Granddaughters Texas Summer Vacation 2016

I had a work trip back to Illinois, Sharon decided to drive up and spend some time with Shelby and then met me in Bloomington to get to see Audry and little Layla.  Somehow while she was up in central Illinois she was able to talk her kids into letting her kidnap the oldest two granddaughters for TWO weeks.  It was my job to try and balance work and time with all the girls.  My main objective was to keep them busy and wear them out!

Everyday at least once a day time was spent in our pool!  They wore Nana down and she let them jump off the waterfall.  Then Nana had to get in on the action.  This is my favorite photograph of the two weeks.

PBKJ7498-FrameShop_2Day 1 Activities was Urban Air:  Both girls learned to do back flips!PBKJ7520-FrameShopPBKJ7526-FrameShopPBKJ7555-FrameShopPBKJ7561-FrameShopMy trusty 5D3 handled the tough lighting conditions, but the iPhone videos did a nice job of capturing the series of flips.

Couple more days in the pool and then over to JumpStreet in Allen for a larger trampoline park.KJ5D6044-FrameShop KJ5D6057-FrameShop KJ5D6058-FrameShop

Even Nana decided to flip around.

The last big adventure was to take their cousin and her friend over to Fort Worth to see the Long Horns and cattle drive.

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I was really impressed when Sharon told me to pose the girls and capture the repeating vanishing lines.KJ5D6097-FrameShop

All in all I think they had a blast and went home wore out.

Life is good and we are blessed!

I have several new hummingbird photos to post, I’ll work on keeping caught up and doing better!


Tour 18 Dallas

While on vacation, I ventured out from my normal golf club and drove over to Flower Mound and played the Tour 18.  Tour 18 is America’s Greatest Golf Holes.  I took my camera along to document a few of the holes.

The Blue Monster from Doral.KJ5D5906-FrameShop

Crooked Sticks #15KJ5D5907-FrameShop

Wing Foot #10 Par 3, 174 yards, I hit the green and made par.KJ5D5909-FrameShop

TPC Sawgrass #17.  I hit the green and 3 putted for Bogey.  I played a knocked down 9 iron from 127 into a strong wind.KJ5D5913-FrameShop  The Start of Amen Corner:  #11 from Augusta National KJ5D5915-FrameShop

#12 from Augusta National, 148 yards, I hit the green on the fly, one hopped into the back bunker.  Hit a decent sand shot that stayed on the green and 2 putted for Bogey. KJ5D5917-FrameShop The REAL #12 from my trip to the Masters.PBKJ0228-FrameShop

#13 from Augusta National KJ5D5919-FrameShop

The REAL #13PBKJ0249-FrameShop

I was supposed to play with a couple of guys from my normal group.  They all backed out and got paired with 3 three Farmers Branch Police Department Officers.  Really nice guys.  This was before all the craziness but I offered to take their photo on TPC 17 tee box.  Thanks for your service guys!KJ5D5914-FrameShop

The course was in decent shape.  The bunkers were washed out from some heavy rains the two days before.  The mid-week rate was only $39 and I thought it was a fun track and a good value.  I will go back now that I have played a lot of the blind tee shots.

Life is good and I am blessed!


Austin Vacation trip

I was on vacation the week of Fourth of July. The plan was golf all 10 days in the morning and staycation at home in the pool in the afternoon.  After 6 straight days of Golf I decided to take Sharon to Austin for the three B’s.  Bats, BBQ, and Blues.

We left Friday morning at 6:00 AM to get to Franklin’s BBQ before they opened 11:00. We got there 9:50 AM.  The line started forming at 5:30 AM, and 4 people in front of us was a guy holding the “Last Man Standing” sign.  He was the last person to be guaranteed Brisket.  Pretty soon a worker came out and told us the same things and that from our place in line would be 4 to 5 hour wait and may not get any Brisket.  We left and went to Black’s BBQ down in Lockhart.  I had the brisket and turkey and was not impressed with their meats, but they had GREAT sides. Hutchins BBQ in McKinney is better.


Sharon isn’t a big meat eater so I treated her to her favorite Italian.  We ate at Botticelli’s South Congress.  Then we went to the Continental Club for some live Texas Blues.

I really enjoyed Sam the Soulman.  Here is a little IPhone video.

Then walked about a mile down to Congress Street Bridge to watch over 3 million bats take flight to go eat over 10,000 lbs of insects every night.  The Bats are Mexican free-tailed.  Really special to see.  They started flying at 8:42 right at dusk and not idea for photography.

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The Bats viewing would be way better from the water on one of the tour boats.  The iPhone video actually did a pretty good job capturing the feeling of the bats.

Saturday lunch we headed to The Salt Lick another famous BBQ joint.  Their meats were better than Black’s but their sides were not good at all.  The highlight of the meal was their homemade bread and the cobbler and ice cream for dessert. Still NOT Hutchins BBQ.

Spend the afternoon hanging out with Jen, Jared, and Eden our old neighbors from Bloomington.  Then headed to the find the bats of Round Rock.  You could get much closer and they few with a fair amount of good light left. around 8:25.


Stopped by Antone’s Austin famous Blues club on the way back to the hotel but didn’t stay long.

Sunday morning we hit the famous VooDoo Doughnuts on the way out of town!  Way better than either BBQ joint.

I still plan on trying Franklins one more time.  Maybe Aaron Franklin will invite me to do a food blog on him.  Only one person every was allowed to cut in line and that was President Obama.  He bought and paid for everybodies food that was in line.  I am guessing our tax dollars paid but that is a different post.

Austin is a weird city and we will be back.  We packed a lot in during our 2 and half days.

Not my normal blog post full of wildlife and nature but it was what flew in front of my lens while on vacation.

Life is good and I am blessed.




Burrowing Owls of Zanjero Park Arizona

I was asked to go out to my company’s development center in Phoenix Arizona.  It has been raining so much in Texas I haven’t been out in the field doing my wildlife photography.  I decided to go ahead and pack a camera and a small zoom lens.  I had heard that there were Burrowing Owls in Gilbert.  Sure enough they have made a park for the Owls.  As the cities around Phoenix build out new subdivision, then relocate the Burrowing Owl families to Zanjero Park. Volunteers have build 100 man made Owl burrows.

KJ5D5890-FrameShopThere was at least 4 or 5 active owls while I was there.  I was a little surprised as it was 117 degrees while I was there.  I took my Cannon 5D MK III and my 100-400mm MKII.  As soon as the Owls started flying around I really wished I would have brought my trusty 1DX, but I made do with what I had.KJ5D5792-FrameShop KJ5D5811-FrameShop

Is this one guarding a pile of Dog Pooh?KJ5D5820-FrameShop KJ5D5875-FrameShopWas finally able to catch one in flight, the Batman pose no less.KJ5D5845-FrameShopI don’t like man made objects in my nature and wildlife photos but I wanted to post a few of the habitat that built for the owls.

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Each Burrow is numbered.  This owl lived in #35, but liked to hang out on the #47 / #48 perch.  The first 60 burrows are along a wide cement pathway.  The rest are out in more of a gravel path.  Hope you found this little review worth your time.

If I get time while I am out here, I am going to look for the Wild Horses of the Salt River.

Life is good and I am blessed!

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2106 Buick Cascada

Sharon has always loved cars.  She has been a gearhead from the time I met her.  She always wanted a 1968 Camaro convertible.  I bought her a 2007 Saturn Sky convertible, but she didn’t love it.  Finally found her a convertible she loves.  Right after I bought my 2016 GMC Terrain, she got new car fever bad.  So here she is!

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Top UpKJ5D5659-FrameShop

Life is good and I am blessed!

Enjoy the photos and what you read? Subscribe to be notified of future posts via email by either clicking the Follow button at the bottom or the Subscribe section on the right.