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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out


Harnessing Nature

NATURE NOTES & WILD BIRD WEDNESDAY -Finally, after nearly two weeks of overcast skies, the cloud cover broke and blue sky showed itself again!!! Tho, the cold front didn't really move out; it remained quite chilly of the mornings...Bud and I wanted to get out of the house so badly after the bout of near pneumonia symptoms, we hopped in the car and drove to the islands early Sunday morning. More or less, just to view the world around us. Seems a long two weeks of being cooped up inside, coughing. The nasty flu bug is finally subsiding and all's right with the world again. At least where it concerns ourselves. LOL We didn't spend much time walking and birding because, as I said, the cold front remained and the early morning wind was cold...tho refreshing. We stopped at a birding area along the ship channel in Port A, and walked the paved pathway. This particular pathway is not shaded and in full sun. We saw mockingbirds, a loggerhead shrike, several ducks and shovelers on the nearby pond, and four beautiful Savannah Sparrows.  And more at other birding refuges...


This past weekend began the international Christmas Bird Count [CBC]. While we were out, on Sunday, this is my bird count that day...


...some have not been identified yet, but photos were taken for record. Once I have time to ID them by the end of the bird count on January 8, 2014, I will have a total tally and proper identification; I hope!!

Another note on nature: In the past few decades, capturing energy from natural resources has become a part of our every-day lives. Solar Energy Panels on roof-tops, for one. Another is Wind Turbines. I remember the first time I saw a wind turbine 'farm'. It was just before sunrise and the sky was beginning to turn the pale blue-gray as I looked out the car's windshield. I was driving along Interstate 10 heading from Fort Stockton, Texas. Everywhere I looked along the horizon I saw these tall, monstrous white windmills jutting up from the fields. With the early morning lighting and the silence of me being in the car alone, well...it made for an eerie feeling. Like something out of a Sci-Fi movie. Now, today, they're just about everywhere you go. At one area near town, between my city and crossing the North Bay after coming down off the Harbor Bridge...in the far distance, near the town of Portland, Texas...the entire landscape just above the water's surface, the wind generators [turbines] are seen. As we walk along the Sunset Lake Park path, off of our shoulders they loom up just above the tree-tops. I zoomed in on some. Mind you, this is not as close as it looks when we're on the birding/biking path...these are actually a mile or more distance from where I stood and snapped this photo:


...read more on Texas Wind Farms

Another way of capturing nature's resources is found at the bottom of the sea. This image I share is taken from the same Sunset Lake Park between Corpus Christi and Portland, Texas. The distance is great from where I stand. The scene is out in the bay looking toward a small, one time naval base town of Ingleside, Texas. I'm really not sure if this is oil or natural gas. Your guess is as good as mine...






Joyce's Wednesday Hodgepodge this week are these questions -


1. Do you believe in miracles? I personally think everyone believes in miracles. I do.

2. What's a recent fad you admit to trying? It's not all that recent, what is meant by recent?!! I guess it would be my Kindle Reader. I remember stuff/things like mini-skirts [ya baby!!] and cut off jean shorts--did you ever wear jean shorts and go traipsing around all the fraternities to get your butt branded with their brand? I did! But that was eons ago. I had a whole slew of all the guys' fraternity brands.

3. Peppermint-are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite food or beverage containing peppermint? It's okay. It would be the peppermint hard candy mints for me.

4. Break the ice, on thin ice, as cold as ice (emotionally, not literally)...which phrase have you run into most recently? Explain. Of the three...it would be our government walking on thin ice. And no explanation needed...self-explanatory.

5. Have you ever broken or spilled something in someone else's home? Still friends? Not that I recall.

6. 'Tis the week before Christmas...are you feeling more like Buddy the Elf or the Grinch before his heart grew? For the holidays, I'm always cheerful and ready for Christmas.

7. Share a favorite quote relating to Christmas. So many I can think of, but you want just one....Okay, this one is from the movie Polar Express and it's Santa talking to the boy who doesn't believe in Santa until he gets to the North Pole----Santa Claus: "This bell is a wonderful symbol of the spirit of Christmas - as am I. Just remember, the true spirit of Christmas lies in your heart."



8. Insert your own random thought here.
It seems, once again, G=00=Gle has instigated another few new features that may startle you or surprise you. Photo features are now part of the integral scheme of things. All automatic unless you decide to take control of your own blog posts and photo enhancements...or decide that you want control again. It's my understanding that it's just for those who are utilizing G=00=Gle+. If you are, and you have noticed that your images [which to me changing them as they do without your knowledge is a breech of copyright...but what do I know!?!! Might be that your agreeing to their TOS has given them the right...but I still think it's wrong of them], you can change the way they add effects and enhance your images. Here's how. Be logged into your account. Take your cursor and to the top left...find the 'settings'. For me it was the drop down feature. Click on settings. Find this section of the window that opens...



...uncheck "auto awesome"
and, if you've noticed that your images change contrast, darkness/lightness...you may want to click the radio button just above the "auto awesome" [called auto enhance] to OFF.

And then make sure your setting changes are saved.  As far as I know, the feature is just for those using the plus version when blogging.


...read more

62 comments :

  1. So glad you two are feeling better and were able to get out. You got some great pictures and saw an impressive number of birds.
    I haven't started with Google plus because there seems to be so many weird things with it. This is just another reason not to use it! I hate when someone comments on my blog and I try to visit theirs, only to find something that says - you are not in this persons circle... and I can't even say hi!

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    1. Mari....if you can't find anywhere to leave a comment on those that have only Google Plus...try clicking on 'about' or scroll down a bit to see if you can find their 'current'...and click on that...sometimes it'll take you to their most recent post. Without being in their 'circles'.

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  2. "mockingbirds, a loggerhead shrike, several ducks and shovelers on the nearby pond, and four beautiful Savannah Sparrows" - what a wonderful list.

    I am having great fun with the #autoawesome posts - it's only snow on my quickie phone shots, and they give you non-snow as well. I don't upload most of my shots to Google.

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    1. I have been keeping track of the ones I've seen in the past couple of days also. It's a birding paradise here in south Texas.

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  3. Wow- that's a great list of birds sighted- sounds like a fantastic outing!

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    1. ...there is rarely a day when we go out that we don't find some good birding opportunities.

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  4. I had another friend who alerted me to the Google+ "enhancement" thingy. I also learned that you cannot delete your Google+ account without losing all the pictures in your previous posts! So I will just leave it alone. I already had the setting turned off. Thanks for the info! :-)

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    1. Well, luckily, I didn't lose any of my photos when I went back to the older version of Blogger/Google.

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  5. i don't appreciate that google implements these features and puts them 'on' by default so we have to take them off. but that's how they roll. taking over the world.

    you definitely see a GREAT variety of birds, there.

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    1. I'm right there in agreement with you about the monopoly of sorts with Google.

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  6. Thanks for the heads up on Google. I'll check out my settings. Glad to hear that you're feeling better. It's been lovely here for the past few days, but it sure has been chilly. I shouldn't complain regarding the weather because we have it really easy compared to many others elsewhere. Thanks for visiting!

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  7. You saw your share of birds it seems. I only know of one of those wind turbines around here. My home town has a large area with the solar panels. Glad you are feeling like getting out again.

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    1. We drove along the backside of the ship channel here the other day where they're putting up new ones...and my goodness they're colossal!! Scary in fact.

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  8. Oh, what a sweet sparrow! Lovely shots. Quite an impressive Christmas count Anni!

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    1. So far, the count is looking pretty good. Altho, we don't go out every day, but still this is a great place for birding.

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  9. Anni yay you were able to get out to commune with nature finally.
    Thankfully our rain has finally left.
    thanks for the hint on Google
    Hugs Madi and Mom

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  10. Your bird list is impressive!! I'm a tad jealous of the Northern Flicker, but happy you saw him. :) I just learned about auto-enhance today from another blogger...yeah, it's not cool. But the effect it gave her photo was pretty nice, I had to admit. I don't upload photos to G+, only blog posts, and I haven't seen that they've been affected. Glad you're feeling better!

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    1. ...seems, at least for me...when I change my background with Blogger/Google..it becomes distorted. So I hafta upload it to another server. Bah!!!

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  11. Great bird-photos!

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  12. Boo Hoo, not many birds here except crows. Well there are some winter varieties but they go to homes with feeders. I got sick of the squirrels taking over our feeders so gave up feeding birds. We saw a lovely pair of Bald Eagles fly over the lake a few days ago and also a red tailed hawk. Your sighting list is impressive.

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    1. I am more than happy to feed the squirrels too. Heck, they get more of our pecans from the tree than we do.

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  13. So many beautiful birds… I'm glad you were able to get out.

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  14. Thanks for the Google hint. Appreciated. I don't go birding, but know a few who are into it. It is a pleasant pass-time, but I think could become an obsession...probably why I haven't started going, too!!

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    1. ...oh yes, it can easily turn into an obsession, but it can be a healthy obsession. Exercise, fresh air...and a big plus when you spot a bird on your 'to find' list!!

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  15. Good for you doing a bird count ... it takes time and knowledge and it is wonderful that you are able to do it. As for the wind farms ... I am all for natural energy, but in our country we have just thrown them up everywhere without doing studies on bird migration or habitat. Many birds are being killed by the wind turbins ... that makes me sad and disappointed in our haphazard approach.

    Also thank you for your information about G-oo-gle. I have had some problems with my picutres and i will go to the settings and turn them off if they are there. Good to know.

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. ...glad to help you out Andrea.

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  16. I have been stick in the house, too, with some kind of virus. And am hoping to finally get out today! I believe miracles happen every day but we do not recognize them as such! People seem to call them luck!

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    1. Yep....I've mentioned being lucky often, but it IS miraculous.

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  17. Great list of birds, Anni! I love the cute Sparrow photos. I am glad you and Bud are feeling better now too. Thank for the Google tips, I went and changed mine right away. Have a great evening and week ahead!

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    1. ...thanks Eileen. And glad to help you when I can.

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  18. I am sure hoping they can change over some of the wind power machines, so that they are still usefull, but not so hard of the birds. Your little bird friends are really charming. Have a HAPPY ;)

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    1. They're monstrous.
      Thanks for stopping by, glad you enjoyed the sparrows this week.

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  19. Wow.... Great list... I am glad you both are feeling better. I can relate to being cooped up... Too cold to spend a lot of time outside for me... Michelle

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    1. ...being indoors so long is not good for the soul. At least that's why I'm more than happy to finally get out and enjoy the balmy winter, now that the temps once again are back to normal.

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  20. Glad you are feeling better. Sometimes it seems like those colds want to stick with you forever.
    The whole google thing is just wrong. Makes me crazy how they are always making changes

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    1. Yes, I agree....all kinds of wrong.

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  21. Glad to hear you're on the mend, Anni! Did you get the flu shot this year? We got ours back in October and, so far, so good! You sure got lucky with all your bird sightings! I wasn't aware of the changes Google is making...AGAIN! Thanks for the info! Hope your day's a great one!

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    1. Nope...we have had flu shots before, but we both are the kind that get sick from the shots! So we stopped that.

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  22. So glad you're feeling better--just in time for Christmas!
    I totally agree with your answer to #4 of The Hodgepodge. Our government is treading on very thin ice...
    Have yourself a Merry Christmas!

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    1. ...thanks Kathy.
      Hope your Christmas is merry too!

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  23. :) you are feeling better!

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  24. I have never heard of the fraternity 'brand'...glad that fad ended before I got to uni! I will have to look into the image thing. Better yet, I'll have my daughter sort it out for me : ) Merry Christmas!

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    1. ...it was something I thought was important...to see how many brands I could get...until my father stopped me. Father Knows Best!!

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  25. I love to visit your bird pictures. Our birds have flown the coop for warmer climes. Hopefully they will beck in the Spring! Merry Christmas!

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    1. ...the migration seasons for you and me are quite different...they COME here. LOL

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  26. I love to visit your bird pics. no birds here they have all left cold and snowy ND for the winter. I can't wait till springtime.

    Happy holidays
    ria
    http://airforcewife-cabral.blogspot.com/

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    1. ...thanks Ria, and happy holidays to you also.

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  27. Thanks for your info on protecting our pictures. I'm not liking all the changes they keep making.

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  28. What a successful Christmas count you had!

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    1. ...the count is growing too!
      Thanks Pat

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  29. I have broken something... a MIL's valuable champagne glass... they have to be hand washed. Never again! She would have immediately divorced me, it's a miracle she did not :)
    Love your sparrows and thanks for the info on our pictures.
    Merry Xmas Anni!!

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    1. Oh dear....too bad about the champagne glass.
      And Marcy, glad I could help out.

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  30. Hi Anni. I am very glad you both are feeling better now and have been able to get out and about again. great amount of birds seen.

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    1. Thank you kindly Margaret!!! I can't believe the amount of different birds, actually, since I started keeping track this week.

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  31. Sounds like a wonderful outing!
    I love your bird pics, Anni! Keep them coming!!

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