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, July 27, 2014

Well-travelled Butterfly


Wings a bit frayed, the butterfly flew from flower to flower during the high heat of the day.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bombing Avocet



     Upon discovering a pair of nesting American avocets and two or three nesting Black-necked stilts with fledglings wandering around the upper pond, I promised myself to return to photograph them. Clearly upset, the avocets yelped and bombed us until we left; so I planned to arrive at their nesting site quietly to avoid distressing them again. 
           
     A week later and after a heavy rain, driving along the road, a scant 600 yards from the pond, I came upon a large mud hole of the kind that could leave me stuck if I attempted to drive through it, or at least, if successful to cross it, would leave ruts so deep that they would ruin the road. At the same time, it looked like the perfect spot to leave the truck and walk quietly up to the pond. Part of my plan entailed sneaking up to the avocets and stilts. 

    With my tripod and camera with long lens resting on my shoulder, I headed toward the pond. Unusual for this time of year in North Texas, the weather brought overcast skies and cool temperatures, making it comfortable for walking carrying a heavy camera, lens, and tripod. To my left and right, the mesquite plants thrived next to clumps of tall sunflowers. While the orioles, Bullock's and Baltimores, have remained elusive to me, showing themselves only by a brilliant yellow or orange flash passing before me, this time rewarded me; a fledgling oriole sat long enough on a branch to allow for a photograph. A fledgling Green heron eyed me, watching for any threatening movements, and a roadrunner hopped from branch to branch on a small mesquite, moving farther away from me with every one of my steps.

     Half-way to the pond, a Killdeer flying around the perimeter of her nesting site, spotted me. "Ah," I thought, "She'll annunciate my arrival to everyone now." The Killdeer veered toward me, aligned herself with the road, and lined up for a straight in final, landing a few feet ahead of me. Running ahead of me, she chirped and chipped and carried on to make sure I focussed on her, rather than on her nest. The ruckus, though, alerted the avocets, both of which came careening around the corner at low altitude, then straight toward me. Tranquility at the pond ended, but I pressed ahead. 

     I put the brightest part of the overcast sky behind me and sat down, aiming the lens toward the water. No young stilts in sight this day; instead, I had the unusual sight of the incoming bombing avocets. The stilts eventually left me and disappeared over the ledge to a third and back pond, but one relentless avocet remained. Every bombing attempt by the bird gave me good practice with my camera skills; but enough was enough. I began to feel upset that I distressed the birds, and fewer than five minutes later, I gathered my tripod and started walking toward the truck and away from the pond. The most relentless of the avocets bombed me all the way to the road. 

     On the road, the Killdeer took over her task. She flew over me and landed a few feet ahead of me, and ran ahead, carrying on and on up the road. At one point, I stepped away and hid behind a mesquite plant, watching her reaction. She stopped suddenly, turned around, and walked toward me, looking at me behind the mesquite, her head high, her chirping slower. Then, I stepped back on the road and walked. The Killdeer then turned around and hastened her step and chirping. I thought, "She might be thinking that 'It's working!' I am leading this human away from my nest and back to her truck!'" Only fifty yards from my truck did the Killdeer finally take flight and turn toward the pond, back to her nesting site. 

     Below, I post a photograph of the young Black-necked stilt and the American avocet couple taken a week prior to the day the Killdeer foiled my plan to approach them quietly.




Sunday, July 13, 2014

New Orleans Stroll

Louisiana flag, "Union, Justice, and Confidence," showing the "pelican in her piety."


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Strolling on Royal Street.

Louisiana Supreme Court Building.

The entryway to the Angela King Gallery on Royal Street.

Frederick Hart sculpture.

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Storefronts.





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Musicians on Frenchman Street.


Cafe Beignet


Cafe Beignet in New Orleans.



Looking inside the night before, we promised ourselves to return the next day. 




Avocets and Stilts


         Though the temperature felt hot and muggy, there was plenty of activity in the area where we attempt to heal the land from spilled saltwater. Avocets, killdeer, mockingbirds, scissortails, orioles, and black-necked stilts chirped and fussed as I walked up to them. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

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.