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, July 31, 2012

Scissortail Flycatcher Family



    And what a delight to come upon a nest brimming with scissortails! Both parents and three nestlings feel the heat of the noon day sun and July temperatures of over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. The slivers of leaves on the pitiable mesquite plant in which they lived provided nothing of the shade they needed.

   Cornell lab has a nice article about them, and Birds of Oklahoma displays beautiful images of the scissortails in aerobatic flight. 

    Also known as the swallow-tailed flycatcher, this species of kingbird spend their summers in North America where they nest and raise their young. By the end of the summer, old enough to fly, the young accompany the parents in their return to Central America where they will spend the winter. In the meantime, they will find a mate. 

     Scissortail flycatchers returning to Texas every year provides us with a sight of beauty.

F6, 80-200mm, Portra 160.

Peace Rose

I strive toward maintaining peace in the garden of my life.

D700, 50mm, f1.4, 1/6,400.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Calf among Flowers

Unintended double-exposure reveals a sweet face of a calf surrounded by flowers. 


Nikon F6, Portra 400.

Moth


An impressive creature of God. 

Nikon F6, 105mm, Portra 400.

Faces of Hound

      I cropped some of the photos I made of the old dog. In addition to having a handsome face, he expresses himself unabashedly and so looks photogenic.

  

D4, 10mm, f2.8, 1/250, cropped for effect and removed a blemish 
during post-processing in the digital darkroom using Aperture.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Zwanzig Jahre alt (Feed Me)

Ich liebe spielen. (Feed me.)

Ich liebe Kekse. (Feed me.)

Ich liebe dich. (Feed me.)

D4 with ultra wide lens cropped for effect.

All Bark and No Bite

For the past few days, our clouds have managed a few thunderous barks. No rain.

D4, 50mm, f3.5, 1/6400, ISO100.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Feather of a Dove

A white-winged dove's feather on a brick step.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Plowing of Fields

The farmers store the wheat in rolls, plenty to feed the cattle 
through the summer months and well into winter, thanks to a moist spring.


With the wheat harvested, Doug pulls his plows with his tractor from field to field.


On a plowed field, cattle egrets rest by a pond, and then flush by my presence.


Except for the drought, things proceed normally, which is a blessing.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Katydid on Windshield while Viewing Hogs and Coyotes

For wonderful photographs of grasshoppers, visit Bev Wigney's Pbase site.


Nikon D7000, f5.6, 1/1,250s, 100ISO.

      For the first time while on the ground and not from the air, we spotted a grouping of 25 to 30 wild hogs.  If you had asked me when we would see a group of hogs, I would have answered that they might reveal themselves at dusk or at dawn; but there they were at ten o'clock in the morning, leisurely munching on grasshoppers and sniffing around the grass, thinking hogly thoughts. They walked briskly away from our truck as we stopped near them to watch them. 


    Driving around the north Texas countryside along the wheat fields, we encountered another unusual sight: Three coyotes raced across a swathed field toward a half dozen or so turkey vultures on the ground. The vultures lifted themselves out of the way as the coyotes arrived at whatever carcass had fallen, perhaps a calf. In the background, cattle in the shade gazed warily at the coyotes. Above them roosted a large number of egrets. 


    Birdlife fascinated me today, as usual, for we spotted several great egrets, at least two little blue herons, two great blue herons, sandpipers, nighthawks, meadowlarks, stilts, and the usual gang, namely, scissortails, grackles, blackbirds, robins, and unidentifiable little gray birds. 

    After about four hours of criss-crossing the county, our friend, Jo, mused, "All the country we've seen this morning and not much wildlife." Indeed, I wish we could have spotted deer -- mule and white-tailed are somewhat prevalent everywhere -- and the beautiful, but skittish, turkey, and perhaps heard the sweet tone of the bobwhite quail.  MyMrMallory added, "There are more eyes on us than we have on them." 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Everyone Needs a Lock

       On a gate in Archer county . . . . Now for which lock do I hold the key?

       In the north Texas countryside, one often comes upon gates locked by several locks, each one belonging to a different entity. 

       There are several persons who need keys to enter the property, which may consist of a private home with several acres, or a farm, a ranch, or, just . . . open prairie owned by someone, anyone else, upon which pumps extract oil, or cows graze contentedly, or wind turbines loom, or wheat sways in the wind: 

     The pumper who works for the oil company needs a key; the trucker to transport the oil, too; the bulldozer guy who maintains the roads; the nephew of the brother of the husband of the cousin who will clean up the abandoned batteries and other oil field equipment; the foreman who works for the rancher needs a key, too; the owner would need a key for when he goes in to check on what on Earth everyone else is doing on his property; the energy company guys who maintain the power lines or the wind turbines need a key . . . the farmer and his combines and swathers . . . the crop-duster who . . . oh, wait, I take that back; crop-dusters do not need any keys.

     Have I listed everyone? Oh, the poachers. They scam a key from someone or barge through. They don't care about locks. 
       
     I've concluded that one does not really "own" land at all, unless everything underneath and above the land comes with that ownership. Minerals and now air space have become rare for a landowner to control. Instead, someone's "ownership" of a land consists of the dirt on the surface and merely gives him the right to gripe about the pumpers, the oilmen, the cowboys, and the energy companies that stomp across the prairie, some gripes of which lead to lawsuits. 

     To me, it is sad to see all the steel scattered across a land that once grew healthy; still, we have what we have now, and we do with it what we can, namely, save it. Renovate the land. Help it heal.

     As for locks, really, what function do they have? 

     

D4, f3.5, 1/2,500s, 190mm, cropped for effect during post processing in the digital darkroom.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Trees in the Prairie

    In a land where grasslands predominantly grow, small groves of trees exist, here and there, of oaks and pecans, under which a bull and his cows may rest and find respite from the noon-day sun. Archer County, Texas.
   Nikon D4, 70-200mm, f3.5, 1/1,000, HDR image cropped with enhanced contrast during post processing in the digital darkroom.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Stilts, Shovelers, and Egrets in Flight

      Amongst the usual gang of feathered wild life, MyMrMallory and I spotted two black-necked stilts and three northern shovelers, the species that to me seem exciting to spot. We saw a flock of cattle egrets, too. 
      "Would you like to take their picture?" asked MyMrMallory. He stopped the truck and I hopped out. The egrets remained by the shore of the pond for a while, looking at me, big question marks above their heads, then hopped up all at once. They flew around me a couple of times before settling down on the other side of the pond. I noted as I viewed my images in Lightroom, that at first the egrets took off clumsily, messily, and then, as they flew in the air for a while, they found their positions in some semblance of a formation; not anything like the tight formations of the geese, or the Blue Angels, mind you, but certainly tight enough to remain a handsome flock, almost pastoral-looking with the light blue sky and cumulous clouds in the background.
     The ponds in the countryside still contain water, perhaps enough to carry through to autumn. One prays. In the meantime, Penny had a good morning during her birdwatching enjoyment. Support the Texas Parks and Wildlife department by visiting the parks, donating, or by buying season passes.




     

Friday, July 13, 2012

Inspired Artistry in Saint Petersburg

          I came upon an artist selling her beautiful work. She held a watercolor rendering of the Church of Our Savior on Spilled Blood. Her painting shows the clouds in the background, almost the same as the clouds in the background of the photographs I took of the church, and photographs taken by others.


View of the church from the Griboedov canal. 

Russian Orthodox church with romantic nationalism architecture.

Onion dome from inside the church.

Everywhere, all over the church, one can see exquisite work in the mosaics.

Travel buddy Ralph taking a photograph from around one of the columns.

It takes a while to contemplate the artistry inside the church.

Thousands of mosaics on the walls and columns.

Canon Powershot A530.









Toward the Train

Pothole in an old part of eighth street.


Thursday, July 12, 2012

For Trees

     Our trees remain daily in my mind. I look up at them and cross my fingers that they sip enough moisture underground. So far, so good. A normal summer envelops us this year, giving us a bit of respite from the heat of last year.

An oak grows into the sidewalk and its light on eighth street.

Trees provide shade on abandoned rail tracks that run along the easement.

Infrared image of a pecan tree, a marvelous pecan tree that stands about 100 feet tall.
IR720 filter, Nikon D4, 24mm, f2.8, 13 seconds, post-processed in Photoshop.

Infrared oak tree. IR720 filter, D4, f2.8, 15 seconds, post-processed in PhotoShop.
I'm still dabbling with infrared, a most difficult, to me, form of photography. 




Tuesday, July 10, 2012

After Nipping

     Why, might you ask, would anyone convert the loveliness of a passionflower to black and white? Because, I might respond, it looks just as fascinating! It was something I discovered while fiddling around in Photoshop CS6 during post-processing.
      Following the suggestion made by Scott Kelby, (I have consumed his four-volume collection, The Digital Photography Book, available online.) I purchased a tile of black granite. Then I peeked outside at the passionflower vine. Upon it I glimpsed an open flower, looking magnificent. I shuddered, for my plan included nipping one -- sacrilege -- to place upon the black granite. With tripod, flash, remote shutter release, Nikon D4, and 105mm lens, I finally took an image that the wind did not render blurry.



     I placed the passionflower in a bowl with water, then delighted for the rest of the afternoon in looking at it, glancing at it, admiring it, happy that it remained open all the way to my bedtime. This morning I hopped out of bed to see it again. Overnight, it had curled up and closed, ready to create fruit in spite of its circumstance.


Fledglings to Make Lila Proud

Fledglings are everywhere these days, making a racket in the trees 
and in the garden, begging for food from their parents.

Two Blue jays wait quietly, patiently, hungrily.

When Mom appears with food, the fledglings chirp and chatter in high decibels. 
I took these images with Nikon D3 and 80-400mm through a window that confounded the auto focus.
My allusion to Lila in the title pays homage to Lila Arnold, Executive Director of Wild Bird Rescue, who releases abandoned or injured and recovered baby birds by the hundreds every year.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cat at Thousands ISO

5,000 ISO; Nikon D4, 24mm f2.8, f3.5, 0.40,000s, manual, auto WB, in camera light meter; cropped with no additional changes during post-processing in the digital darkroom.

8,000 ISO; Nikon D4, 24mm f2.8, f3.5, 1/5s, manual, auto WB, in camera light meter; cropped with no additional changes during post-processing in the digital darkroom.

65,535 ISO; Nikon D4, 24mm f2.8, f3.5, 1/60s, manual, auto WB, in camera light meter; cropped with no additional changes during post-processing in the digital darkroom. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hazy Day to DTO

The City of Wichita Falls. 
    Haze covered Texas this morning. From 3,500 feet MyMrMallory and I glided smoothly above the thermals toward Denton airport. On our way, MyMrMallory took control of the Scissortail to make turns on a point -- the point being, specifically, his son's new home -- while I took pictures of the acreage upon which it stands, all green now, after the construction of the house. 
    After a few shots, I flew along Highway 380 toward the airport. Denton tower was open and busy, talking to students and other aircraft enjoying the experience of flying during the 4th of July. The tower controller nimbly handled a stream of aircraft approaching, landing, taking off, doing touch 'n goes, and departing. 
    We followed control tower's instructions to continue over H380 and then make a 90-degree turn to final for runway 18. I flew my approach almost perfectly, with the right speed and settings. My landing spooked MyMrMallory, but then, they usually do. I followed instructions from ground control to stop and shut down at Business Air, a nice FBO at Denton airport. We feel especially fond of Business Air in Denton for the kindness they showed us last year. We flew to the radio shop on the field, and while they worked on the radio for a couple of hours, we walked around the buildings, stumbling upon Business Air, whose gentle receptionist offered a crew car for us to look for a place to have lunch. 
    Fueled up (all of seven gallons for the Scissortail), and licking our lips after a tasty homemade ice cream cone, we started up and flew toward the Wichita Falls VOR. Ten miles from the VOR, MyMrMallory took control of the aircraft and began his practice. I peered over the nose at Wichita Valley airport. 
   "Where is everyone? It's a holiday and I thought they'd be flying around all over the place."
   "It's hot and it's lunchtime," said MyMrMallory. His eyebrows frowned as he fell deeply into focus on flying the plane. 
    Neither was the Municipal airport occupied with aircraft. We had the runways all to ourselves as I approached on a right base to runway 15R. The runway, having 13,100 feet in length, and the airport, located at the very end of that runway, make for a long, long taxi; so I maintained 500 feet AGL, glided along over the concrete until I had about 1,000 feet of it left at the end. Then I descended and gently landed, then exited at the end and headed to the airport. Whether MyMrMallory felt spooked or not, I may not ever know, but I did hear a sigh of relief coming from my right before I opened my window and a gush of cooling air blew inside the cockpit. 
   

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Water Off the Nose

Banking toward the Red River along the Oklahoma and Texas borders, off the nose of the airplane.

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.