Great Horned Owls of White Rock Lake

Got a tip from a fellow photographer about a Great Horned Owl nest at White Rock Lake located in Dallas County.  So that weekend it was too for golf,  I load up my gear and headed down.  They had nested in an old hawk nest.  By the time I got down there the nest was in pretty bad shape and starting to fall apart the owlets were already getting pretty big. March 2nd, 2019 I never got a decent shot of either parent as they were always on high alert and way out there.

Cedar Wax Wings migrate through every spring but never took the time to go after them.  On the way back to the parking lot, I saw hundreds of birds playing on the edge of the lake.  I was lucky enough to be able to circle around them and get a few decent shots. March 8th, 2019: Was pretty sad to hear that next time I went to check on the family, that the nest was destroyed in a storm and high winds and we lost one of the two owlets.  One of the photographers that is there every day stated that another photographer went into the ticket and found baby owl feathers.  While creeping around trying to find the mom, dad and the perfect angle, I spotted this eye watching me.  Never got a clear shot of mom or dad, but did score another Barred Owl nest hole. The fourth working Barred Owl cavity I know of in Texas.  People have asked how I find the owls, mostly luck but I spend a lot of time creeping and observing and checking every hole for movement or eye.  While looking for the parents, I saw the silhouette of a larger bird, using my best ninja skills, was able to get a clear photo of a Red Tail Hawk.Two days later, March 10th headed back.  Found the dad: Dalton.  They named him Dalton because of the movie quote, “I always thought you would be bigger.”The lone surviving owlet is getting bigger. Finally able to get a halfway decent shot of mom, giving me the stink eye.  I could be wrong but I think they called her Hanna.I am pretty impressed that both parents continue to feed and care for the lone owlet without a nest.  I have read that the parents will continue to feed them and help the owlets for up to 5 or 6 months.  I didn’t make it down there this weekend, so I am guessing the little family will have moved on by the time I get back from a work trip.

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Life is good and I am blessed.

Kent 

 

Anniversary Cruise

It had been several years (3) since Sharon and I had been on an anniversary trip. All our vacations and trips can be found on this blog at Vacations. Several cruise companies had been running some specials. Matt and Ashly love to cruise as does my sister. Miss Sharon and I said what the heck, let’s try one. We live 4.5 hours from Galveston, so we decided on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Cozumel, Gand Cayman, and Jamaica. I was afraid I would feel stuck on the ship with 4,300 of my closest friends. So we booked excursions for every port. I was a little torn if I was going to take a DSLR or just go with my trusty iPhone. Ended up taking a DSLR and a tripod only because we booked a trip to Chichen iIza to see one of the 8th wonders of the world.

Sharon does not travel well. She gets car sick so we were worried going in. By day two she was so sick she got to see the ship’s doctor even though she had patches and sea bands.

Needless to say she missed the first port of call. So I went solo to Chichen Itza.

I felt bad that Sharon miss the excursion, so I bought her a local hand made silver necklace and earrings.

Didn’t take the DSRL off the boat the rest of the trip. Sharon was a new person by the time I got back to the boat and was up for the next excursion. A day of shopping in the Caymen’s. We had a wonderful lunch at Jimmy Buffets, after a morning of diamond shopping. Sharon scored a new wedding mount and two new wedding bands. I was worried about them switching out our diamond. They made the mount, and I watched them like a hawk mount our diamond. It has it GIA number lasered onto the griddle, and I was able to verify it was still our stone.

New Mount

A comparison shot of her old mount and her new mount.

All in all we had a great trip but we are not cruisers, and I am guessing this was our first and last cruise. I needed to get this post out so I could get onto the owls I have been shooting.

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Life is good and I am blessed.

Kent