; but we each enjoy sharing and learning from one another: a tree expert and much more; a fossil expert and much more; and a birding enthusiast and a wee bit more.

This Thanksgiving Day the in-state sib and I drove to Galveston, with water-proof boots and cameras.  We spent a beautiful day traipsing about the saltwater marshes of the bay-side of Galveston Island State Park.  I shot (digitally) a few good specialty birds, and will save those for another post.  I’ll give myself the excuse of being the driver and tour guide, which resulted in my sib getting better photos (I’m hoping) of a Sedge Wren, White-tailed Kite, Reddish Egret, Vesper Sparrow and a few other good gets for the day.    
Today I wanted to post a not too mushy overview of this picture perfect Thanksgiving Day.  I only promised two “probable” sightings to my brother:  Sandhill Cranes and White-tailed Kites.  Mother Nature backed me up on both.

 The day’s parade of color began with Sandhill Cranes amid a yellow field and backdrop:

We spotted kayakers out enjoying the bayside water trails of GISP:


Eastern Meadowlarks would call and fuss and fly about.  This one posed for an artistic shot:


American Kestrels are commonly sighted on power lines this time of year.  But this beauty posed on a snag, giving us a lovely view:


A Killdeer came my way, calling out “Take a picture of me! I may be common but I’m also handsome!  Take a picture of ME!”  How could I not?


And two White-tailed Kites gave us multiple photo opportunities.  I’m hoping to get some fantastic photos that my sib took from the passenger-side seat of the car, as we watched a setting sun give perfect lighting for a fence-height view of a White-tailed.  For today, I added this photo with a colorful focus on those brilliant-orange talons:


And my favorite sighting of the day—sib, happily shooting photos of my feathered friends:

Without getting too mushy: I’ll treasure this day’s memory as long as memory allows.  It's never too late to start new family traditions.


  1. That was a great day, wasn't it!

  2. I find white-tailed kites rather skittish and camera shy. I especially liked the interesting tail molt going on in your shot.

  3. How special!! ;-) Susan


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