Sunday, December 28, 2014

December Days (at Brazos Bend)

Winter weather finally arrived yesterday; a rainy cold front, with temperatures this noontime still in the 40’s and the lovely sound of rain to keep me company.  I have a lot of great Airstream memories in this kind of weather. 

I’d gear up with rubber boots and a rainproof jacket as my outer layer, and bird and walk in cold drizzle.  Back into the Airstream I’d be greeted with the warm furnace, and a sofa to put up my feet and pour over bird guides.  Hot tea would bring me cheer.

But today I’ll give thanks for my little stick home as the furnace and LP system of the Winnebago View don’t yet fall into the trustworthy category. 

With this constraint, the upcoming week’s weather forecast will keep me close to my stick house, day tripping and running errands.  That’s OK because I have a zillion-bites of photos to develop. 

And after all, this is the Texas Coast.  Soon the low temperatures will be warmer and I’ll be back out in the View.  (By the way, thanks to Patty for the electric room heater suggestion.  It works great as long as the temperatures don’t dip too low.  It works perfectly for nighttime temperatures that stay in the upper 40’s.)

Last night I caught up on the December posts of the four blogs that I regularly follow (and link on my blog page).  Reading those posts brought back memories of years when opening Christmas presents was a part of my life.  Catching up with Patty, Judy, Hazel and Trisha, and the wonderfully unique lives they live, brought me great cheer. 

Joey and Scout's digging and running and dressing up in new PJs chase away my blues, and Patty’s beach photos made me want to say “You have a photo of a Willet on a beautiful beach!” 

Hazel’s day-in-the-life of roof and awnings and care-giving for her beloved four-legged Ones makes me want to say “You stay strong!” 

And Judy’s stories always blow my mind with her amazing NWR volunteer work—but December’s photos make me envy Emma’s lake view! And the ongoing story of Emma and the bees cause me to call out “Bendadryl is the emergency drug that every medicine cabinet should hold!”  (Benadryl has saved me from severe allergic reactions more than once.)

And then there is Ms. T, and her “wonderfully flawed” life.  I’m blessed to know the sound of her voice behind those gentle-spirited stories she so openly shares, addressing current events with an honesty that has no hint of proselytism.  Please keep writing.  Facebook?  What’s that?  J

So to all four of you, I give thanks for your wonderful stories and photos that I opened last night.  Christmas morning is what you gave me.

And now it is time for me to start sorting and developing those zillion-bites of bird photos. With photo development as my focus for this last week of 2014, I hope to post several daily blogs with species photos rather than stories. 

But for today’s blog, I’ve developed these “scene-catching” photos from my recent three nights, and four days at Brazos Bend.  Brazos Bend is my Holy Land. 

The iconic tower and forty-acre lake:

I love having access to my bicycle when camping at Brazos Bend.  I can ride from the campground to different locales and habitats in this large park, and walk and bird with bicycle in the wing.  I was tickled by this group of (out-of-focus) White Ibis.  They ambled down the wooded trail in front of my bicycle.  When I got off my bicycle to bird, they’d fly up into the trees and watch me.  When I’d return to my bike, they’d return to “leading” me on down the trail.

This year has brought a bounty of rain.  I’m always drawn to the reflections:

And the concept of being alone, or lonely, is a bit of a fabrication if we are in Mother Nature’s Land of the Living.  I constantly find myself being watched by the feathered Ones; in this case, a Tufted Titmouse was watching me photograph Swamp Sparrows:

And then there is this park’s most famous icon; the trail keepers that (patiently?) deal with my almost tripping over them:

May your day be birdy!


  1. I especially like the photo of the titmouse. You must have a very good eye and camera!

    1. Thanks, Hazel! It is a long story about that Titmouse--and one of my favorite moments. Standing so still, for so long, to get the Swamp Sparrows to come out, and all that time the Titmouse was holding still and watching me!

  2. I am glad the heater works for you. We actually have two, but mainly use just one. We only use the propane when the heaters can't keep up with the cold.

    Glad you enjoyed the photos from our blog.

    There is someone with a View here and at first I thought it might be you, but obviously it was not. ;-)

    1. The room heater is so much quieter than the A/C heat pump--I got my first night of sleep after you suggested the little heater!

      I'd love to see you, Scout and Joey. If y'all come to Texas, please let me know. I'll get in my View and pull into your campground. Or if you come to Houston, this time, I want to buy you a GOOD hamburger at one of my favorite restaurants. :-)


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