Short Stories and Random Observations

Short Stories and Random Observations

Maybe I have lost some of my ability to multi-task but I have to admit this moving/selling real estate effort has taken precedence over my birding and photography pursuits for the last few months. Probably because as I heard somewhere, moving is almost as stressful an event as losing your entire family in a sudden avalanche.

Or something like that. I have been in my new house for almost a month now, and I can remember my new zip code, I am learning the quirks (it took me FOREVER to find the hot water on the kitchen faucet) and last week I got the car in the garage for the first time!

So, I don't have a cohesive story for you this week; you will have to be content with some shots from here and there. 

Street sign on the backside of Surfside Beach, near the Intracoastal Canal Sony A77II with Sony 70-400 G2  f/9.0  1/1600 sec ISO 1000

Street sign on the backside of Surfside Beach, near the Intracoastal Canal

Sony A77II with Sony 70-400 G2  f/9.0  1/1600 sec ISO 1000

This probably wasn't the inspiration for the Robert Mitchum movie, or Springsteen's song... but you never know. I had passed this several times but recently jumped out to take a few shots. Old and odd things have a way of disappearing or worse yet; they get spruced up, repainted and then they look like everything else. So, telling yourself "next time" is not always a good strategy. 

Derelict marine paint store at Freeport Sony A77II with Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM  f/8.0  1/640 sec ISO 400

Derelict marine paint store at Freeport

Sony A77II with Sony DT 16-50mm f/2.8 SSM  f/8.0  1/640 sec ISO 400

I can't bear to go by the old paint store in Freeport. Last time we were there, they were renovating, painting and getting it ready to be a real business again. I much prefer the old version; I have a lot of images to use with photo art and merges. But, I will miss it.

Don't you admire the precision of our Texas Highway Department? Sony A77II with Sony 70-400 G2  f/9.0  1/1250 sec ISO 400

Don't you admire the precision of our Texas Highway Department?

Sony A77II with Sony 70-400 G2  f/9.0  1/1250 sec ISO 400

This sign always makes me smile. Just out of frame to the right is a low post where I got some great Osprey shots earlier this year. I was surprised to find I can remember the bird, the weather, the time of day of a lot of great images when I pass by a location. 

This is the bridge over the Intracoastal Canal headed toward Surfside Beach. We were going up and over when the binoculars fell off the dash and I jammed my left hand ring finger trying to catch them. It has never straightened out (even after therapy) but... it doesn't get in the way of any of the things I like or need to do.  There are worse things in life than a crooked finger. 

Cute Little Blue Heron nestling from the Spring Sony A77II with Sony 70-400 G2  f/5.6  1/500 sec ISO 1000

Cute Little Blue Heron nestling from the Spring

Sony A77II with Sony 70-400 G2  f/5.6  1/500 sec ISO 1000

Back in the Spring we found a nesting site for Little Blue Herons. I wrote all about it in Little Rookery but as I was going through my archives for this adventure, I noticed I never showed any of the babies we found when we went back in May. Little Blues are all white for the at least the first year; as they start getting their big boy blue feathers they are often two-toned. 

I put that in so there this is at least a ONE bird adventure. 

View from the road to Quintana Sony A77II with Sony 70-400 G2  f/5.61/800 sec ISO 1250

View from the road to Quintana

Sony A77II with Sony 70-400 G2  f/5.61/800 sec ISO 1250

On the road to Quintana and the jetty is the Freeport LNG facility. It is massive and I have photographed it from a lot of different angles. I love the giant pipes and curves. Back in another life I used to work with engineering drawings for huge processing and refining plants and this represents so much work from multitudes of people. The design, fabrication, logistics and construction of one of these plants is a monumental undertaking. 

And they are an exceptionally good neighbor to the surrounding area: LNG Nature Conservancy.

Swirls and curves Sony A77II with Sony 70-400 G2  f/6.3  1/1600 sec ISO 640

Swirls and curves

Sony A77II with Sony 70-400 G2  f/6.3  1/1600 sec ISO 640

OK. I do find strange things out looking for birds.  We were looking for a lagoon south of Bryan Beach and found that access has now been cut off by a huge washed up log. This was a huge pile of fish bones that caught my eye. I think these were from a fisherman as they were headless and not the product of a die-off. 

update: Bill just told me these were not fisherman rejects, but probably just washed up in a pile with the tides and storms. The heads are more dense and got separated from the bodies. Just so you will know if you stumble across a big pile of fish skeletons any time soon. 

The image has been post-processed with a bit of Topaz Glow and I am sure it will find its way into some photo art in the future. 

New house with all the books unpacked Galaxy Note 4 photo

New house with all the books unpacked

Galaxy Note 4 photo

And here is what has been taking a lot of my time and effort. I should have counted the boxes of books, but I was too busy packing and stacking. I still have a few art things to put in those empty spots up top, and I am going to put all my fiction books in a tall bookcase in the guest bedroom. These are all history, current events and biographies. And a bit of sci-fi. 

Funny, I haven't bought a physical book in a few years; I have purchased some Kindle versions, but I don't read as much as I used to.  As I was putting these up, I thought about rereading and revisiting a lot of subjects. Might be a nice way to spend a cold, rainy afternoon. 

Maybe I will do book reviews for a change of pace. 

And what are you reading at the moment? Do you have a lot of books? Are there places or moments you wish you had thought to photograph? Let me know in the comments below. 

The Greatest Heron

The Greatest Heron

Why I Missed Half of Dancing with the Stars Last Week

Why I Missed Half of Dancing with the Stars Last Week