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 . . .

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Immobile Barn Owl

     
       Maybe she thought that if she remained perfectly still, then roofer Carl and I would not spot her. With her camouflage coloring, developed over time by her species, she knew she would blend right in with her background, were that background tree and leaves. The walls of an old abandoned house provided the background for her this time, and the closet, the door upon which she roosted, her nest. She remained still, quite still except for a micro-movement of her left eyelid, and a barely perceptible turn of her head as she followed every one of our movements.
     

Swapping Ol' Trucks

      For a year or so, our plan evolved into various stages before we spontaneously jumped into the truck, accepting that come what may come, we would figure things out, and return home by sunset.

      Our task: To deliver a fifteen-year old truck in Pampa, and to return home with a twenty-year old truck.  

      It was the day of the year when the winds at Perry Lefors Field in Pampa did not howl at thirty knots; the kind of day you choose to fly there in your little airplane to land with winds at ten knots. Oh, well. 

      The sky had just enough clouds to embellish the photographs I took along the way. I lugged a Nikon D3 that Ben Jacobi had just assisted me in converting to an infrared camera. My first time with it, and all the images grabbed from the passeger seat as we sped by, I give thanks to Nik's plug-ins in Photoshop, for I managed to find some shots pleasing to my eye. 

      I love the Panhandle Plains, and I love making images of every corner of them. The infrared images make the plains all the more fascinating to me. 

Foliage is still turning green along the way. 

Cattle munch on the native grasses.

An old windmill still brings water to the well.

A butte in a cotton field.

Cotton stalks after the harvest. 

Uh oh. Fire in a wheat field. To the right, an oil drilling unit. 

Silos.

A widening road cut through a barn in Quanah.

Perry Lefors Field old hangars.

The dash of a '92 Chevrolet Cheyenne covered in layers of dust and dirt.

     We found the old truck in the hangar. MyMrMallory connected the battery, gave the engine a good look, declared it safe to start, and then turned the key. The motor started right away, shaking the entire truck, and with a cloud of dust blowing out of its exhaust pipe. 

     Inside the truck, twenty-years of North Texas dust and dirt cover the dash. I pulled the lever and opened the passenger door, tossed my bag on the bench seat, and sat down, testing the air with my nostrils. Would I breathe in the dust and suffer a spasm of asthma, or would I survive? I could always hold my breath for the three-hour drive home. I looked for the button to roll down the window, discovering that it had none, and that the reason we say "roll down the window," is because back in the old days, vehicles had levers that people grasped and turned in order to open the window. I carefully cranked the lever to roll down the window. It came down nicely, and let fresh country air into the cabin. I breathed in deeply. 

     Someone years before had covered the back and driver's side glass with a dark plastic that now bubbled in the middle and pealed along the edges. A crack struck through the windshield on the passenger side, reminding me of the way lightning looks in pictures. Along the driver's door, smears of brown oil colored the gray panel. I looked at my door, and noted that no oil field worker or cowboy had smeared the passenger side. 

     The bed of the truck had no tailgate. In it, a roll of barbed wire and a shovel lay on a thick rubber mat long enough that it hung out of the bed, where once it had its tailgate. Placed over the bed, against the cabin, sat a long, white, scratched, and dented toolbox. I reached up to unlatch it, and the cover bolted upwards, startling me, making me jump backwards a couple of feet. I held my nose and peered in. The toolbox contained a large wrench, a hammer, paper towels, and several cans of WD-40, all of them covered in a layer of dust. 

     The truck we delivered in Pampa has not endured the hard life the old truck did. It runs well and reliably, and the reason we wanted to swap them. Back at home, I asked one of my favorite mechanics about the old truck:   

     Me: "Well, I'd like to keep this ol' truck to run errands in."
     MyMrMallory: "Ha, if you can get Paul to look at it!"     
     Me: "Paul, would you look at this old truck to make sure it'll keep running?"
     Paul: "As long as there's no cow poop, yes, I will."


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ye Ol' Barn

Stumbled upon an old barn in Wise County. It sat surrounded by flowers, which were the focus of my attention, and which led me to the barn, unbeknownst, as I traipsed in the countryside from bloom to bloom, until I looked up. 





Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Zig-zag and Wavy

Wheel of a helicopter trailer. 

Oil cooler of a helicopter. 


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Early Morning Vulture


I jumped up and waved my arms; I hooted and hollered; but no amount of complaining from me made this fellow move his cold wings from my tree after spending a frosty night above my porch. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Camera Settings Lessons

      Ronda gave a photography lesson today. I count her among the rare instructors who have an innate ability to explain something easily to a student. I asked her if I could receive more lessons from her, for I enjoyed the class and learned new and creative ways to make images.

Students attentive to instructions. 

Students "chimping" and discussing camera settings.

Below, I show our experiments with ISO 100, f5.6, and 1/200 sec.
I tweaked the light and contrast in the top image.






Thursday, April 18, 2013

Small Hoodoo

     Small hoodoo at the edge of a pond and cow path in a wheat field. 


Bellies of Cedar Waxwings

     I appreciate gazing up at cedar waxwings at the end of the day when they roost on a nearby branch.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Bindweed Clumps



       Spring is when I give myself more time to arrive at places, for I take time to stop to make images of the flowers, to look at them, to admire their colors, to marvel at nature. Just think: We humans are part of nature! 
       Today I accompanied Paul and two young men to a wheat field. There, they picked up stones, and they placed them in a trailer. In picking up the stones, the young men encountered a copperhead snake, several scorpions and other arachnids, and a wood rat. 
       "Don't kill anything. Don't kill anything," Paul told the young men.
       I admired in Paul his respect for other living things. 
       "We don't live long enough," said Paul, "So we don't see the consequences of our actions." 
       Look ahead at our descendants and what they will find during their lifetimes. I hope it is healthy.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Garden Walk: White-throated Sparrow and Turkey

       Of all things, I came upon one wild bird that would 1) remain within range of my long lens, and 2) pose for my camera. Another wild bird, a turkey, responded to my presence in characteristic fashion, by jumping up and flying away. The turkey, though, did give me a long look, as if curious and attempting to determine what I was; and having decided, flew away.
        Thanks to Paul and Nila, I have interesting walks in my garden, more so than usual. The native plants they planted attract varied wild birds and insects.

White-throated sparrow in a wisteria vine.

Turkey in my oak tree.

Nikon D7000, ISO800, f5.6 1/200sec, aperture priority, Tamron 70-300mm f4-5.6.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Purple Ground Cherry

     According to Grevata Ajilvsgi, in her book Wildflowers of Texas, the purple ground cherry, shown below, "performs well in extreme drought." The cracked soil around it complements the image.
   

Mexican Gold Poppy

      

Locoweed Thriving


     The one little locoweed plant I've watched for a couple of weeks thrives in its sunny spot on the cliff.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Monarch Butterflies on Lantana


     I am delighted to say that I saw eight to ten monarch butterflies within fifty feet of where I stood in Archer County.
     Press on, Monarchs!

Pink Funnel-Lilly

Androstephium breviflorum

Pink Funnel-lilly after a rain over Archer County, Texas.

Swallowtail Pipevine


       MyMrMallory spotted it first, then I, and eyes as wide as saucers, stared at it. He stopped the truck, and I still amazed by the beauty of this butterfly, jaw dropped, composed myself, then raised my camera to take its picture. 
   

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Buckeye

The tree that Charlie planted two years ago flowers every spring.

Soon to Bloom . . .

. . . and I wait with enthusiasm . . .


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Poppy-Mallow After a Rain


Puccoons for Ysabel

I dedicate this photograph I took yesterday to Ysabel



Asteraceae, a Yellow One

       I've discovered, of late, that flowers take more time to research, much more time than birds. Thousands of one family of flowers may exist, leading to thousands of pages to peruse, delightfully, and time-consumingly! Below, I show a drop-covered daisy in my garden after a rain fall, a whopping (for these parts) one-and-a-half inch of moisture. 

       
          Now, back to the books to discover which astereceae this one is.

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.