October 18, 2022
Photo Number 291
Photoshop works pretty good on our bird photos. The "before" photo on the left is what my camera took. The "after" photo on the right has been photoshopped with our new program. The bird images are the important part of the photo. The sky with the rainbow was just a bit of whimsey to show what can be done.
October 7, 2022
Photo Number 280
Good trips with people you love always end too soon. Today we headed home and stopped again at the Atwater Prairie Chicken National Rufuge in our continuing quest to find the elusive residents of the place, the Atwater Prairie Chicken. Andra did appreciate the fields of sunflowers and took this picture of one of the beautiful butterflies. When we were nearing home, Lynn texted to invite us out to eat, which we greatly appreciated and enjoyed. She then came to the house for a visit.
October 12, 2022
Photo Number 285
We sit out on the back patio at least a few times every day, hoping to see different birds, but due to circumstances beyond our control this year, we haven't seen as many as usual. Today, however, we saw a couple that we hadn't seen for a while, so we thought we should tell you about them. The one on the left is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, a tiny bird that we see only occasionally, so it was a treat for us. The one on the right is a Pine Warbler. They are regulars in the summertime, but we don't usually see them this late. In the summer, it is bright yellow. This time of year, they are not so colorful, but they're still very pretty birds. We're thankful they paid us a visit.
October 3, 2022
Photo Number 276
We got an early start this morning for our trip with Chuck and Andra. We're heading to the Rio Grande Valley for some birding and made a couple of stops along the way. This is the Big Tree in a little state park near Rockport. It's the oldest oak tree in Texas, estimated to be over 1,000 years of age. It needs a little support for a couple of branches, but it's alive and well and worth seeing again.
October 11, 2022
Photo Number 284
We have a family tradition involving the Astros and their postseason games. Mick comes out as often as he can to watch the games with his Dad, and there have been a lot of them in the last few years since the Astros have been so good. Today, the game started early, but Mick came out after he got off work and watched the remainder of the game. It turned out to be one of the most memorable ones in Astros history. The Astros trailed for the whole game until the final at-bat, when, with two outs and behind 7-5, the Astros' slugger Jordan Alvarez hit a 3-run game winning homer. It was awesome!
October 6, 2022
Photo Number 279
We were in McAllen today chasing birds, and happened upon this beautiful nature park in Edinburg. We were treated to the Least Grebes, which we don't see often around Houston. There was also a group of Inca Doves having a late lunch at the feeding station. Later in the day, we tried to find some Green Parakeets, without success, in McAllen. We didn't find them, but we did find some good authentic Mexican food.
October 5, 2022
Photo Number 278
Our first trip of the day was to the Birding Center on South Padre Island. They have not only birds, but giant butterflies as well, taller than Chuck! We found some interesting birds in spite of the fact that our timing was a bit off. I think the drought caused a delay in the normal migration patterns, but we are having a great time.
October 15, 2022
Photo Number 288
Mick and Will both came over tonight to watch the Astros playoff game. They're playing a best-of-five series with the Seattle Mariners and are leading 2 games to 0. It turned out to be a game for the ages. I'll let the scoreboard tell the story: When the game remained scoreless into the 16th inning, it became the first postseason game in history to do so. The game continued into the 18th inning, still scoreless, until the Astros rookie shortstop Jeremy Pena hit a home run, then the Astros held the Mariners scoreless in the bottom of the inning to win the game. That means that they advance to the American League Championship Series for the sixth consecutive time, which is also a record. It was a great win and I got to experience it with my two sons. What could be better than that?
October 27, 2022
Photo Number 300
Charles took the Bluebird house down before we had the big oak tree removed. We noticed that some of the Bluebirds seemed to be wondering what happened to it, so today Charles put it back up up. This afternoon, the Bluebirds seemed to be happy to have it back.
October 1, 2022
Photo Number 274
We picked up Chuck and Andra from the airport today. We're going to make a birding trip down to the Rio Grande Valley next week. We're expecting to have a great trip and find a lot of birds!
October 22, 2022
Photo Number 295
Not much going on today. I did some cleaning up after the tree was taken down yesterday, and a little Eastern Phoebe came in to watch. Oh, I almost forgot: the Astros beat the Yankees 5-0.
October 31, 2022
Photo Number 304
When we were out watching birds this afternoon, we saw this little Downy Woodpecker on the Bluebird house. He then went inside, but when he didn't come out after a while, we thought he might not know how to get out, so Charles went around to the back of the house and, just as he was about to open the front door, and I was snapping the photo, the bird suddenly flew out and away, so we missed the shot.
October 13, 2022
Photo Number 286
I like for Mick to come over and watch the Astros playoff games with me. I tend to be pretty unemotional, maybe even stoic when the games are on, but Mick gets worried when things aren't going well and excited when good things happen. I love that about him. You can tell by his reaction that something good just happened. The last out was recorded and the Astros won again. He didn't know I was taking photos with my phone, but gave me permission to use them. Only 9 more wins to a championship!
October 8, 2022
Photo Number 281
Charles got up early this morning and made his famous cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I think Chuck enjoyed them, don't you? Then, of course, all good things must end. We took Chuck and Andra to the airport to catch their plane back to Alabama. We always love our visits with them and we made many good memories this week.
October 14, 2022
Photo Number 287
Sometimes when there are no new birds to see, you just need to take a moment and appreciate the residents that are in the back yard all the time, like the Red-bellied Woodpecker and the Northern Cardinal.
October 19, 2022
Photo Number 292
If you're not a baseball fan, you might be tired of these Astros posts, but during the postseason playoffs, the most important thing I do is watch the Astros win. They did it again tonight with their ace pitcher, Justin Verlander, and Mick came over to experience it with me. I always enjoy that. So, the Astros are undefeated so far, and need to win 7 more games to win the World Series. Go Astros!
I can freeze moments in time; what's your super power?
October 9, 2022
Photo Number 282
After watching the Texans game with Will (the Texans won!), Charles worked on some of the photos we took on our Valley trip. In the photo on the right you can see there are 852 of them, some good, some not so good, some needing a little tweaking, like the Red-crowned Parrot photo on the right. Taking quality photos of birds on a wire at dusk isn't easy, but it's good enough to identify a new lifer for us, number 362. Later, we got number 363, the Olive Sparrow.
October 2, 2022
Photo Number 275
We had the family over today for lunch and to visit with Chuck and Andra. The guys had a good time watching the Texans and Astros. Tomorrow we're heading to the Rio Grande Valley for some birding and visiting together. We may not post everyday, so we'll get back to our routine when we get back.
October 21, 2022
Photo Number 294
We've had a big dead oak tree in our yard for a while. It began to look dangerous, so today we had it cut down. You can see the worker way up in the tree in the first photo. Anyone need some firewood?
October 10, 2022
Photo Number 283
After 162 games, the last five days has seemed like an eternity, but tomorrow will be the first Astros game in the 2022 Major League Baseball playoffs. I've checked the schedule, signed up for Sling, because the game is not available on any normal channel, so has to be streamed, and set my alarm for 2:37 PM on Tuesday. The Astros have won 105 games this season. Only eleven more wins to go.
October 17, 2022
Photo Number 290
We finally decided to install Photoshop on our new computer. We take so many pictures that need all the help that we can give them, it just made sense. Also, Janet will be able to use some of the new features it offers in her Shutterfly books.
October 20, 2022
Photo Number 293
The Astros are Yankee-killers! Mick came over again tonight and together, we cheered the Astros to the second straight win over the Yankees in the American League Championship Series. There are five games left and the Yankees would have to win four of them to go to the World Series. That won't happen. Now to go to New York and beat them.
October 16, 2022
Photo Number 289
Our bird of the day is the Pileated Woodpecker. They live in our neighborhood and like to feed on pine trees. They can rip off chunks of the bark, causing damage, but this tree is already dead. They are North America's largest Woodpecker, with a length of 18 inches and a wingspan of 30 inches. We only see them occasionally, but it's a treat when we do.
October 28, 2022
Photo Number 301
There was a baseball game today, but I'm not ready to talk about it yet, so I decided to talk about a couple of birds we saw. The one on the left is the Red-breasted Nuthatch that we first saw a few days ago. It's good to see that he's still hanging around. The hummingbird may be the Rufous that comes to stay with us every winter. I can't be sure, because he usually doesn't show up until December. We'll have to wait to see if he stays for a while.
October 30, 2022
Photo Number 303
Will is the football fan in the family, and with the Phillies playing the Astros in the World Series, and Sheila being a big Phillies fan, he's been staying at home watching the games with her. So today, with no baseball on TV, he came over to watch the Texans play the Titans. I hope the Astros do better tomorrow than the Texans did today.
October 26, 2022
Photo Number 299
Another example of improving a photo with Photoshop Elements. Sometimes, due to lighting conditions or operator error, a photo can turn out to be unusable, but often, that can be corrected without changing the integrity of the photo. You don't often get a second chance at a great shot, but this is the next-best solution.
October 29, 2022
Photo Number 302
There was another World Series game tonight, so Mick came over to watch it with Charles, as is his tradition. The results tonight were much better than yesterday, as the Astros won 5-2. They're sitting in the Astrodome chairs celebrating the victory. Only 3 more wins and the Astros will once again be champions of baseball.
October 25, 2022
Photo Number 298
We had a new visitor to our backyard this evening. It's a Red-breasted Nuthatch. We do get White-breasted Nuthatches here, but the only place we've ever seen this type was in Alabama, when Janet went to visit Chuck and Andra. It deserves to be our Bird of the Day.
October 4, 2022
Photo Number 277
Chuck and Andra knew of a park in Brownsville where flocks of Red-crowned Parrots gather to roost every day at dusk, so they took us there to see them. We weren't disappointed, as they showed up right on time. They lined up on power lines and filled up trees around the park. They are "lifers" for us and they were spectacular!
October 23, 2022
Photo Number 296
Tonight was another epic landmark for us, as Astros fans. Mick and Will came over to watch our team finish off the Yankees and we weren't disapointed. After an hour and a half delay because of the threat of rain (which never happened), the Astros took care of business and swept the mighty New York Yankees in 4 straight games. Now it's off to play the Phillies in the World Series. Stay tuned.
October 24, 2022
Photo Number 297
Yesterday, when Mick came over to watch the ballgame, he brought his ladder and volunteered to help me patch a hole in the roof of our storage building that was caused by a falling branch. That branch actually compelled me to get the dead tree cut down before other branches could fall and cause more damage or injury. Thanks, Mick, I appreciate your help.