We decided to get out there and exercise. Exercising is healthy after all. I mean any diet you ever try always has the same thing in fine print: best results with regular exercise. The only real constant: exercise. We planned to go to beautiful McKinney Falls park to get our hearts pumping walking on the many trails there. Working off those excess calories building cardiovascular strength with a prolonged, determined, sweating, fist-pumping workout. Yeah! We’re gonna do this!
Of course, we brought along the cameras. You know, just in case…
We hadn’t even made it to the park when we saw something extraordinary atop a light pole at a quite busy intersection.
A Swainson’s Hawk. Gorgeous. He didn’t flinch at the many cars below or even at us. You don’t pass up an opportunity like this. You TAKE THE SHOT! I had to do a u-turn, drop Shey off, and find a place to park. And then, you’re never really done with just one picture. Oh no! You have to take MANY, from different angles and different distances. What if something went wrong with just one shot? So we took many indeed.
Finally, we made it into the park and then to the trailhead, but then, there’s this beautiful patch of Bluebonnets covering a large field. Got a take a pic of that, right?
Oh, and LOOK! There’s a butterfly landing only on the red flowers. That’s an important event and we absolutely MUST get a pic of that. Of course this requires shooting MANY pics just in case a single pic doesn’t fully capture the beauty of the moment. We took many pics.
Okay. We’re at the trail and ready to…uh…what was it? Oh yeah, exercise! But then, what are those crows so excited about? We can see them in the distant trees, but not what’s got their interest. But then…movement! It’s a Ladder-backed Woodpecker. So beautiful. He’s hiding behind the tree, so…of course…we HAD to wait him out. Sure enough, he came out and we got a lucky pic from close by.
Okay, back to the exercising. We’re here to walk, right? By then the sun was slipping down and a distant storm was rolling in. This creates an exotic looking light with high contrasts, and it makes the trees and the wildflowers below look magical. This is the Blue Time where wondrous pictures may be captured. So, of course, you don’t let a moment like that slip by.
We’re walking, we’re walking…wait! What’s that? Snowy Egrets practically POSING for us like bookends! Got to get a pic of that! As I mentioned before, MANY pics must be taken to get just one good one, and so we did.
By now, it was getting darker. A storm was definitely on the way. After covering perhaps half a mile, we decided to call it a day. Hey, at least we agreed to take the long way back. We’re walking, heyhey! And then…is that an howl hooting? Sharp-eyed Shey found it, and we HAD to take many pics of this Great Horned Owl.
By now, lightning was striking and we could feel raindrops, increasing in frequency. So when a storm drives an avid photographer away with threats of flooding, terrible driving conditions, and lightning strikes, does the photographer curse the storm? NO! You take a picture of it!
I suppose in the end we did get some exercise, mostly with our index fingers. All in all, it was a lovely day with Shey, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!