08 March 2009

about that bend...

Bend, TX is an isolated little spot with no post office. My first adventure at Colorado Bend State Park was, as previously posted, in July of '07. Matt and I sort of knew each other. This goes back to the arm-twisting to get his phone number for lame excuses of birding in the central-ish TX region. See? It was relevant!

In July of '07 I was house sitting in Killeen, where my cell phone* barely worked from the balcony upstairs (remote locations have their perks). So in spite of the remoteness I still managed to call Matt and plead "new to the area" enough to chase a Green Violet-ear... shortly thereafter he suggested a trip to Colorado Bend State Park and, well, you know how the rest goes. Or do you? A few kind folks with good intentions were shocked that I'd stay in the boonies by myself (with Puppy and Midge, the dogs of the house) and even consider leaving the property - not to mention with a fellow that I only slightly knew from a past life! Apparently loitering in the boonies with an acquaintance is safer than eating peanut butter these days, not that either is inherently dangerous.

* The phone for the record, got the name Jesus after that first "baptism" at CBSP. It was dead for three days and then resurrected. Later it had a drowning experience in Abilene and revived. What finally did it in was an Irish pub in Ann Arbor, MI.

Midge: the attacker of house centipedes & eater of dog barf.

So back to that fellow that I sort of knew from the border regions... We were both seeing other people at the time, but certainly relishing the importance and significance of platonic friendships. I wasn't thrilled about the timing, but I knew that this fellow was someone that I could coexist with (even at a distance of 2-10') for the rest of my life and be ridiculously happy. We both tuned out the birds that trip, he was focused on the lepidoptera (butterflies, moths) and I was stopping every other step to inspect the frogs and odonates (dragonflies, damselflies).

The 2007 frogs were admittedly cooler - more cooperative, abundant, fiesty. Don't recall their specific ID, but here's a thumbnail of this year's cooperative Northern Cricket Frog (Acris crepitans). You see it, right? ...right? Yeah, we didn't either. Just click and squint. The shot next to it is where the excess water poured from the greenish pour-off down toward the river, where the frogs loitered in the grass.

As for non-amphibious creatures, there was a critter of the Pselliopus genus, and we had a very fun looking mystery bug - the only other similarly ornate critters I've seen were in the Huachuca Mountains in SE AZ.

To be fair, Matt prefers pictures where his eyes aren't showing. Also to be fair, I adore photos that include his eyes. C'est la vie.

Matt's post mentioned a particular Orange Skipperling (Copaeodes aurantiaca)that simply would not leave us alone, so here's a shot for scale - it's the tiny speck a few inches in front of my toes, just below the center of the picture. And of course, the slightly better shot.

Rather than elaborating about how my Sunday morning would have preferably been inside a building, I will close this note with a summary of my morning at the wind farm: cool, windy, bug-less, few birds, nothing dead. Plenty of bovine activity. Generally a peaceful trudging, soothing for hard times but disconcerting for the soul.

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