Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Back from Texas....

 so will leave Alaska for a few posts and put in Texas pictures. fun to take pictures in a totally different place and to enjoy some warmth and sunshine.  well, actually the first few days didn't really feel all that warm.  went with my brother and his family to this wildlife center called fossil rim.  we all had fun.  it's one where you drive around and feed the animals.  i liked the emu's.  this guy is handsome in his own way.
 the ostrich are a bit less friendly.  well, the one that bit me wasn't actually  being mean, the big bird just has a big mouth and tried to take my thumb with the little food bit.  thankfully, it was me and not one of the kids.  Grayson was a bit freaked out for a few minutes after my thumb started bleeding.  i was just laughing at the whole thing. it was my silly mistake for not just dropping the feed or putting it in an open hand. i think with ostriches i'd just drop it for them . those necks are long as hell and a bit unpredictable.  they do have a rep for being aggressive.
 these guys are blackbucks.  they are so beautifully marked.
 i got home in the wee hours last night.  thanks to katie for picking me up despite it being close to 2 am.  apparently shell was still awake and decided to bring the dogs over.  i probably got to bed about 3 am.  i was awake again by 0630.  yikes.  so i am ready to crash here soon.  hopefully, this will put me on schedule as i only took a nap today for maybe an hour.
 below is the wildebeast i think.  above is the female of the black buck.
 the flights were mostly uneventful.  flying out was a bit  bumpy and then there was fog in seattle which delayed us about an hour.  we made up the time though.  we had beautiful views of the sunrise that morning and of mount rainier.  attempted to sleep but i'm always terrible at sleeping in planes.  who can get comfy in those seats.  i know i do better than others.  coming back all flights were packed and they both had loads of kids and babies...not surprising post thanksgiving.  always feel badly for the parents.  travel is exhausting for just me, i can't imagine trying to do all that for a group of kids as well.
 my friend the ostrich.
 it is fun to see totally different stuff and get to play with the camera's a bit.  i only took the macro and the zoom lens.  was happy i used both.  hate to carry all of that and not use it.  may have been good to rent a car and explore more.  went with my sister in law to a local lake before hitting the airport.  lots of graffiti and trash/broken glass but also lots of totally different stuff to take photo's of.  of course, blondie  here set down my backpack to write dance on the ground in rocks and then forgot it.  we had to backtrack...i at least figured out it was missing and had some idea of where i probably dropped it.  thankfully, it was still there with everything in it.
above is just a white tailed deer.
 for thanksgiving i had 4 other siblings there.  there are 7 of us total so to have 5 of 7 in one place is pretty surprising these days.  thankfully there are many ways now to keep in touch.  not that our family always takes advantage of things like texting and skype, it's still great to have face to face time and just be goofy.  my family was always a bit on the goofy side.  besides dinner we got together and bowled the day after thanksgiving.  i'd bought 4 hockey tickets and then tom ended up buying 4 more as more wanted to come. we headed to the stockyards in dallas/fort worth and then hit the local opry christmas show saturday night.
 my family isn't always the most organized but we are also just as happy chilling and chatting.  i got a few little walks in.  they were pet sitting a sweet orange kitten ( only 5 months old) so i got some critter time in.  this was great to just getting out here.  i just prefer to be outside.  lots of different trees and cactus that i never see up here.  a few fall colours still.
 met some that i hadn't yet met and visited with others that i hadn't seen for years.

 i think this guy below is a bongo. there were a few that were off exhibit, bummer.  i would have loved to see the giraffe closer and the white rhino.
 these guys are just white tailed deer.
 coming back through portland i had another delay.  this time it was mechanical.  a fuel gauge on the wing?  anyway, they fixed that up and we got off and again made up the time in the air.  i dozed a few minutes here and there, listened to music mostly.  flight time is close to 8 hours one way. the pilot kept that alaskan part pretty smooth.  the guy in front of me was bouncing off the walls.  i felt most badly for the other people in his row. he got up and down a few times and would just stand in the back of the plane...just long enough for the other people in his row to get back into a deep sleeep. i'm a nervous flyer i will admit, but this guy made me look chill.  when he was in the seat in front of me he bounced all over it.  so each time i'd get somewhat comfy, he'd reposition himself.
 it had gotten cold while i was gone up here so i spent some time shoveling the back deck and front drive.  i also refilled the bird feeders.  then i took the chance at starting the engine.  i figured the battery would be dead, but it pretty much started right up!!  so off  blossom and i went.  we did a loop of gasline to powerline to tank trail.  it wasn't bad out there.  blossom had fun chasing her frisbee and i think rio was thrilled to chill on her couch.  the cats look fat and happy. i guess katie never saw miss breezy.  i picked her up tonight and i think she's feeling pretty well fed.
 got a mammogram in the morning.  so exciting.  haha.  i'm excited i get tomorrow off, so i don't start back to work until thursday night.
 can't totally id all these guys accurately.  part of it is my sleep deprived state.
 it was pretty out there.  i'm all for anything outdoors though.
 the communities are pretty cookie cutter out there.  the houses are pretty but i'd fear getting lost in those neighborhood.  texas can be so flat.  i'm so used to having mountains as a guide.  strange...all that flatness.
 hawk or vulture.  tons of these sorts of guys flying all over the place.
 won't name these.   i did buy what appears to be an incomplete guide book to the animals there .
 mostly the animals were sweet and would take the food pellets right from your hand.  these horns could probably do some serious damage to a cars paint job if given the opportunity.
 i'm gonna guess oryx, though i could be totally wrong on these guys below.  they were chilling.

 occasionally i flipped it to black and white, thought these looks cool in B&W.

 another bird not in the guidebook there were wild turkeys and this guy below looked like a different bird that was on the guide paper, not the book.
 this guy is pretty distinctive, an aoudad.
 you can see how chill it was out there with cars cruising through.  just don't get out of the car.  i stayed in...
 there are some totally cool and beautiful trees down there.  i had fun looking at them all and occasionally got lucky and got a few pictures of one or two.
 i think the emu's and zebras were my favorite of the day. had the giraffes been out of their pen i suspect they would have also come in pretty high.
 the stripes on their face are more brown and then towards the back of the body is more black and white.

 just totally cool looking beasts.
 love those stripes!!
 in honor of thanksgiving these guys were chilling there.  they are not the most beautiful birds.  not one i'd want to eat though.

 the turkeys would chase the car and then peck on it as they ran.
 another pretty tree.
 the giraffes so wanted to come out and play...they are always entertaining.

 and their coat is super pretty too.
i'm gonna crash before i start saying random things. good night. thanks to all who helped make this trip possible, pet caregivers, rides, pilots who don't want to die.   it is always good to catch up with family.  good night....

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