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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out


In Search of...




An online bird enthusiast that lives in my neck of the woods informed me that there was a wood duck found in Flour Bluff, Texas. With email conversing he told me exactly where to drive [and you thought I was gonna type 'he told me exactly where to go'...ya, and give y'all the chance to read between the lines? I think not!] ---he told me exactly where to find this hidden pond. He also informed me ahead of time that the ducks are very skittish and will probably fly off before any photo opportunity arises. That detail was very correct. Bud and I had no problems locating the hidden pond in Flour Bluff at all...drove right to it. But as soon as I opened the window, off they flew! There were several ducks there camouflaged in the tall grasses, but as they made headway from the water to the air, I spied no wood duck....just mottled ducks and redhead ducks. Oh well. With the windows of the car wide open we could hear Sandhill Cranes in the distance. We drove down the isolated road and enjoyed the horse ranches...vast, open lands with mostly horses and a few Angus cattle grazing the green pasture. We found the Sandhill Cranes a couple miles away and I got photos of them too. Slowly we made our way back to the town's main road and drove a bit further away from the now heavier traffic flow. I spotted a favorite of mine!! We made a U turn when we found a safe place to do so, and headed back to the area....found a non-impeding place to pull off the road. I got out of the car...the blue sky turned gray and menacing...the wind was blowing briskly, the air turned cold. I was determined to get a full view of my favorite!!!

While waiting for the opportune moment another came into view..it distracted my attention for a short while as I aimed the camera toward it and snapped a photo. This is a breed of cattle that King's Ranch made famous here in America. The Santa Gertrudis. Even today, at the huge ranchland, King's Ranch, there is a section of the ranch that is called Santa Gertrudis Ranch...a ranch within a ranch. The breed is: "first-cross Brahman X Shorthorn red heifers.... superior cattle that were well adapted to the harsh environment in which they were developed..."


read more on the Santa Gertrudis Ranch Breed [the first calf, called Monkey, the sire of the breed's beginnings] etc. HERE


Okay then, I got side-tracked just as I did while trying to get a photo of my favorite. My favorite, even before becoming a Texas resident, is the Texas Longhorn. Their massive horns are just so impressive. And the one we spotted while driving around some new territory...was ideal. A favorite in hide color as well. You see, brindle is highly sought after for it's diverse coloration and marking. The one I was trying to get a photo of had a horn rack of my estimation about 6 to 7 feet [tip to tip]. Of course that's a rough guess. But, for me and my view from the road, the horns were long and colossal! But I wanted a 'full view' of the horns. That was easier said than done. It continued to move here and there, but not facing me directly. I waited, and waited, snapping photos now and then. Finally it turned to face me. Notice in each image I share there is a cattle egret in each shot but the first and last one...


...wait for it...





...wait for it...




...finally!!! A full face to face view of the horns!! Isn't it beautiful? I dubbed him Jefé [pronunced HEH fay --Spanish, meaning boss] Dappled and Brindle [the red is brindled]




...and back I go, into the nice warm car where the heater was turned on by Bud to thaw me out. On we went on our merry way, in search of more birds. And as we drove, we ended up driving down a really rough, narrow road along the lagoon [Laguna Madre]. Still cloudy and dreary, but I shouted to Bud along the way...a trio of birds native to a land down under....there they were. Another U Turn, and by golly, a sight to behold!! I'll tell you about them someday soon on my bird blog. I didn't get the best images, but they're recorded. We drove back again the very next day since the sun was out and a much better day to get more decent photos...but they were long gone. At least I got the dark drab day photos to prove they were here in Texas.

By the way, these images of the cattle egrets found below were posted a while back in March 2014. They're not from this birding trek....



97 comments :

  1. Oh my, they are fantastic horns - great shots #ourworldtuesday

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    1. ...indeed!! Thanks Stephanie

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  2. I do love those Long Horn cattle. And the egrets are beautiful. Great post, Anni! Happy Tuesday!

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  3. Wow are they Texas Longhorns, they are long . Thanks for visiting my blog, come back anytime

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    1. ...thanks Bill, I'm glad you stopped by to visit with ME!!

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  4. Searching for birds that other birders have told me about can often be very frustrating. I do much better finding bird serendipitously. :)) LOVE the cattle photos!

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    1. It depends on the situation here...some birds stick around the area, while others are gone in just hours. Thanks...glad you enjoyed the cattle images.

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  5. Those Texas Longhorns really are amazing. We live down the road from the George Historical Ranch where there are several Longhorns. One of them has one horn which is turned up in the usual way and the other is turned down, making for one odd looking longhorn.

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    1. I've seen some that have all kinds of twists and turns also!!

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  6. Those are some impressive horns! I enjoyed reading your post.

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  7. Wow! I can see why you waited and waited to capture the picture head on! And that little cattle egret seems not the least bit intimidated by his companion, does he? :-)

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    1. they have a 'thing' with cattle. And yes, that set of horns was phenomenal.

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  8. Anni, we have been to the King Ranch to take the tour and it is a colossal place...huge acreage and wonderful animals. I was amazed at the little village on the grounds for the workers, even a school! Love the Texas cattle as well. We have some friends with a 60 acre ranch where they raise longhorns. Wonderful animals...can't figure out how they manage those horns!

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    1. I've been on that tour several times also..some for the cowboy breakfast and other times when we have company and we decide to head on back there.

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  9. Thanks for the Holiday wishes and Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful you showed us these cows, i love all cows and longhorns are my favorite.. that is one beautiful mixed one in the first shot.. you braved the cold to get these shots.. thanks

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    1. ...that first one IS a breed all its own...the breed is a Santa Gertrudis. I was thankful for the warm car after a long wait for it to face me.

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  10. really beautiful cattle. that gate entrance and fence looks tall in the first shot!

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    1. ...it was tall...and the gate was a keypad pass only.

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  11. I love an unexpected surprise on a nature outing!!! I always seem to get more then I bargained for, in a good way, of course!!!! happy turkey day!!!

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    1. ...wishin' I received more than I bargained for at times. I guess I have and just didn't realize it 'til you mentioned here. Happy turkey day to you too Debbie.

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  12. I've never seen a real Longhorn! They look majestic! Love the photos as always.

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  13. Jefe is an amazing critter...very beautiful.

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    1. ...indeed. I think he is too.

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  14. Ah, amazing horns indeed!!! Such terrific captures, Anni, as always!! I'm glad you "hung on" until you got these!! And thanks for sharing!! I love them! Hope your week is off to a great start!! Enjoy!

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  15. What a fascinating read this post is! Too bad you didn't get the bird you were in search of,but,I'd say the cattle was a pretty good alternative. Those horns are very impressive.

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  16. Great shots both of the Santa Gertrudis cow and the longhorn! Sorry you missed the wood duck. We used to see wood duck houses in the Dismal Swamp in Va/NC but I never saw a wood duck there. The houses looked like they needed repair. I don't know if that was why.

    I wanted to tell you, yes, homemade butter is delicious. I have always been fascinated by the more basic pioneering crafts. It thrilled me that my grandmother let me make the butter that day. The lid and churn dash from her churn are gone, and I could have some wooden ones made for it (or maybe find some in an antique/junque shop) but I am so grateful I have her churn and now the butter paddle. I also have her iron three legged cauldron she used to wash clothes in over a fire!

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    1. ...thanks Marie.
      Y'know butter is one food I could not do without....I love it. My weight shows it. lol

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  17. OH MY WORD ANNI THOSE ARE SOME LOOOOOOONG HORNS. THE LONGEST I'VE EVER SEEN. GREAT CATTLE PHOTOS FOR SURE
    HUGS AND HAPPY THANKSGIVING
    MADI AND CECILIA

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    1. ...thanks M&M and same to you both.

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  18. Dear Anni, What a blessing to witness up close these wonderful animals. The photos are great.
    I wanted to with you a Happy Thanksgiving. xo Catherine

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    1. ...thanks dear Catherine. And same wishes from me to you.

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  19. Good shots of the birds...that cow is unlike any I have ever seen! This Gertrudis breed looks partly like a lop eared bunny! We have the long horned cattle here, but I have not posted them yet. They are really impressive! I love your one big picture, it looks like the two horns together would be longer than the whole animal!!

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  20. Hey Anni were you a great fan of Alfred Hitchcock by any chance? Trouble is we never did reach the finale and now we have to wait until Episode 2.

    Those Texas Longhorns - they make our cows look like goats. Stay in the car huh?

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    1. ...I like goats too Phil. lol

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  21. beautiful Cattle Egret!

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  22. WOW those are some huge horns. I can't imagine carrying those around on my head all day long

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    1. I know, we'd put Tylenol on the Forbes List of Billionaires in no time.

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  23. That's an awesome shot of those horns! They are one good looking breed!

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  24. Gorgeous images - what a cool steer!
    Thanks for sharing here, and I hope you'll drop by http://www.image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2014/11/moon-view.html to share as well!

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  25. Wow - I always wonder how those animals hold up their heads with the huge horns. What a twist on a bird hunt!! You and your hubby find the most interesting places to take us! Thanks!!

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    1. ...glad you enjoyed our drive around the bend Terri.

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  26. I love the longhorns. John had a small herd along with his mixed breed cattle for years. When he gave up his large ranch he sold the cows on it to the man who leased it. When we drive pass that property we always try to spot any of his longhorns that may be left there.

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    1. I'm always a happy gal to see the longhorns out grazing the pastures.

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  27. Annie, that longhorn is spectacular. We're in the midst of snow and more snow in Breckenridge. I'll ski a run for you! Happy Thanksgiving.

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    1. Well, I remember how happy the skiers were when the ski lifts/lodges opened for the season....I'll me thinking of you swishing down the slopes. Just take precautions jumping off the lifts!!! Stay warm by the fire with a hot toddy afterwards. Have a great holiday Barb.

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  28. Those are some impressive longhorns! It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to see any; they're neat-looking critters!

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    1. ...impressive, yes. I agree.

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  29. My goodness, never seen horns like that on any cows around here! What a look.

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    1. ...hope you liked it Sara.

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  30. WOW! Those horns are enormous but I love the Cattle Egret around them. That gate is definitely keeping people out!

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    1. It may keep the majority out...but anyone wanting to 'break in'...where there's a will, there's a way.

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  31. Interesting about the Santa Gertrudis and the ranch within the ranch. I enjoyed your stories within a story, too. Off to see the wood duck and then look where that took you! Thank you for sharing. Such a gorgeous front on view of the longhorn.

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    1. Thanks....
      Sorry Georgette, but I can't find your blog link on your Google Plus profile.

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  32. thanks for linking in! have a great thanksgiving!

    and yesterday we had about 100 whistlers here. :)

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    1. amazing amount!!! Thank YOU for hosting Ms. T

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  33. Great fence picture :)
    And I love the one with the fearless duck
    in front of the cow :))

    Happy Thanksgiving, don't eat too much!

    ツ Knipsa

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    1. ...they're known to follow cattle. Thanks Knipsa

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  34. Oh my Gowd, those horns look unreal!! WOW!!

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    1. ...hope you enjoyed this Ramona.

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  35. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours! Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It is purely for giving thanks for what you have including family and friends.

    What a wonderful opportunity you had to see and shoot the longhorns. They are so impressive.

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    1. ...they ARE impressive I agree.

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  36. Texas has a lot of interesting things to offer. Glad you enjoyed some of them.

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    1. ...well, hope you enjoyed it too LV

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  37. Awesome shots of the longhorn! The horns are really impressive.

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  38. Fantastic shots of the animals. Happy Thanksgiving!

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    1. ...thanks! And happy Thanksgiving to you too

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  39. I haven't seen a Santa Gertrudis for a long time. That's a lovely photo of one. I'm a bit in awe of the longhorns, they are magnificent. I think they would take working with cattle to a whole different level.

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    1. I'm sure it would...but what I've read about them and when I see them, they seem to be a very gentle breed.

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  40. Both those cattle breeds are really beautiful. That is a wonderful example of a Texas Longhorn. At least now you know where the Wood Ducks hang out.

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  41. Actual Braham calf are cute. A place down the hill from us has a longhorn.
    Isn't the King ranch also known for there Quarter horses.

    Coffee is on

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    1. I do believe, long ago, they had a triple crown winner!

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  42. Oh woodies..I have very few photos of woodies as even when they nested on the pond, they were shy. I know rehabbing them or raising orphans is very difficult as they have to be kept in a quiet location unlike mallards. LOVE those horns and your bird photos. Happy Thanksgiving Anni!!! ...Michelle

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    1. ...thanks Michelle...Happy Thanksgiving to you too.
      I hope some day I may get a photo of the Wood duck.

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  43. Inside information always helps! That cow is remarkable!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  44. Wow, the horns on those guys! Impressive.

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  45. Good Fence/Gate into that area. Too bad you didn't find the duck you went hunting for but oh the different cattle were neat to see. I love Longhorns.

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    1. ...thanks Ida. There'll be another chance someday for the wood duck, I hope.

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  46. Beautiful entrance shot and love all the critters images.

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  47. Thanks for taking us along on your trek. My brother Bob is up here from Corpus and I was wondering where to take him for a little outing tomorrow and when I saw your Texas longhorn then it jumped out at me. I'm taking him to Woolaroc, Frank Phillip's (of Phillips 66) old ranch. They have lots of longhorns. So thanks for the idea. And I hope that you had a good Thanksgiving.

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    1. ...we did have a good, quiet day Yogi. Enjoy your time with your brother, Bob.

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  48. I love seeing Longhorns. They are one tough breed. Great photos.

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