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Spring Photo Binge Day 5: Cibolo Nature Center and Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area

May 9, 2013
Flower and Grasshopper

© – Purple Flower & Tiny Grasshopper

“…Not with a bang but a whimper.
– T.S. Elliot “The Hollow Men”

Day 5 was nothing to write home about.  But since this is a blog, and some of y’all have been following this, I should probably write about it.  But yesterday was not the day I wanted to write about it.  It needed to breathe.

This was a day that was going to be a stretch.  The weather forecast was not nearly as clear-cut as the other days.  In retrospect, I should have tried to push my business day in Kingsville to Wednesday rather than Tuesday.  But part of me also wanted to try out the sites in Corpus Christi on a good day, which of course did not happen due to timing.  Life is what happens when we’re busy making other plans.

So I got out to the Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne, Texas fairly early in the morning.  Now I knew that luck was not going to be with me because I was traveling west and as I traveled west the clouds got thicker.  Usually a bad sign.

Bad sign number two was when I pulled up into the parking lot, expecting that early on a weekday that the place would be empty and instead the first thing I see is 2 school buses.  This too, in retrospect, should have been a warning and a good excuse to go up to Kreutzberg Canyon first.  But I didn’t.

Photography conditions were horrible.  Very few insects were moving.  Very few birds were present, and the light but gusty winds were pushing the flowers from side to side, pretty much eliminating all the photography hopes I had for the morning.  I made about 50 images and I was pleased with a couple of them.  But 50 images is far from the binge that I had been enjoying the rest of the week.

But to the positive (and I always try to find a positive), I did get a chance to explore some areas of the Nature Center that I had not seen before, to include a chance to walk the boardwalk on the Marsh trail.  So while it wasn’t a win, it wasn’t a complete loss.

Next stop was Kreutzberg Canyon Natural Area.  This too was not a great trip.  The wind had picked up a little, so any hiking for hopes of wildflowers and butterflies was off the agenda.

The bird life in the blinds was sparse.  The primary reasons for the lack of birds:  No food was present and the pumps were not pushing water through the water features.  There was a sign on one of the blinds reminding folks who add seed not to leave seed near the water features, which tells me that they’re aware of the problem but it just hasn’t gotten fixed yet.  I won’t go on a long tirade, but there are three things that attract birds to a bird blind area:  Water, food, and a sense of safety.  You can get away with missing one.  Occasionally.  But 2 out of 3 missing will almost certainly prove to be fatal to bird attracting chances.  That’s where I was yesterday.

But like Cibolo Nature Center, this was not a complete loss, either.  The middle of the three blinds has been spruced up significantly with additional bird perches and with some food and some water running this is going to be a great place to shoot at.  And I saw my first Painted Bunting in Kendall County, so there is a win to that as well.

I made also about 50 shots in the couple of hours I was there.  Compare that with the 600 or so I shot in the first hour and a half I was at South Llano River SP.  Not with a bang but a whimper.

Feeling somewhat defeated I packed up and headed home.  As I headed home the skies were starting to clear.  A little.  But the wind was picking up.  A lot.  It was a good decision to cut it short.

So what are the plans for Thursday?  Stay tuned.

About the Image:
When I’m shooting images of flowers, it is usually a bad sign in terms of how the day is going.  Especially if there isn’t a butterfly on the flower.  The grasshopper was a nice addition, but it wasn’t what I was going for.  Technical details includes the fact that it was on the Standard Gear on the tripod.  Flash was mounted but was not used on this shot.  The Macro Extension Tube (25mm) was present.  ISO 400, 1/60 sec at  f/10.  Another f-stop closed down might have gotten all of the flower in focus, but that also would have taken me down the 1/30 sec.  So it was a case of trying to make chicken soup with chicken feathers…

2 Comments leave one →
  1. louise permalink
    May 11, 2013 12:19 pm

    This is my favorite photoblog by far. Thanks Jim.

    • May 11, 2013 12:36 pm

      You’re welcome. Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by.

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