“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




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After Four Years Searching...

Thursday I had a wonderful birding experience! I'll share the photos on my birding photo blog someday. I'm still on cloud 9, and the photos are still on the camera for safe keeping right now. It'll be a couple of weeks probably, before I get them off and readied for blogging. I can tell you this, tho....Bud and I saw a bird [three of them actually] that I have been searching for for nearly FOUR YEARS; putting 100s of miles on the car's odometer in hopes of spotting this one, adorable, special bird!!! Finally... As my sister said to me over the phone when we last talked..."It's a red letter day!" I must mark February 23rd on the calendar. lol

Anyway, we went to the wildlife refuge in town first. Yes, to check on the anhingas and breeding plumage. [The male is the one with the darker neck, the female has more brown in the neck] To update my vigil: The couple was still there in the vicinity, but no special colors....yet. This was again, on Thursday. I'll probably go back either today or tomorrow to see what happenings, if any, are lying in store for me.



After the walk around this area, we stopped to buy some wine for dinner, and then ventured forth to the Botanical Gardens. We had hoped their outdoor rose pavilion would be in full bloom. It was... And there was the wonderful scent of rose everywhere nearby!! Those photos I worked on. I even found this online website to turn my photos into antique oil prints.  As always I add the 'original' in the inset...




After walking the trails and boardwalks, we drove out into the outskirts of the city and then turned off onto the county roads [The historic Chapman Ranch area] where another wind farm is going up to spoil the scenery. These roads, thankfully, are paved but NO TRAFFIC other than the farmers now and then...we can drive to a crawling 10MPH searching the drainage ditches and culverts that are here and there.




The bird we've been hunting down is known to be a prairie dog den dweller and can also be found in culverts if dry. Creeping to a near stop speed, the crunch of the tires heard from the window as they slowly moved along the shoulder of the road could be heard, Bud said: "Wait, wait, wait". I stopped. He then said, "Back up....slowly". "There's one of the boogers!" I spotted it also. In a culvert. Of course our windows are tinted, so I had to sneak out of the car as quietly and stealthily as I could in hopes to not startle it enough to have it fly off before I could focus on it. The winds were blowing, no time for setting up the camera's tripod, so I attempted to hold the camera steady and snap as many photos as I could. Got several. I even walked down the road a bit, and found one on the opposite side of the road out in the plowed field!! FULL BODY views. I managed to get two shots before it flew off. I got back, put the car in gear, and continued down the road. Found a THIRD one out in full view, sunning. I didn't even have to get out of the car this time [Bud rolled his window down]. I think it was a juvenile.

I AM STILL ELATED!!!

Nearly four years, finally photographed.  Later that day, we went out to celebrate with a steak dinner with all the fixin's!!!

PS...Marie, you asked me about photo watermarks.  I make my own with Paintshop Pro program I've installed from the software disk.  But, there are FREE online watermark generators.  Just do a Google search, "free watermarks" and you'll get a listing of ones you can choose.  Also, the photo inset is of my own making...not on any photo editing sites.  [that I'm aware of anyway].

44 comments :

  1. Well now we are all on tenterhooks waiting to know the bird. But, and I don't wish to spoil your thunder Anni - is it Burrowing Owl?

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    1. Thanks Phil...but I'll never tell. Not until I get the photos prepped for blogging. :o)

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  2. the roses are AWESOME both out of the camera and on the old antique leather look. gorgeous is what they are... can't wait to see the BIRD that has you so elated. don't take to long. please do that bird first so we don't have to hang on waiting, cliffhangers make me crazy until I know what happened. those roses need to be printed on canvas.

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    1. Well, I have a post already scheduled for today, so it'll be next week or the week after.

      Thanks Sandra

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  3. Wonderful post and photography and so glad you got to photograph what you have been seeking so long ~ a gift ~ Happy Weekend to you ~ ^_^

    ps. gorgeous roses !

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  4. Congratulations on your successful quest of 4 years! I too, use the application you found to make oil paintings. Very nice results with flowers!

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    1. That makes two of us using Pho.to then!!

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  5. You certainly know how to make someone curious! ;))
    Love the roses.

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  6. So happy for you with your long-awaited bird sightings! I love that you celebrated with a steak dinner! These photos of the roses are exquisite. You has asked about the mtn. laurel. Ours is white/pale pink with a darker pink center. The blooms actually remind me of a southern belle's hoop skirt! Now we do have rhododendrons that are purple clusters. I look forward to your future posts. Have a great day. xoxo Mildred

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  7. Hi there! So happy you had this "Red Letter Day!" It's always a joy to find something one has been looking for for forever! Beautiful Botanical Gardens also. And I love your white tailed hawk on the header!

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    1. Thank you!! I still can't leave you a comment through Google Plus comments on your blog...but know I visit with you. Your new home looks like it'll be a wonderful retirement home for the two of you.

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  8. I was so curious. And Yes, what a nice bird. I like the photos. But also the roses. They are so sweet.

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  9. I never even heard of this bird! I would have been over the moon!!! I am NOT going to Google him, because I don't want to ruin the surprise! Needless to say I cannot WAIT!! So does he live only in Texas? The new editing program is awesome, I am going to try it. Your blog continues to be more than delightful, surprising, and beautiful!!

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    1. You don't know what bird it is yet Ginny. But, perhaps if I have some time to get the photos off the camera this week, I'll get a post published for I'd Rather B Birdin' come Saturday the 4th of March [March, already?...wow]. No, it's not just Texas, I think it's all over the western USA.

      Thank you so much for your compliments.

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  10. Hello, Anni, love the Anhinga. The male does look pretty in his breeding colors. You are such a tease. By, your description I agree with Phil's guess, a Burrowing Owl. I guess I can wait. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

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    1. You and Phil....good guesses...is it? Maybe. Next week. I'll show the photos and you'll find out for sure.

      Thanks Eileen.

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  11. Oh I was hoping to find out what this special bird was.Guess I'll have to wait patiently.

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    1. There are some hints above in the comments. lol

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  12. Congratulations on finally spotting those birds. Love the rose pictures anf the look of the antique oil painting

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  13. Great photos and wonderful post, and it just goes to show never give up!

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  14. So excited for you..can't wait until you share them.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Next weekend, I hope to share.

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  15. I love your photo editing - those pics turned out so good!
    I can't wait to hear what the bird is!!!

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    1. ...coming soon to a blog near you. The Bird Will be Revealed.

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  16. You live in a wonderful area for photography. Always enjoy stopping by and hearing of your latest adventures!

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    1. ...and I'm glad you stopped by. Gives me a chance to pay you a visit and catch up on your news.

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  17. You have got us curious and excited over what bird you have seen after 4 long years of searching. Love the view of Botanical Garden. I am following you and hope you will follow me too. Thank you, Anni.

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  18. So happy for you!!!! Can't wait to see The Bird!
    The second flower photo color is so pretty! they're all pretty but I love the second one. :) Really like the before and after.
    I will google watermarks, thank you. :)
    hugs,
    Marie

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    1. Thanks...and if you need help with the watermark, let me know.

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  19. I guess I'll have to head over to your birding blog to see the actual birds, eh? BTW, yes I did change my profile picture yet again. I like this one finally. :-)

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    1. It's up now at I'd Rather B Birdin'.

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  20. I can't wait to see the birds...wondering what they are. So happy for you to finally get to see/photograph them, whatever they are. Thinking Burrowing Owl myself. The roses are beautiful....

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  21. You have my curiosity working over time and well Madi is beside herself wondering what in the world Anni saw. Sighing in NC we will wait until you are ready and we know it will be a post full of spectacular pictures. Congratulations on your sticktoitness!

    I love the roses
    Hugs Cecilia and Madi

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    1. I like the term "sticktoitness". Clever M&M

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