Except as noted, all images copyrighted by and should be attributed to E. Bourland Hawley.
I had become many eons ago a traveling literary gnome, inquisitive about places I had and had not visited,
walking the same paths of peoples from the past, through places once grand and still grand,
photographing images that now show me the places about which I still dream . . .

Friday, December 31, 2010

20,001 Cranes

          Game Warden McMahen spotted one Whooping Crane among a flock of Sandhill Cranes, estimated at 20,000 in number. In a nearby field, I spotted a large flock of blackbirds. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tour by Pops

Crew Chief Pops opened the doors to one of the hangars at Sheppard Air Force Base.

The aircraft mechanics ensure safe airplanes for the pilots.

Powerful thrusters on a fighter jet.

Though serving as training tools for students, the aircraft look impressive nonetheless.

We sat in the pilot's seat.

Pops revealed a small door.

A B-52 requires wheels at the end of each wing due to their weight. Here, I show the wings empty of fuel, lessening their weight. At full tanks, the wings dip toward the ground. 

Inside the front wheel well. 

Walking around the large aircraft provided for artistic views of curves and asymmetry. 

A 130 sat nearby, looking impressive, too.

A 135 and a 130 standing behind it.

The planes require chains for tethers. That's the tower in the background. 

The frightening A-10.

A mechanic's design.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Of the Sweetness in Cows

The prairie has now turned the colors of winter. In the meantime, calves are born.

A calf nurses.

The dad.

A cow watches us intently, as if attempting to hypnotize us: "Range cubes. Give us range cubes. Yum."

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eclipse at Solstice

         Waiting for the lunar eclipse, I admired the sunset the previous evening behind one of my favorite trees. Clouds covered the sky, but we felt sure they would part long enough to give us a crisp view of the eclipse. When the eclipse began, I realized that my tripod cannot hold my camera vertically, and that if I improvised, I still could hardly look through the view finder. Still, though the photo does not show the glory of the event, my memory still can picture the colors and depth of the moon and the surrounding stars.

The next morning, on one of my fave trees rested at Great Blue Heron, on a branch, on one leg.
Nature is grand.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Second Cross Country

Tossed like a salad. Whipped like cream. Tumbled like clothes in a dryer. That's how I felt this morning flying through 30 knot headwinds south to Decatur. I landed there with the wind at 17 knots gusting to 22, and my tongue hanging out. But my mission continued. I took off to Graham around 1800 Zulu and into calmer winds, landing there on runway 18 with 5 knot winds. At the fixed base operator, I met Bill who handed me the binder that Cathy, president of our chapter of the 99s, left there for me, and I in turn left her an envelope for her. The worst of the winds had passed by, and the remaining leg felt less bumpy. Two missions accomplished: Flying for my cross country requirements, and picking up the binder in Graham. I phoned MyMrMallory to say I would arrive home very soon.
Image by my iPhone of my way home.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

First Two Legs

Cellphone image of my props while flying over North Central Texas.

Over my nose I sought the runway a bit south of the town of Childress. En route, I looked over my right wing to try to spot Vernon's runways while listening to their AWOS (current weather data), and discovered that while the wind blew to the south there, the wind in Childress blew to the north, despite the small distance of 50 nautical miles between the two towns.
When I arrived in Childress, I did not know where to taxi my plane, except toward an old hangar with its doors wide open. I followed old, faint, yellow lines toward the hangar, and parked in front of it.
Cellphone image of the tail of my plane and a large hangar at the airport in Childress. As I hopped off my wing, bearing my log book, I wondered about whom I would meet, and that surely they would be nice folks. Eventually, a lady emerged from a small building next to the hangar. She was chasing a cat. She waved at me and asked me if she could help me. "Oh, yes!" I said. "I'm on my first leg of my cross-country. Would you sign my logbook for me?" And so we stepped inside the small building, the fixed base operator of Childress, and while Debra signed my logbook, I sipped some good coffee she had just made. "Do you know Mary?" I asked. And Debra said Mary had taught her cousin to fly.

From Childress, I took off to Vernon. I critiqued myself about my pre-take off, finding myself neglectful of an important thing that should become a good habit: Walk around the plane before boarding.

The flight to Vernon took only twenty minutes, which I expected. What I did not expect was to come upon the runways so suddenly. Listening again to their AWOS, hearing the voice say the wind came from the north at a scant five miles per hour, I chose to land on runway 35. Did not like back taxiing toward the fixed base operator on the runway, then having to cross over runway 2, before reaching the parking area. The reason I feel queasy about it, aside from my inexperience flying, is that crop dusters tend to fly around with no radios, and so I don't know their positions. Do they know mine? In flying we rely on looking out the window all over the sky, up and down, side to side, to avoid a mid-air collision. You think you can hardly see a motorcycle on the road? Aircraft look like pinheads in a universe of sky. I've heard a good expression to keep in mind: Keep your head on a swivel.

"Cherokee that just landed Wilbarger will you be needing fuel?"
"Ah, no. Thanks."
I had not shut down my engine when Randy, the source of the voice on the radio, a staff member of Vernon's fixed base operator came bounding out with a set of choks. I climbed out and said, "I'm on a cross-country. Would you sign my logbook for me, please?"
"Sure. You know Lawrence?"
"Yes, I know Lawrence."
"He was just here. He heard you on the radio and said you'd be heading this way."
Inside, I asked Randy if he has seen any Horned Lizards lately.
"Yeah. We see them when we mow."
"I saw one on the taxiway and I think I ran over it. I feel badly about that."
"There's plenty to replace that one."

Now I know of two airports where they make good coffee. I sipped coffee while two young men drove up in a truck and entered the building. They were looking for jobs, and Randy pointed them toward another building.

Before boarding, I walked around my plane to make sure it was good to go. As I sat in the pilot's seat, I watched the wind sock. The AWOS indicated calm winds. Over my cowling lay the wide grasslands that make up North Central Texas, with two runways. I did not want to back taxi to 34, so I taxiid to runway 2, and with a calm crosswind, I took off. As I turned gently to the south-east, I radioed Randy. "Hey, Randy, try not to mow over those horned toads!"

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Dabbling with Lomo

Montage of pictures with 35mm film and plastic camera.
David Martin, aviator extraordinnaire, flew his P-51, the fastest airplane during WWII, to Wichita Falls. David also flies the Curtiss Jenny, an airplane built during WWI.
At top, to his right, Robert Seabury and Bill English visit with him.

Montage showing King Airs and Cessnas waiting for the fuel truck at Abilene airport.
Top left, a Stenson arrives after a mid-morning flight around Wichita Valley Airport.

Montage of aviator hanging around an airport on a windy day.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Abstract Art in Nature

A stone looks like the head of a crocodile with teeth.
Centuries of flowing water made this stone smooth.
The surface of the water serves as a mirror to the forest. 
Nature looks beautiful wherever she takes root to grow.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dedications at Wild Bird Rescue

Missi greeted Wild Bird Rescue's many guests at the memorial ceremony this afternoon. Though winds outside the center gusted to forty-five miles per hour, several families, friends, and volunteers celebrated the touching ceremony of the Chimney Swift Tower in memory of Janiece Vitek, and Missi's Mew in memory of Brittani Maye Gossett.
Glenda cut the ribbon to dedicate the Chimney Swift Tower while her husband John watched, and Wild Bird Rescue's treasurer, John, and Alicia, super volunteer and rehabilitator, held the ribbon.
BirdManBob received a hug.
The Gossett family supported Melanie in cutting the ribbon to dedicate Missi's mew.
 Missi's Mom and Wild Bird Rescue's vice-president, Terry, held the ribbon.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Baby Barn Owl On Its Way

          Happily, Wayne and Sue transported a baby barn owl to Lubbock, to a facility where rehabbers can raise large predator birds. I hope he will return to our neck of the woods. Wild Bird Rescue volunteers work hard to raise funding needed to build a facility that will enable them to maintain large birds, like the owls, in this area, where they were born. For now, they have to transport them four hours away to Lubbock, where eventually the birds, all grown up, will fly freely, and, one hopes, toward the area of their birth.
In the meantime, I've seen a large number of Northern Harriers in Archer County. (Yay.)
          I've also seen Sandhill Cranes flying about, but haven't pinned down where they are landing. Here I show a group flying over ranch land in Archer County.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stealth Cam First Image

           Increasingly interested in viewing wildlife in any way I can, I bought a wildlife camera. To practice with the new camera, and to familiarize myself with the way it functions, I placed it outside my door. No birds, no squirrels, no frogs, nothing, appeared in the images taken for two days, except for my dogs.
Hodge would kill me if he knew I posted on the Internet a picture of him piddling!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

12th Armored Division

            The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum in Abilene serves to honor the valiant soldiers who served during WWII. The exhibit includes most equipment employed by the soldiers. On display on the second floor, they show photographs of the horrors imposed upon the citizens by the Nazis. To add somber levity to the exhibit, they displayed, too, a bicycle with an amusing sign, pictured below.

"Anyone caught touching the colonel's Harley will receive 39 days latrine duty!"

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

They Arrived! En Masse.

       Perplexed by the lack of attendance at my bird feeders, I have looked out the window nervously, waiting for any bird, any single bird, to come in for a chomp. This morning, behold, they arrived en masse. Accompanying a single White-winged Dove sitting gently on top of the feeders, two blue jays, one mockingbird, and ten, yes, ten juncos. Happily I will jot it down on the Project Feeder Watch sheet. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fewer Doves

      The Cooper's Hawk that has lived in our trees for the past eight months or so may have decreased the populations of doves at my house. A couple of years ago I began to see rampant numbers of white-winged, Inca, Eurasian collared, and Mourning. This morning I saw three white-winged; yesterday I saw one, and no other. 
       Flying over Lake Wichita in the early morning, I always look down to the water in search for bird life (and scan the skies ahead of me to avoid collisions). The pelicans are there now, and Penny saw semipalmated sandpipers. View her report at her blog

Friday, November 5, 2010

Grand Theatre

           Volunteers renovating the The Grand Theatre in Electra will drive through rough weather to work on their tasks. Little by little, they raise the funds to restore some of the theatre. Below I show a few images taken with my iPhone during a visit to the ol' opera/vaudeville/other functions house.

Let Lovely Turn of Phrase Begin

Give Me a Kiss to Build a Dream On

Listen, will you? I think that . . . literature, poetry, music and love make the world go round . . . while mathematics explains things; I fill my life with them, then go walking in snowy woods.
Let us go then, you and I
like two etherized patients floating
through life, together feeling prufrockian.
DDB Jr. makes my world go 'round; during his absence, Pachelbel fills it up.
One summer I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean, then through the Gulf of Finland to reach Saint Petersburg; I pursued Joseph Brodsky in its alley ways. I dream of making that two summers.
I read “Biking to Electra;” found my way in a Jaguar car, and glanced at the flashing steel grasshoppers at sunset. I’ll follow K.O.P.’s footsteps after he followed N.Scott Momaday’s; find warmth and inspiration on a rainy mountain.
Throw chinese coins for the I Ching.
Save the whales, the spotted owl, the woman in toil.
Cast a fly for trout; my memories of fly fishing under the sunny blue Colorado sky remain; I yearn to build more . . . with more trophy Browns.
Listen for the swan’s calls on the Baltic Sea. Feel KKII's joy, his arms spread wide in Yazilikaya.
Good night, Jimmy Durante, where ever you are.