Monday, September 22, 2003

Fun in Houston, Birdy Day

Sunday I awoke in the pre-dawn darkness to the sound of rain pounding on the roof. It was 7am but the sun called in sick and never bothered to show up for work. Not letting torrential rain and hazardous road conditions deter me, I drove to Houston to see Troy and Elizabeth. Speaking of road hazards, from their house in Spring we went up to The Woodlands to see a movie, and on the way we had an interesting encounter with a couple of young African-American women in a Nissan Pathfinder. It started when they cut us off on I-45. Troy honked at them. They flipped us off. We laughed at them. Then one of them leaned out the window and waved a gun at us.

Ironically, we were on our way to see "Once Upon A Time In Mexico," which turned out to be a cinematic celebration of extreme gun violence and brutal what we experienced on our way to the theater was sort of a preview...

I'm numb as a statue
I may have to beg, borrow or steal
Some feelings from you
So I can have some feelings too - Warren Zevon

Fall migration is in full swing, and today was a very birdy day in the swamp. While following a single Broad-winged Hawk with my binoculars I discovered a swirling kettle of hawks circling high in the stratosphere - scanning the sky I counted about 30 Broad-wings in 3 kettles. There were also a few Turkey Vultures among them, and I later saw a lone Black Vulture. Other smaller birds were also on the move; these included numerous Chimney Swifts, Barn Swallows, and a single Cliff Swallow (a first for my yard list). Blue Jays were constantly flying by on their way to somewhere else. A Warbling Vireo that briefly visited a tree in my backyard furnished yet another first sighting. Walking around the pond I saw Pileated and Red-headed Woodpeckers, Pine Warbler, and a singing Eastern Wood-Pewee. At least 4 Summer Tanagers (one an adult male) were coming to a fruiting bush in a neighbor's yard.


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