Fossil Rim is not your typical wild animal park. This facility is a research and preservation foundation that specializes in protecting and propagating endangered species such as the Atwater Prairie Chicken and the Cheetah. For example, the Cheetah in Africa is loosing its’ hunting grounds for a multitude of reasons resulting in shrinking the gene pool, Fossil Rim has an aggressive breeding program sending breeding animals all over the country helps dilute the gene pool. I live close to them and have recently done some drone for them cataloging the removal of cedars to support a grant they received. On this day, I was on a “back door tour” with one of the education specialist and was able to get up close and personal with some of the animals. The giraffe looks sort of goofy but actually was so close I hard a hard time getting an in focus shot. Photographing wildlife is always challenging but up close and personal makes it a no-brainer!
Today, we stopped counting the days that we have self-isolated and are now waiting, along with everyone else, for this pandemic to show signs of waning and look forward to returning to some form of normalcy. We keep ourselves busy with cleaning, farm maintenance, planning our food buying, reading, binge watching TV, writing, photographing the local scenery and trying to give each other a bit of space. The recent sunsets on Chalk Mountain have been Kodak moments and I am happy to contribute some of my photos to anyone who can use them. My friend Jordan Johnson asked for some local scenery for his FB page and I am happy to oblige. We are aware that others have it much worse than we do and although sympathetic, we are not really sure what we can do to help except to stay away. Too much news and too much information can cause a lot of problems but we connect with friends old and new and try to reassure everyone that in the end, it will be OK.
Several years ago I stopped at Fuel City in Dallas which is on the banks of the Trinity River running along the edge of the city. While getting gas I noticed a small herd of longhorn cattle behind the building and (always having my camera with me) I started shooting. This one steer stood out amount the rest with his beautiful coloring and fine set of horns. The problem was that from where I standing, he was not moving. I did everything but throw a coke bottle at him but he stood still and here is the shot I got. Recently, the owner of Fuel City, John David Benda and I talked and he now has the file and most likely will place in the station below the mounted head of this steer (who died of old age). Where the steer stood then is now a car wash.
About 2 weeks ago, I found what looked like a partial chicken egg shell in my driveway, or that is what it I thought because my neighbor has chickens nearby. Later I found bird poop the size of paint ball splats in the same place so looking up, I see this huge nest made of sticks in the very top of a large white oak tree next to the house. This is what I found, a Mississippi Kite with one chick in the nest. These birds are supposed to lay two eggs but I see only one chick. I have a good vantage point to watch them so I will post updates as time goes by.
Driving through Glen Rose, Tx yesterday, I spotted this little Italian beauty parked on the square across from the soda shop. We see a lot of these exotics driving through the Hill Country and can image how nice it is to be taking the curves in one of these. Getting in and out of these cars is another issue.
So here we were last night we were at the Greenwood Saloon in Bluff Dale, TX for our friend’s retirement party from the Fort Worth Fire Department when my lady friend spotted this ‘old cowboy” leaning against the wall with a beer in his hand. This guy is right our of central casting for a Lonesome Dove character so she took some discreet photos of him and then went over to talk to him only to find out he is a Chiropractor from nearby! I introduced myself and found that he is from the area and just happened to have an old hat he wore out. Just goes to show that you never know until you introduce yourself. Full disclosure here, I took her photo and massaged it a bit.