Early morning fly out – Bosque del Apache

Sand Hill Crane Sunrise

These three sandhill cranes are making their way from their night time stay in the waters of the Bosque del Apache, to the morning feeding grounds of the fields to the north. I think they make a striking image against the strong golden hues of the morning sunrise.

Standing or floating in the cold waters of the Bosque ponds at night gives them protection from the local predators that are looking to make of them a meal. The coyotes, bobcats or mountain lions won’t venture into the water at night or at other times. For the birds of the Bosque, night time on land is almost certain death.

However, the ponds have a different problem for all but the ducks – there is no food to sustain them, so at first light, there is a mass exodus from the ponds to the fields, where ample sustenance is available. While the predators might also be in and around the fields, the birds can quickly take flight to protect themselves.

While birds act in only one way, we can take lessons from these birds since not all humans act like these birds.

Most people know that we must seek protection for ourselves and our families, this may be in our homes, our families or with our faith. At dawn, we do what’s necessary to feed ourselves and our families, going to work, expending our energy, and not being afraid to face the predators of life – knowing we have the strength to withstand any challenge in the light of day.

Others are like the birds that sit in the protection of the pond all day and all night. They expect the food to be brought to them, without making any effort on their own. The bird that chooses this route will starve to death in a few days. The person that chooses this path is more dead than he knows – better for him to stay in the fields all day and have the predators devour him at night.

These sandhill cranes fly off for their meal every day. May we be like these birds.

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The Ice Cream of Life

Cherry Top 003

Ice Cream is one of my favorite foods. And with a cherry on top – it quickly can become a decadent desert.

There are many things to like about ice cream: 1) it tastes great, 2) the cold substance goes down really well on a hot day – though equally well on a day that is not so hot, 3) did I say it tastes great?, 4) there are so many different flavors to choose from and experience, 5) Its almost impossible to tire of it and finally, 6) it just tastes great! There’s few foods that are so much fun to eat as a group. A “little” ice cream just seems to be the perfect closure to a meeting of friends.

But like some good things, there is a major downside – eating too much may be harmful to my health. The effects probably don’t show up for a while, but eventually these things can catch up with you. So, we need to be careful about how much ice cream we eat.

We ought not face life like some eat ice cream, overindulging in only those things that bring temporary pleasure, but that may have long term negative effects. Our lives should be filled with things that can be enjoyed 24/7 – those things which are not fleeting in appearance or substance. Things for which any level of activity will only bring benefits both short term and long term. Things like our family, our religion, education, and good books.

So while its ok to enjoy a little ice cream in life – it shouldn’t be the mainstay of our existence.

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National Elk Refuge

Facing into the rising storm

On Monday (16 Jan 2012), we visited the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Wyoming. The weather was cold, but not too terrible. As the photo above shows, the wind was blowing and it was snowing lightly.

After taking the sled tour where we saw numerous Bull Elk, we drove around to the backside of the Preserve to see if we could find more animals. In fact there were 3 big herds of elk, and one flock of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. The sheep were right next to, and on the road we were driving, so we got to have a real up-close visit with them.

This fellow was just standing there on the road – the wind in his face. Just like how we face life sometimes… the challenges come, and we need to put our face to the wind and address them. Sometimes, we need to take a moment, close our eyes and get our bearings – then move forward. As this guy did just a moment later.

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Fly Hobbs to Anywhere

This week commercial jet air travel started between Hobbs and the world (Houston connection). This is a great simplification of my frequent travel, as up to now it has been necessary to drive the 100 miles Midland for any air travel. When you have to travel internationally every 3-4 weeks, then drive can get old. Especially on the return home!

There was a large turnout at the inaugural flight into town, and the party was a lot of fun. We joined another 12 photographers in a photo contest. I was able to get a few shots I am happy with. i’ll submit them and see how they do. We’ll create a link or post a few later.

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Worldwide Photo Walk

Yesterday (24 July) was Pioneer Day, and the 3rd Annual World Wide Photo Walk. We joined up with other walkers in Hobbs New Mexico – and captured a bit of small town America. It was a good time followed by a quick brunch at iHop.

You can see my best shots on my flickr account here

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Travel Musings – Take 2

I was thinking about some of the air travel I’ve done in the last couple of months. And a little curious about the do’s and don’ts in the security world. While on vacation with my wife, her 1 inch swiss pocket knife was confiscated and trashed – ok, its a knife, shouldn’t be behind security.

On another trip, an airport worker walking through the terminal had on his belt – a 3-4 inch Leatherman Knife…

So which is more dangerous – a very small pocket knife, or the large heavy-duty Leatherman? Isn’t one of the reasons we’ve had problems is that “workers” had “materials” in hand that normal travels can’t – and that has ended up on airplanes?

Just wondering…

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Travel Musings

I was reminded today of the importance of double checking my travel schedule before heading to the airport. After a two hour drive, and while checking in, the Kiosk asked if I wanted to take an earlier flight – but since I was right on time for my flight I just clicked on through. When I got my boarding passes they were for a flight that left three hours later!

THEN I checked my reservations – sure enough, 1:30 not 10:51.

Went back and selected the earlier flight, even though I then lost my complimentary upgrade. Result was to arrive in Florida 3 hours earlier.

Fortunately, after I got on the plane in Houston, the flight attendants let me know that I had been upgraded – so a change of seats ensued. Sweet.

Moral of the story: actually look at your itenary before getting to the airport and don’t just assume it’s always the same flight even if its always the same destination.

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