Birds, Early April 2021

Northern Harrier, Bolivar Flats, TX

Harrier indulged me with some close-up poses in the early AM out near Bolivar Flats. There’s been a pair of them hunting the fields between the highway and the beach.

Green Heron, Seawall Blvd., Galveston
Sora, Lafitte’s Cove, Galveston
Ring-billed Gull (immature, 2nd winter), Bolivar Flats
Forster’s Tern, Galveston
American Avocet, Bolivar Flats
Whimbrel, Bolivar Flats
American Oystercatcher, Bolivar

All photos (CC-BY-SA) 2021, G. Paul Randall. April on the Texas Gulf Coast.

Space to Let

Bricks and windows are forever at odds
       and space defies all confines
       while the breath, drawing and letting

Marks out all the points in time
       where a move came to move
       or nothing came to much

The space accommodates all takers:
       from receptions, wakes, last suppers
       baptisms and sky burials, to yoga classes
       teas for two, AA meetings, free associations
       sack races, and talent shows

Come as you are and
       be as you were, the air here's
       been breathed by the likes of you

And knows exactly what to do

Oh Yellow, Little Fellow

It is peak birding season here on the Texas Gulf Coast, so please forgive the excessive posting of bird photos. This Prothonotary Warbler stayed with me for a good 30 minutes giving ample photo ops. At one point it was foraging so close that the telephoto couldn’t focus. You have to see this bird in person to appreciate the intensity of yellow. It is like the archetype of all yellows, uncapturable by photographic means. This is at the Snuffy Smith Memorial Bird Blind (not its real name) hidden away within the Corp Woods Nature Preserve in Galveston, TX.

Red-eyed Vireo
Worm-eating Warbler
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Black-and-white Warbler (female)

The shear cruelty of the natural world is on display here as a warbler snags a pair of mating moths.

All photos (CC-BY-SA) 2021, G. Paul Randall

Stone Angels


All these feelings viewed from a distance
Like reports from a foreign correspondent
Welcome news of victory and calamity alike

As a stone angel receives the weather
Sunshine, now pelted with hail
Everything in passing


The departed do not gather
In cemeteries, they stand mute
At the window, peering in

Tapping like a tree branch tip
In the wind, outside the wake of a friend
Everyone dancing in there, in spite of it all


We crossed paths on the way
To the same spot, where a stone marker
Announces all our days to your memory

My stony face coughs up a smile
Standing at this luggage claim carousel
We travelers with our checked memories

Photos (CC-BY-SA) 2021, G. Paul Randall.
Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas.