I had company for dinner and the menu included chicken fajitas, cooked on the grill in foil packets, hobo style so it was easy and gave me time to visit and enjoy the slushy watermelon margaritas with my guests. Here are the peppers and onions ready for the chicken and spices before being folded into foil packets for grilling.
N.B. The foil kept the chicken and peppers from getting grill marks and the smoky flavor that a charcoal BBQ gives to food. I won’t be trying this on the grill again. Sounded appealing. It wasn’t. The slushy watermelon margaritas were delicious. Definitely something I’ll make again.
Yes, it has come to this. Rabbit food for dinner.
I took this photograph almost four and a half years ago on my first visit to the Grand Canyon and my first photography trip with Moose Peterson. We had dramatic skies with god beams. I’m going back next year. I hope we have skies this gorgeous.
Forget about raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. These are a few of my favorite things. And the best part about this kind of “favorite thing” is there are so many favorites to choose from!
I used the “Bloody Mary” dramatic filter in Luminar and it enhanced the red wine stains on the corks exactly to my liking.
On my last full day in Texas this past April, Connie and I visited the Bolivar Peninsula to do some Beach Panning. It was cold, overcast, and rain threatened but we went in search of shorebirds. There weren’t great numbers but there were enough that kept us busy for a while. The birds were coming into their breeding plumage and this Dunlin was sporting his finest feathers.
I spent most of the yesterday working on the newsletter for the California Foundation for Birds of Prey (CFBP). Their Open House was in May and I took some photographs during the free flight demonstrations. I found a couple of shots I’d forgotten about, including this one of Mariposa, a Harris’s Hawk I’ve featured in my blog in past years.
The other day I bought a beautiful orchid and put it on the dining room table. The next morning when I came downstairs, the backlight from the window made the spray of flowers even more stunning.
It was appropriate since we were in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada, on the edge of Hudson’s Bay that we were able to photograph a pair of Hudsonian Godwits at the Granary Pond one evening. The Hudsonian Godwit is a large shorebird that breeds in the Arctic and winters in southern South America. According to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, its remote breeding and wintering grounds at such northern and southern extremes make it one of the least known of American shorebirds. We were able to photograph this pair in full breeding plumage as they preened and searched for food along the edge of the pond.
The rocks stretched out before me for more than 100 yards, coming to an abrupt end at the edge of Hudson’s Bay where giant ice bergs floated and shorebirds and gulls landed on them to rest and eat the fish they had caught. We were there to photograph those birds. But to do that, I needed to get as close as possible to them. To get close meant I needed to walk on those rocks—that unsteady, wobbly carpet of rocks—while I carried my 22 pound camera rig on my shoulder. I took slow, deep breaths trying not to hyperventilate. My heart was in my throat with each step. I wondered if each rock I chose upon which to place my foot would be steady enough and solid enough to bear my weight without shifting. Despite the arctic cold, my face was flushed and I was dripping in sweat. I was scared to death. I tried. I really tried to walk across those rocks. But with each step and each wobble my terror intensified. I just couldn’t do it. I had to turn back.
For most people, walking across a field of rocks requires nothing more than paying attention to where you’re stepping. For most people, the thought of walking across a field of rocks is not a frightening prospect. For me, walking across a field of rocks holds sheer terror. My fear is unreasonable, irrational, and illogical, but it is very real. Until that experience, I had no idea that I was afraid to walk on rocks. I was uncomfortable with the thought of it but didn’t for a moment think I’d have the reaction I ultimately had. Apparently, I lack sure-footedness, the confidence it takes to walk on uneven surfaces without fear of falling down. This field of rocks was my nemesis.
My companions helped me maneuver the rocks back to solid ground and my equipment and I returned safely without my fears coming true. But, I felt as if I’d failed to accomplish what I’d set out to do. And, much to my chagrin and because of me, my three companions also abandoned the photo shoot. Now I felt even worse. Because of me, my friends lost an opportunity to capture some incredible photographs. We did find other birds to photograph that evening, including a relatively uncommon Hudsonian Godwit so all was not lost. And, my friend Moose pointed out to me that far from failing at something, I was wise to know my limitations. That made me feel a little better and at least I’d tried to do it before deciding where my limit was.
The only shot I got before turning back was of a Ring-billed Gull perched at the edge of Hudson’s Bay where the rocks met the water. When I got back to safety, I took a couple of photographs of the rocks that had foiled me. Because I had my long telephoto lens on the camera, I couldn’t capture a wide angle shot that showed the extensive field of rocks. The other photographs are in essence detail shots of the rocky terrain my fears and I faced.
The Sapphire-throated Hummingbird is listed in The Birds of Costa Rica (second edition) as rare in Costa Rica, with its first confirmed sighting in 2008 in an area near the Osa Peninsula. The bird isn’t listed on Luna Lodge’s bird listing. We saw and photographed what I’m convinced is a Sapphire-throated Hummingbird on the Sunday we arrived at Luna Lodge and again on Friday, our last full day at Luna Lodge. My conclusion is based on the color of its beak (the underside is pink), feather color (glittering blue-violet from chin to upper breast and brilliant green on crown), tail shape (noticeably forked), and size (4 inches). According to information on the Internet, sightings of this bird in and around Golfito, near Luna Lodge, are increasing and since it’s information from the internet, it must be true!
There is lots of porter weed, a relative of verbena, that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds in the area where I took this photograph on the Luna Lodge grounds. The hummer is perched on a dried twig of the porter weed and a cluster of its purple flowers is visible at left. It’s too bad I didn’t have the flash setup I used in Madera Canyon, AZ to photograph hummingbirds there. The flash would have made the colors glimmer.