2022-09-18 SPI Farewell

Green Heron - Butorides virescens
Juvenile Green Herons along the boardwalks at the SPI Birding and Nature Center sometimes allowed me to approach quite close, and I used the opportunity to capture headshots.
Black-Bellied Whistling-Duck - Dendrocygna autumnalis
Black-Bellied Whistling-Duck I toured the boardwalk at the SPI Birding and Nature Center and saw that the local Black-Bellied Whistling-Ducks were still raising babies in mid-September.

I ended my visit to South Padre Island on Sunday. I used the day to tour the SPI Birding and Nature Center, and it yielded a few close encounters with the local herons. I noticed very little action with warblers during the morning’s visit, but that was no surprise. Recent warbler movement has been pretty slow. Local wisdom predicts it is still early for the main flow of migrating birds. 

I look at the way I approach photography, as a documentary process. I take what the universe gives me and I think of the image as helping to tell the story about my time in the field. The highest point for this day’s efforts were the closer-than-normal meetings with the Green Herons and Tricolored Herons I met while exploring the marsh’s boardwalk. I took advantage of their tameness to capture closeup shots of their faces. I have the gear to capture them and I took advantage of my opportunity, taking enough shots to have several worthwhile keepers.

Before I left the region, I took some time to get my laundry done and to do some shopping. I had an appointment to get the RV’s cooling fan replaced in Weslaco this Monday morning, so Sunday afternoon I drove to the nearest Walmart and parked for the night. I ran the generator all night. I sure don’t like listening to the generator running, but I guess if you’re tired enough, you can sleep through anything, even the sound and vibrations of a noisy generator. The alternative would be lying in a pool of sweat all night.

I’d hoped to see Javi, the resident naturalist at the Birding and Nature Center before I left, but I learned he’d gone on a vacation. It made sense, as there was a lull in the warbler migration. I suspect the birds I’d met during my two-week stay on the island were a precursor to the main event. It might have been nice to take the time to stay for the rest of the migration, but I enjoyed the time and the birds I was able to spend with here. I still have hopes of visiting other venues in the Lower Rio Grande Valley before I leave the region. Perhaps I’ll see a few migrating warblers when I do.

Just a word about life: If you spend enough time with me, you may have to endure phrases I like repeating, but I throw them out hoping to bring a smile or brighten the day, if I can, of those folks I come in contact with. It may be a hard-working waitress, a cashier, or other person I may meet. If I get a “Have a nice day!”, I like to respond “I will, if you will”. I have a dozen or so canned replies I like to dish out. Such an unexpected and cheerful response from me often catches folks off-guard in a good way, and usually brings a smile. If you were to spend enough time in my company, it might become tiresome to hear this and other similar phrases repeated ad nauseam. But please know this; such banter is not to annoy you, but to add lightness and cheer to the person I just met, and to diminish the mundane and tedium of life that so often wears us down. It costs nothing to be nice to others.

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