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 . . .

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Poetry: The Day after the Tornado

The Day after the Tornado

Walking along the wheat fields
I was checking on the cows and the fences
when along the creek I heard a whimper

A mound of soft silky mud
moved
as the small dog underneath it
rose on his shaking legs

his ears drooped
from the weight of mud and his dismal luck
his back arched and shivered
his eyes locked on to mine
as if asking one of two questions --
Will you help me?
or
Will you hurt me?

I scooped him up in my arms

I phoned John once I climbed into the truck
Would  you warm some milk on the stove
for the puppy I'm bringing home? The tornado
must have blown him across the Southwest.

At home the dog drank warm milk,
We washed him up and patched him up
and concluded he was a spaniel breed
of some sort, any sort, his ears lay back
this time in a sign of contentment

That was seven years ago and no telling how old he really is
the small dog I found along the creek the day after the tornado
his ears are now grey, and his muzzle is now grey, and his legs
don't shake anymore for all the running he does chasing
and capturing squirrels and birds -- just for the fun of it
and for all the swimming he does in the creek -- just for the fun of it
and for all the jumping into our arms when the winds pick up.

Prose: Address to My Triplet Sister

Dear Sis,
    I write to say that deep down inside you reflect the good habits of a good person. Never mind that they don’t show, that you don’t let them show. I see them. Our sister seems them. Everyone sees them. Your altruism, your generosity, all that time you spend with the kids from the eastside Y teaching them how to cook fresh foods and taking them to the farmer’s market every Thursday. Everyone sees your goodness even though you don’t tell anyone about what you do. And that’s why you can get away with everything. Sweet people get away with things. Especially pretty ones like you.
    When was the last time you sat back and took three deep breaths. I know you are patient enough to do that because you are patient enough to wait for a Prairie dog to stick his head out his mound. She’s just sick about you shooting those doggone Prairie dogs. You ought to be more discreet about it, like move your hunting stand away from the town and pick up your empty shells. Whatever she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.
    People who love you walk beside you. Wasn’t it Hazlitt who originated that? I’m trying to say that she loves you and lets you get away with the hunting. Think of that every time you do something dunderheaded like shoot those prairie town rats she takes the grandkids to watch.
    You will have to slow down in your middle age. You still look foxy – the three of us do – but your tomboyish lifestyle is going to catch up with you. And I think you’ve shot enough Prairie dogs. And after shooting bobcats and antelope and all those exotics in Africa, what is it that you see in Prairie dogs?

Monday, January 30, 2012

Waving at Jet Fighter as We Fly By

        A T-38 Talon on hold while MyMrMallory lands my plane on runway. 
        While the jetfighters consume eight hundred pounds of fuel per engine per hour, I feel embarrassed to make him wait for my little airplane to land!


        A poem written by Buck Wyndham, Pulling Closed, describes the incomparable feelings jetfighters experience when they fly. Wyndham also describes, as beautifully in prose as he does in poetry, some of the details of the Talon.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Green Bugged Flight

      The sky looked as shown below when MyMrMallory and I took off in the Scissortail. I wanted to practice my landings and he wanted to practice ILS approaches, all accomplished beautifully, I say modestly.
       Then we discovered the hemocyanin spots on the windshield. In other words, bug splotches. The greenbugs have returned. We fly over wheat fields, and during this time of year aphids (of the order Homoptera) appear en masse to chomp away (with the cows) at the delish wheat. Greenbugs can become a bane on cattle ranchers and farmers, and the cows might have a thing or two to say about having to share so much of their wheat, for as the greenbugs eat, they expel a toxin into the leaves that eventually kills the wheat.
       And so, after the flight, we spent a long time scrubbing my green-splodged wings and cowling, but we did not mind it at all, not in the way a cow would mind, for we had experienced the opportunity to fly.
     
The old tree near the one-hundred year old barn.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Marvel that is Duckie

      Cherie McBride paints in a way that indicates she seems to sense the "character" of each bird.











Squirrels in Residence

Here he is later this afternoon, tucking himself into his bed early.
      A long time ago I placed a box up in a tree. This winter, a squirrel has taken residence in it. I took the image below during the rain showers last night. The lights at the foot of the tree illuminate the box and the little squirrel's head as he rests his chin on his doorway. One cannot see inside the box, but he has a guest inside with him. Another squirrel squeezed himself inside in the late afternoon.

A couple of squirrels slept inside a nest-box during the rain storm last night.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Snowy Owls Now

       Interesting article in the New York Times about the recent irruption of Snowy Owls titled Bird-watchers Revel in Unusual Spike in Snowy Owl Sightings.

Photograph by David Patton from the Albany Democrat-Herald and published with the article in the link above.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Anticipating Waxwings

        Below I show a photograph that I took on February 13th, 2009, at Wild Bird Rescue. I've noticed that the Holly trees around town, and mine, too, droop with branches loaded with berries. Last week, while walking with MyMrMallory, we saw a group of them at nearby Lucy Park. I hope they arrive at my house soon.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dogs Birdwatching on Eighty-two

       Accompanied by longtime BFFs Hodge and Portside, we spotted fabulous birds this morning while driving along highways 82 and 1180. Among them, Loggerhead Shrike, American Kestrel, Sandhill Cranes (overhead), Tundra Swans (on Mr. Baush's field), Greater White-fronted Geese, Ring-necked Ducks, Lesser Yellowlegs, Killdeer, Burrowing Owl, and huge numbers of White-capped Sparrows.
       At my feeders I saw a larger number of Red-winged Blackbirds, and nary a White-winted Dove. Other birds at my feeders were goldfinches, sparrows, House finches, Inca Doves, and Blue Jays.

Thirsty, Hungry Birds in Winter

Female House sparrows splash in the bird bath. 
Goldfinches at breakfast.

Ring-necked Duck

     One cannot discern easily the brown ring around the Ring-necked duck's neck. Here I show the brown-purplish ring around his neck and also the more obvious white rings around his beak. I could have shouted out to this lone lad that only a couple miles away he could find a large flock of females of Ring-necks.




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wild Birds on a Wheat Field

        My friend Frances and I scampered into the countryside this morning to view the Tundra Swans. We crouched along behind the fence line in an attempt to approach them without spooking them.
         Our list today includes: Tundra Swans (28), Snow Geese (3), Greater White-fronted Geese, Green-winged Teals, American Wigeons, Canada Geese (overhead), Sandhill Cranes (overhead), and a Song Sparrow.

Frances hides behind brush and aims at the Tundra Swans.

I counted twenty-eight Tundras.

Tundra Swans on final to the wheat field.

Here they are on short final.

A rising sun gives some backlighting to a group of passing Sandhill Cranes.

Sandhill Cranes flew by, their long, pointy beaks piercing the air.

Spot three species of geese in this image: Canada, Snow, and White-fronted Geese.

Ducks (Gadwalls, I think), an oil pump, and a tractor.

White-fronted Geese take flight for a quick go-around in the pattern.

Snow and White-fronted Geese and an oil pump.




Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Poetry: Joys of Nature

      I wrote the prose poem below for this week's class with Professor Matthew. I based the subject on a story told by a friend recently about her experience with the study of butterflies and her children. The story she told reminded me of the balance in nature: It is beautiful and yet it is ugly, too.


The Joys of Nature

     The two snot-nosed children seemed entranced by the story about the chrysalis. Their eyes lit up when I told them that a worm lived inside there, and that soon it would open a hole and crawl out as if opening a window. Their little jaws dropped when the caterpillar, green with yellow spiracles, emerged from its white, silky home and waved at them. It kept waving at them as it ate all my dillweed, dill sticking out the sides of its mandibles, a look of glee in its eyes as it looked at the two children. It smiled so much that it developed crow's feet around its eyes. And then the two children started jumping up and down when the caterpillar morphed into a butterfly. They spread their arms as the butterfly spread its wings. When it took off, they tried to fly away with it. Then, bless their hearts, all their little hearts, a flycatcher swooped down from the tree, caught the butterfly, and left.

Portside at Age Twenty

This stubborn hound turned twenty this year. Happy birthday Port, you ol' wrinkled bag o' bones!
I'm fortunate that you have spent all of your life with me.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Red-bellied Woodpecker

       A confident chiff . . . chiff from the oak tree made me look up into its branches. The calling of the bird caught my attention as much as the loveliness of the female Red-bellied Woodpecker who sang as she found food in the tree, flying from one branch to another.




Please donate time or funds to Wild Bird Rescue, for this organization helps save the lives of lovely birds such as this one.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Ferruginous Hawk

      In my Pecan tree! Our neighbor, Missus Pumpkin, as MyMrMallory calls her, informed me of the hawk's presence the previous day.





Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Usual Wonderful Flock

        The usual gaggle of birds has remained at my house, with a slight increase in the number of White-winged doves from two to six: Spotted Towhees, two Cardinal couples, Dark-eyed Juncos, Robins, English Sparrows, Inca doves, House Finches, Black-capped Chickadee, Carolina Wren (I know where they are anywhere in the neighborhood just by sound!), Bluejays, Goldfinches, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Red-winged Blackbirds, and though I haven't seen them lately, the Barred Owls. I know because of their poop under certain branches on the larger trees and because of the racket the Bluejays make every time they return to their fave tree to nap during the day. Nearby, Canada Geese waddle around with Mallards and other ducks.
     
        Speaking of poop, visit the blog Bird Poop of North Texas. The blogger gives information delightfully about bird behavior and landscaping.
     
        Below I show Wild Bird Rescue's newest t-shirt. The image comes from a poster printed in 1932 with Elise Reid Boylston's art work. A local and very nice lady, Mooney, donated the vintage poster to the organization.



Friday, January 6, 2012

Flocks of Interspecific Blackbirds

      During my first attempts at putting together videos, one might need to have some patience. 
      The cloud of birds consists of interspecific flocks of blackbirds migrating through Texas for the winter. I filmed this with the Nikon V 1 along Highway 6 north of Houston.


        The music comes from Yo Yo Ma's collaboration, "Hill Justice,"in the Goat Rodeo Sessions, with Stuart Duncan, Edgar Myer, and Chris Thile. The odd ticking sound in the background comes from my right turn signal.
         View a wonderful video of a murmuration of starlings by Sophie Windsor Clive and Liberty Smith posted by them on YouTube.

Byzantine Fresco Beauty

      We will miss the frescoes at the chapel after they return to Cyprus. Please view the link to the Byzantine Fresco Chapel.






Sunday, January 1, 2012

Last Night of Last Year

        On the eve of the New Year, Dan's Silverleaf in Denton started hopping well after ten o'clock. Slobberbone played their poetic lyrics with jaunty tunes. In came the year 2012 as happily and celebratory as great food, great wine, great beer, and great company can provide.

Part of the revelry of celebrating included a photo session at Dan's Silverleaf.
Inside Dan's Sliverleaf various forms of art delight the guests. Here, the shadow of a bike behind cloth caught my eye. Red and green lights flashed in a circle around the handle bars as if giving emphasis to the joys and benefit of biking.
Denton courthouse.
           Images taken with the Nikon V 1 and 10mm lens with slight cropping during post processing in the digital darkroom.

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.