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 . . .

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Various Ducks and an Olive-sided Flycatcher

     Many ducks benefit by the recent rains, eating and resting at the ponds that now have water. Sneaking up closer to the ducks, I managed to take a few pictures of them that now serve as a reminder to me of a wonderful experience watching them and looking at the ponds survive a drought. 
      In addition to the ducks shown below, I spotted four Black-bellied Whistling ducks, Red-headed ducks, Killdeer, Lesser Yellowlegs, Loggerhead shrikes, Mockingbirds, Meadowlarks, Goldfinches, Bluebirds, Kestrel, a large flock of Canada geese overhead, White-crowned sparrows, Lark sparrows, and what so far I think were Song sparrows.

An Olive-sided flycatcher catching insects that float on the surface.

 Female Bufflehead.

Male and female Buffleheads.

Gadwall appearing comfortable with me sitting in the brush watching her.

A Green-winged Teal kept an eye on me, ready to launch if I moved. I held my breath.

Ring-necked ducks viewed through branches around the pond. This pond is surrounded by thick brush, and though it provides a nice cover, I have to wait for the ducks to float to just the right spots.

Northern Shoveler. 

       A large group of shovelers and teals rested on the surface and in the grasses that had grown tall when the pond dried.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

About Two Hundred Ducks

     Happily, the land appears to heal with the help of the autumn rains. The ponds have enough water to see us through the winter. The migratory birds have noticed and stopped by for a while. We spotted (rather startled) about two or more hundred ducks, including mallards, predominantly, pintails, shovelers, and teals.
     One of my wishes for the new year is to see more green foliage growing around the trunks of trees, such as the ones I show in the photos below.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Crystal Bridges Art Museum

A silver tree stands at the entry way of the Crystal Bridges art museum.

The first exhibit hall. I spent most of my time here gazing admiringly at the landscape paintings.

The collection is wonderfully varied. 

      We landed an airport named after the female pioneer in aviation Louise Thaden. The folks at Summit FBO, Will and Cassandra, were gracious and friendly. I'll always remember them. 
       Pictures I took during the flight: 

Firelight on my phone showed our route and a few other aircraft in the air. 

We skimmed above the clouds at seven thousand feet on our way to Bentonville. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Chilicothe's Love's

Highly recommended if you happen to find yourself on Highway 287 in North Texas.
Visit the Texas State Historical Association's web site for a little bit of information on Chilicothe.
            I would not have thought of having lunch there any time soon. My change in plans presented itself at the airport in Vernon, where I was resting before proceeding to my home airport. I sat in the lounge wide-eyed and watching the people there and all the activity. Witt, the executive director of the American Bonanza Society hovered energetically around everyone. A student taking an oral exam was there, too, and the lineman. Lawrence's assistant was there. He was a young man who taught flight instruction with Lawrence. 
             "Let's go have a steak," said Lawrence to Mary. "You oughtta come with us," he said to me.
             "Yes," said Mary, "You ought to." I was glad to accept the invitation.
             Everyone except Witt piled into a crew car parked outside. Hard to know what company built the car, for the paint had peeled and the dents hid any clues to its model. 
             Just past the main entrance to the airport, the left back tire started to bump. Lawrence turn back to the airport and drove it into the large, WWII era hangar. There, we piled into an equally beat up vehicle, then drove to Chilicothe, fifteen miles away, uneventfully. 
             The North Texas landscape had just recently turned to its winter look, light browns and muted greens on both sides of the highway. Long stretches of road reminded us that some highways were built long enough and strong enough to land military aircraft, which is an interesting tidbit about Texas history in aviation. 
             The meal at Love's was fresh and tasty, just like real cooking should be. The ambiance resembled most BBQ places and yet, one can perceive its own strong personality. Highly recommended for the food will embellish the experience. 
            Not too long afterwards, we piled back into the vehicle. Lawrence had difficulty starting it, though, and tried and tried. 
            "Rock back and forth," he said. I wondered what he meant by "rock back and forth." The student and Mary did not hesitate, and neither did his assistant, bending at the waist forward and backward in their seats. 
            "Sideways," said Lawrence. The assistant opened his door, stood outside the vehicle, and pushed to and fro. The car started.
            "Lawrence," I said, "how on earth did you figure out this one?"
            "I've driven enough beat up cars to know."
            His comment made me think about the experiences that flying gives to a pilot, specifically in regard to cars. Every airport is different, some with character and some without; some very wealthy, some in the middle; and some poor. But all have a car available to loan the pilots for them to drive to lunch. MillionAire in Addison provides Mercedes; Oklahoma City provides a Lincoln Continental, purple and beat up, but drivable. At a few airports, you can expect to find a car key underneath the potted plant by the door, and at others, the manager loans his personal car to the pilots. 
           Luxury car, rattle-trap car, either one can provide a nice experience, particularly if you can find a great place for lunch.

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.