I'm thinking of returning this blog to what at one time I intended to do with it by making it a blog mostly devoted to photographs, mainly nature photographs, most of them taken in or near Austin. Some of the photos may have extended commentary, but more often little or none.
Examples below. Click on pictures for a larger image.
This is a great-tailed grackle, a much-hated bird in Austin, even though they are very pretty in bright light like this. Normally the males look completely black. These are birds that adapt well to humans, and in fact love noise and excitement, so they roost at night (in very large numbers) by preference in areas with lots of activity, like university campuses and shopping malls along I-35 with parking lots which ill-advisedly have a few trees for landscaping. If I buy groceries after dark at a nearby supermarket that fronts the freeway I make sure not to park under a tree. Everybody in Austin knows this, I suppose, but every once in a while as I emerge with my groceries I will notice a car, perhaps with out-of-state plates, parked under a tree and now seriously covered with grackle shit. (How often does anyone get to write "grackle shit" in a blog? Hmm. Google tells us the answer: 181 times before now.)
Anyway, quite a beautiful bird at times. Here are a few more:
Photo somewhere in Austin, I forget where.
This was in Comal Springs in New Braunfels, Texas.
Photo probably taken in my neighbor's back yard. My neighbor has horses. Grackles like horses as well as they like people.
This grackle was preening pretty exuberantly in a dead hackberry tree near my house.