The Heavens Cleave

Birds, they see everything
        this is why the angels have their wings
        where the heavens cleave
        to subtract us, and why
        pillows are filled with feathers
        so to break the fall

Like a church's vaulted ceilings
        they fly, tracing arches
        wedding the heights to the motions
        of our base arguments
        in grounded, plodding tethers
        as we look everywhere but up
        and wonder, 'is this all?'



(May 11, 2021: taking a 2 week pause from social media. Peace and happiness!)

Photo (CC BY-SA) 2021, Blue Grosbeak with Prisma filter.

April 24th, 2021 (Bird Photos)

Significant fallout on Saturday as heavy rains fell the night before. Drove to Galveston early and spent the day gathering migrant bird sightings and photographs. The east end of the island was blanketed with Baltimore Orioles and scores of other species. April had been comparatively weak until now. Bird postings to decrease in frequency henceforth.

Painted Bunting
Indigo Bunting
Gray Catbird

Indigos and catbirds are a safe bet each spring, the catbirds were especially numerous. Happy to get a decent shot of the male Painted Bunting, much less seen than its brilliant blue cousin.

Wood Thrush

Underexposed photo of subject in the shadows, not taken in moonlight! I love all the thrushes.

Northern Waterthrush
Yellow Warbler

I took a break mid afternoon and then checked out the East End Lagoon and Apffel Park, both packed with migrants. Parked by a mud hole along Apffel Road and it was like attending the theater. Yellow Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Black-throated Green Warbler, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Baltimore and Orchard Oriole.

Yellow-breasted Chat

The chat did NOT want his picture took, no sir.

Summer Tanager
Blue Grosbeak

Imagine stopping to rest after a great journey, exhausted and sopping wet, and then people line up to take your picture. I was happy that the weather did not give strong headwinds this time as this causes extreme fatigue and fatalities. Rain is enough to bring them down at landfall. Given clear skies and a tailwind, they generally head further inland to more isolated fields and forests. Pretty much the story of this April with so many inactive birding days.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Black-throated Green Warbler

Happy to log a female, which I had never seen before.

Warbling Vireo -or- Philadelphia Vireo

My take is warbling, but I could be wrong. Opinions welcome, please comment below.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Five-lined Skink (male, breeding)
Houston Ship Channel

I drove down before sunrise to avoid the traffic and to enjoy the feast of color and light that greets us most every day on the gulf. Thanks, as always, for looking!

All photos (CC BY SA) 2021, Galveston, Texas. Corp Woods, Lafitte’s Cove, & East End locales.

Burden

Pardon me as I unburden myself of a bunch more bird photos.

Tricolored Heron
Hermit Thrush
Dunlin
Prothonotary Warbler
Louisiana Waterthrush
Cattle Egret

Did a double-take seeing a Cattle Egret out on a sandbar with a large assembly of terns. April at Bolivar Flats is never disappointing. Royal Terns and the two on the left are Caspian. Probably Forster’s Tern in the foreground.

Reddish Egret
Crested Caracara

The local population of this Central and South American species has increased steadily over the span of my short birding career, based on the frequency of sightings. Texas Monthly has a feature article for those interested.

White-faced Ibis
Laughing Gull & Brown Pelican
Cliff Swallow
Kentucky Warbler

All photos (CC BY SA) 2021, taken in Texas, Spring 2021.