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Texas Photo Swing Epilogue #2

May 16, 2021
tags: ,
© Jim Miller – Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

So now a little more than two months later, I’m still feeling the glow of this particular trip. This will be a bit of a scattered blog post. Think of this almost as a stream of consciousness.

My thanks again to Butch & Zita Ramirez and Pliny Mier for hosting us at the Rocking R6 Ranch and La Lomita Wildlife Photography Ranch, respectively.

As of this writing I have only 15 images fully processed and put into the portfolio, though I have selected the ones I do want to process. Only the first day of the trip at Crescent Bend Nature Park has been fully processed, though I am quickly making my way through the day at the Rocking R6. The images that I like the most I have in a specific trip photo album at Flickr.

The best food on the entire trip was Ziggy’s Roadside Barbecue in Brackettville. The best complete dining experience when it came to food and atmosphere and whatnot was Doc’s Seafood in Corpus Christi (just beyond the JFK Bridge). The Crab-stuffed Flounder and the Yellow Tuna Fish Tacos were absolutely marvelous and eating with the harbor providing the backdrop pushed Doc’s over the top as the best stop. Honorable mentions go to the Surfing Crab in Corpus Christi and Rudy’s Country Store and BBQ (Nakoma location) in San Antonio. But all in all there was not a bad meal the entire trip.

Lodging throughout the trip was very good. We stayed at a variety of brands, from La Quinta to Hampton Inn to SpringHill Suites. None were exceptional. None were horrible. SpringHill Suites in San Antonio was very accommodating in allowing us to stay longer when Mother Nature put our travel plans into disarray.

We had every intention of making it to Warbler Woods, Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, and Rockport. Those will have to be stops for next time.

Speaking of stops for next time, as we’re getting ready to leave Corpus Christi I was contacted by a friend, fellow photographer, and fellow retired Airman about another set of photo blinds on a private ranch. Unfortunately the rest of our trip was planned out by then so we weren’t able to pivot to get out to that ranch. But he said the next time we’re out we’re welcome and we certainly make that happen. At a bare minimum, it was good to talk photography and “retired” life for a while with my friend.

My Think Tank Photo Airport Security v3.0 bag performed flawlessly. Everything I had hoped for and more. My only complaint: It just barely fits in the overhead compartments on Southwest planes if there is anything more than a laptop in the front pocket. And when I am “loaded for bear” the effort to lift it up. But that is an issue of genetics and not enough upper body workouts. I am very glad I made the purchase.

Other than how badly the vegetation and the early emerging insects had been hurt by the big Texas freeze, the only other disappointment was the rental car. Enterprise Rent-A-Car failed repeatedly. What we reserved wasn’t available when we got to the airport. We lost about an hour that night while they delayed, deferred, tried to get us into a more expensive car, and then gave us something to get us to the hotel that night. We lost a couple hours having to go back to the airport to retrieve something resembling what we had reserved. And then we had some nervous moments on the road to Corpus Christi when the vehicle was handling poorly and we diagnosed it as the tire pressures were too high (nominal cold pressure was 33 PSI, TPMS and the manual tire gauge read all four tires about 50 PSI). Enterprise will be our absolute last choice in the future for renting a car.

And two months after we’re contemplating when next year’s trip will be, what it will entail, and how long it will be. It’ll be a fun planning process.

About the Image
Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
We
bb County, Texas – March 2021
Canon 7D Mark II, Tamron 150-600 (Gen 1)
Tripod w/Wimberley gimbal head
ISO 400, 1/320 at f/10 – No Flash
Portfolio Image #1059
Image Size in Portfolio: 4231×3385

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