Borrego Springs, CA

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A day of challenges & an anniversary story

The clouds had rolled away by this morning so I picked up Barbara, and off we went to the East Unit to try to find some mottled ducks for my photography assignment.  It was a day for multiple layers of clothing and gloves.

Sprague's Pipit

As we neared an area that had thousands of ducks in it last week, a Sprague’s pipit was rummaging around in the grasses.  Nature photography has many challenges, and birds hopping around in amongst vegetation is one of them.  It’s frustrating to not get a clear view.

_MG_4549 _MG_4552

There are only a few cattle egrets left that haven’t migrated south, and I wanted to get a good picture of them doing their cattle thing.  Problem is they’re so white that it’s hard to get detail to show up in them.  They’re also very flighty so you can’t get very close to them.


                      Considering the cold temperatures, I was surprised to even see an alligator today.


There was no shortage of raptors, however.  I would have liked more detail in the face of this young red-tailed hawk.

Marbled Godwit Marbled Godwit

It was low tide when we neared the intracoastal waterway so lots of mudflats were exposed.  Only challenge here is that the birds, like this marbled godwit, are so far away.  There’s no way to get close enough for an outstanding shot.

_MG_4569 _MG_4567

I could get close enough for these shots of the exposed oysters.  Oysters Rockefeller anyone?  I really don’t mind these kinds of challenges.  Give me a day out on the refuge any time, and I’m happy as a clam (or oyster).

64 Anahuac NWR 201114

Alas, we didn’t find any mottled ducks to try to photograph, so on the way back we stopped at the boardwalk that leads to the handicapped hunting blind.  This may be my best bet for getting the pictures I need.  On a day without the bitter cold temperatures and biting winds, I may hunker down here to patiently wait for the ducks to come to me.  I’ll be sure to bring a gallon of bug spray with me though to combat the mosquitoes on a warmer day.  Winking smile

Back at the ranch, the battle of the rodents continues for several of us.  My score so far: mouse 5, me 3.  When I checked the one good trap today, it had gone off, but no mouse attached.  I bought two more of the traps I like this afternoon. 

Now for the anniversary story.  Today marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  I was not yet born at that time, but I do have a remembrance.   My father was in the printing trade at that time, and was exempt from the draft because his job was considered essential.  He died when I was eight, but I think he always regretted not being able to serve his country.  Every weekend, however, he spent time in the basement of the house in Chicago playing records on the victrola which resonated through the house.  Almost 60 years later, I still remember the words…

                                                   Let’s Remember Pearl Harbor,

                                                   As we go to meet the foe.

                                                   Let’s Remember Pearl Harbor,

                                                   As we did the Alamo.

                                                   We will always remember,

                                                   How they died for Liberty.

                                                   Let’s Remember Pearl Harbor,

                                                   And go on to Victory!

I will always remember…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy


  1. My dad also regretted not being able to go fight in WW ll he had broken ear drums and they would not take him..

  2. WONDERFUL bird photos, Judy! And thanks for sharing the memory about your dad....very sweet.

  3. wonderful memory of your Dad, Judy!..thanks for sharing!

  4. Yes, wonderful bird photos, as usual. That one cow seems to have her eye on you. Sorta seems like the alligator does too.

  5. My Dad would never talk about his experiences in the war. He was in the entire time and it took a real toll on him. He said he never understood why men wanted to relive it with each other.

    My mother always laughed and said that the real bomb wasn't in 1941.....it was when I was born on December 7th some years later. Now I recognize it as the joke it was but I clearly remember being very embarrassed whenever anyone asked me when my birthday was for fear this is what she would say.

  6. I don't know how my father felt, but i was always a little ashamed of the fact that my Dad wasn't in the war. He already had four kids at the time, I was born post war and was #5.

  7. I'm so happy to have found your blog. I'm going to be reading to get caught up! What wonderful photos.

  8. Your dad had nothing to be ashamed of, he did an important job. Somebody had to be behind the soldier on the front lines supplying him the items they need.

    Sounds like you're catching up to them meeses. Outnumber them with traps, great idea.

  9. Cattle egrets - how cool are they? You got a lot of good shots today. I, too, had a dad that didn't serve in the war. He was classified 4F because he was too skinny! I don't know what he thought about that, he never talked about it. But he did fill out, eventually.

  10. The bird photos are wonderful, even if they aren't all you want them to be. Your readers appreciate them.

  11. You may not be satisfied with your pictures but the rest of us sure like them. I'm glad you have that wonderful memory of your Dad.

  12. My Dad was crippled as a result of childhood polio and so was unable to serve. He was very proud of those family members that did serve. Too bad time has dimmed the memory of that generation for many people. Thanks you for the reminder.

    I agree with the others...I liked tonight's photos.

  13. Very nice tribute ... thanks for sharing.

  14. Your photos are always very good and interesting to me, but today the memory of your father was even better!


  15. When we were in Maui a few years ago, we flew over to the big island. We just had to see the Pearl Harbour memorial. It is a deeply moving place, very sombre and I felt like crying. So sad to think of all those men still down there. When you see the pictures of that day and then see it now it's hard to imagine the horror of that day.

  16. EVERYONE's job was important back then. We are privileged to have Den's Uncle Jr. still with us. He joined the Navy at age 18 in Sept., 1941, just in time to do boot camp and go to war..stationed on the USS Lexington (now a museum in Corpus Christi) and the USS Bennington, South Pacific theater.
    Love the bird perched on the cow!!

  17. Thank you for the verse about Pearl Harbor Day.. I heard about it thoughout my childhood, and had two uncles in the service at the time. One in the Marines and the other in the Army.

    It is also my oldest Grandson's birthday today.

    The pictures, as always, are great... :)

  18. Great photos as always and thanks for sharing your memory- nice.

  19. Great pics, especially of the cattle egrets and the hawk.
    Wonderful memory of your dad!

  20. such a well=written and illustrated blog you do, Judy.

    Thank you

  21. Judy, you might not be content with the detail of your photos because of the distance, But I am just glad to see what some of these birds and critters look like! I did recognize the red-tailed hawk as we have those around here, but you sure come across some strange looking ones.
    My father was also exempt from serving in WW 2 because of his job, but I am kinda glad for that because otherwise I would not be here. But God bless those who did and do serve our country in that way!