Saturday, February 11, 2012

An Enchanted Outing

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area
Fredicksburg, TX

I never pass up an opportunity to go birding
and when my daughter signed us up for a bird walk  at
I was very excited.

Nestled in the Hill Country, I'd never explored this area before,
on foot, anyway.
Open oak woodland, mesquite grassland,
floodplain, and granite rock formations
sounded like good birding to me!

Having driven two hours before the day dawned
and braving the cold,
here is what was waiting for us upon our arrival:

It was on this day that my camera ceased to function.
My daughter came to my rescue and whipped out her phone.
Technology is amazing!

Cold and dreary did not dominate the day.
The sun came out for a quick visit just as our little troop
approached the massive granite boulders,
and the air filled with birdsong,

lead vocalizations compliments of
the Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus).

It was our good fortune to be in the company of
Dr. Kent Rylander, birding-by-ear extraordinaire,

And my personal good fortune that one of the geeky birders present,
Dr. John Wilbur,
graciously agreed to share some of his pictures with me,
because, you see, I saw FOUR life birds!

(Amphispiza bilineata)

(Spinus psaltria)

(Salpinctes obsoletus)

And last, but not least,

(Melozone fusca)

I have to explain that my daughter claims not to be a birder.
But I raised her to enjoy the out of doors
and to be a good daughter,
and she is always considerate and makes sure I find fulfillment
when I am visiting with her.

Claiming 98 Life Birds, now,
my non-birding daughter made this proclaimation,
"Half-way through, I wanted to go curl up in the car
and wait for you to finish,
but if I had, I wouldn't have seen the Lesser Goldfinches."
Hmmm, sounds like a birder to me!!

I leave you with just one question.
Which path is the right path?


Kay L. Davies said...

Yes, Karen, your daughter sounds like a birder. And four life birds in one day for you. Fabulous. But your poor camera, and poor you having a sick camera. I hope it's nothing serious.
Meanwhile, I'm glad you're having such a good time.

TexWisGirl said...

oh, that is too cute! i believe your daughter has it in her whether she wants it or not! :)

Dave said...

YEAH! More lifer's are always a good thing!

eileeninmd said...

Great post and a great day of birding. Very nice taht you and your daughter shared this outing. I love all the birds and all of them would be new birds for me. The phone takes great photos. Have a lovely weekend!

grammie g said...

Hi Karen...What fun..I love it when just my daughter and I can get together with the same interests "birding" lol!
Great going on the lifer how much better could it have been..well if the camera hadn't failed you it would have been saved the day ""lol!!

Carole said...

Oh, I hate that cameraless feeling! But what a lovely birding day you had and saw some great birds. Don't you just love the canyon wren's song?! And, yep, your daughter is well on her way to being a birder.

Johnny Nutcase said...

Yeah! E-rock! I've spent a lot of time there and was just there recently. Definitely a fun place to hike, camp and climb! Glad you had fun! But sorry your camera decided to not cooperate!

john bord said...

Sorry about the camera, then that's why I carry a point n shoot for back up.
Neat shots an congrats on the birds.

Linda Reeder said...

Daughters try very hard not to be like their mothers, but it ends up happening anyway. :-)
Great birding photos, especially with a phone.

holdingmoments said...

I think she's a birder too lol
Congratulations on the lifers.

FlourishingPalms said...

What a great day for you! You have a very thoughtful daughter to have planned that outing for the two of you. And that you had the opportunity to be with such knowledgeable doctors, AND to have seen four life birds... well I can sure appreciate what a special day it was! Sorry to hear about your camera though. I keep waiting for mine to do exactly the same thing, at exactly the worst time.

Abby and Stephanie said...

Good daughter and her phone takes great photos. Love the rugged landscape and those cactus are familiar from my desert upbringing. Glad you had a wonderful outing.

Sondra said...

OH SUPER 4 new lifers in one outing that is a stellar day for sure!

Lois Evensen said...

Being a birder definitely grows on us, doesn't it! :) Lovely post.

Carrie P. said...

Neat landscape. Those are some big boulders.
Great bird photos too. The lesser goldfinch is great to see.
Oh boy those paths are confusing. lol

Rambling Woods said...

My daughter is now feeding and identifying the is a great hobby and what a beautiful place to be able to bird in...Michelle

Just Ramblin' said...

What a great outing for you and your daughter. So sorry about your camera. Loved all the pictures you posted,but especially loved the one of the rock wren getting a drink from the cactus---at least that's what it looks like. I assume they poke their beak into the cactus for moisture? Thanks for sharing. Nola

Dog-Walker said...

Bird Study it is like on the merit badge, Bird Study. I might write a post like that on my blog someday in my free time.

Cuby said...

Lovely shots today but I do love the black throated sparrow which reminds me of a dipper. Delightful little birds. Granite formatioms most interesting.

Simone de Klerk said...

Amazing pictures! And your daughter is a real birder!
Great question at the end. Did you find the right path?

Marvin said...

I love your posts that take me back 30+ years (hard to believe it's been that long), to when my wife and I were bumming around various parks and natural areas in Texas. Thanks, and sorry about your camera.

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Beautiful photos and yep.....your daughter is a birder!!
Quilting by the River

walk2write said...

Your outing certainly was enchanted! Camera was on the blink, but love saved the day. I'm so happy for you that you got to see the four lifers that day. What a treat it must have been.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Nicely done Karen, those are some neat birds I've never seen.

Kathie Brown said...

Cute post. Very funny. Sorry about the camera failure. Thank God for technology! I am so glad you saw all those birds! I used to see everyone of those species when I lived in AZ! Congrats on all your lifers! I love Rock Wrens!

As for the right path; it is wherever your heart takes you!

Linda said...

I'm not a birder, but I do appreciate their beauty! We are beginning to see the scout hummingbirds in south Texas. They will be out in huge numbers soon. I will be filling four feeders a day by June and I start to feel like they're my babies. I even had to have someone come out while I was out of town last year to refill my feeders every day. Maybe I'm a "hummingbirder"!

Julie G. said...

Sounds like you spent a lovely day with your daughter birding. Seeing four life birds is very exciting. Too bad about your camera. I hope it is something that can be fixed easily. It was nice to see the photographs you posted, as I have never seen any of those birds before. Yes, I believe your daughter is officially a birder! said...

awww! how cute are those little birdies!
Sounds like a great day K!

Anonymous said...

The path you take is the right path, because it takes you where you are. Lovely for the life birds, and the chance to bird in such a lovely, productive spot.