Thursday, November 3, 2016

Crops & Clips: Flashback to November, 2013

Continuing my monthly search through my photo archives for images which match the themes of critters, fences, skies, flowers, macros and reflections. This is a peek through the retroscope at photos taken three years ago, in November, 2013. 

This process brings to mind the creatures and sights I might expect to see once again at this time of year. Let's see how far I need to go into the month to find at least one for each meme. I have won this self-imposed contest twenty-three months in a row since starting in January, 2015. 

We began the month with a flight to visit our son and family in Amarillo, Texas. They live near Palo Duro Canyon State Park, a deep gorge carved through the red limestone of the Texas Panhandle. This is at the The Lighthouse Rock Trailhead:

From trail to Lighthouse Rock

I mistook this "hoodoo" rock formation for The Lighthouse, which is similar but much larger and can only be approached by way of back trails. Next to it is Castle Peak.

Lighthouse Rock hoodoo in Palo Duro Canyon 2-20131102

At the Park we found this Fence Lizard with a spider clinging tenaciously to its head. Was the spider attempting to envenomate the reptile?

Spider on lizard's head 20131102

We had a pleasant time with our grandchildren, exploring some of the restored ruins:

Granddaughters in Palo Duro Canyon 20131102

We visited a nicely situated water feature with a convenient blind ("hide"): 

Blind at Palo Duro State Park 20131102

Among the thirsty visitors to this oasis in the arid canyon, a Northern Cardinal...

Northern Cardinal 20131102

...a Spotted Towhee...

Spotted Towhee 20131102

...and a handsome White-crowned Sparrow:

White-crowned Sparrow 3-20131102

The next morning, back at our motel in the city of Canyon, an ominous roll cloud moved overhead, from one horizon to the other:

Roll Cloud over Canyon Texas 2-20131104

We then drove westward to the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico, watching the roll cloud as it disappeared to the south. We arrived at Sandia Crest House (Elevation 10, 678 feet/3,255 m) in time for lunch (November 4):

Sandia Crest House entry 20131104

The deck of Crest House provides a breathtaking view of the City of Albuquerque almost a mile below (Since the Fence Lizard may not qualify, this also serves for the "Good Fences" meme):

Albuquerque and Crest House deck 180 degree pano 20131104

Viewof Albuquerque from Crest House Deck 20131104

We hoped to see our namesake rosy-finches during the two mornings we visited Crest House, but they had not yet appeared. On the first day the feeders were otherwise very active and the light was great for photography. A sampling-- Steller's Jay:

Steller's Jay 2-20131104

Red-breasted Nuthatch:

Red-breasted Nuthatch 2-20131104

White-breasted Nuthatch:

White-breasted Nuthatch 20131104

Weather conditions deteriorated rapidly the next morning and we encountered blizzard conditions. Three inches of snow had already fallen by the time  we got to the top of the mountain, and visibility was near zero:

Sandia Crest House from upper parking lot 20131105

We descended to the valley and enjoyed fair skies at Rio Grande Nature Center. Male Wood Duck in the pond:

Wood Duck male 20131105

The migrating rosy-finches arrived the next day, just as we departed for home. This is a view of Sandia Crest (the highest peak in the distance, left of center) from the window of our aircraft. With a few million more megapixels we might have been able to see them!:

Sandia Crest and rosy-finches in distance 20131106

I have only gotten through the first five days of the month and accomplished my goal except for a photo of a flower and a decent reflection. I obtained this reflection back in Florida on November 18:

Great Egret reflection 20131118

My flower entry is a Florida "squeaker," consisting of these little white ones surrounding a Burrowing Owl in Brian Piccolo Park on November 14: 

Burrowing Owl at Brian Piccolo Pk 3-20131114

Note-- Just before we returned to Florida we got news that my Brother-in-Law is seriously ill. My schedule and travels are rather uncertain for the next week and I may not get much computer time but will try to catch up on correspondence when things settle down. Thanks so much for visiting my page.

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,

Linking to GOOD FENCES by Tex (Theresa). 

Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Today's Flowers Friday by Denise

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. Enjoyed the photo safari. The earlier shots brought me back in time, from a bike trip I between Dallas and Lubbock several years ago. Some beautiful terrain there...a little boring once ya hit the pancake of the panhandle though.

  2. gorgeous bird photos, always! that reflection is crystal clear! poor fence lizard!

  3. Absolutely gorgeous photos, Kenneth! Your grandchildren are precious! And I love your iguana header, too. :)

  4. Awesome photos...I have missed a lot and don't really have time to catch up on what I have missed. I hope your BIL has recovered by now.

  5. Lots of great stuff here today. The Fence lizard and spider was neat to see. - Great view from the fence shot. Loved the pretty owl as well. Hope things go well for your brother-in-law.

  6. Wow, what a trip. I don't picture mountains in Texas but they looked very much like some in Utah and Arizona. A snow storm, we've had 3 that topped our mountains but nothing in the valley except a bit of rain. Our ski resorts are praying for snow - we are short of having enough.

  7. Kenneth, I'm sorry to hear that your brother-in-law is seriously ill. Night as usual this is a wonderful post with fantastic photographs and today I am going to choose one that is my favourite and that is the one of the woodchuck

  8. Hello, Ken! So sorry about your BIL, sending prayers. Beautiful birds and photos. I love the lizard and spider shot. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!

  9. Wonderful rock formation and beautiful birds.


  11. That picture of the spider on the lizard...CRAZY! You should submit that somewhere...some nature magazine or something.

  12. I love rock formations like that. The cloud is amazing, I don't remember ever seeing one like it. Wonderful post!
    Hoping for the best for your brother-in-law.

  13. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law's illness.

    That was quite a trip to remember (snow? Eek!) but you got some wonderful pictures and it was fun to see you in a different State from the usual two. And you won your contest handily. (Those little white flowers are sweet and definitely qualify especially for the month of November. And especially when they surround a burrowing owl!)

  14. Beautiful images, reflection pic is great. Sorry to ready your BIL is ill. Hope he recovers soon.

  15. amazing usual. Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law..

  16. These are amazing photos. So many wonderful birds and that lizard with spider was just plain creepy! I am getting the chills.......The roll cloud was intriguing - I have never seen one before. Your grandchildren are so sweet. I am so sorry to hear about your brother-in-law. Safe travels. Karen

  17. Great set of pictures - the spider on the lizard is remarkable - I wonder what is going on in that shot?

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  18. Incredible shots of those birds, KCS.

    I doubt if the spider was doing anything more than trying to blend in. I think it's a crab spider, and couldn't penetrate the lizard's scales if it tried. OTOH, if it gets too far in front of the lizard's nose...

  19. some of most beautiful and interesting photos i seen here and loved watching them for quite a time .your grands are adorable .
    the view of city down is really mesmerizing .
    closeups of birds are marvelous and joy to eyes
    thank you for sharing

  20. Fabulous photos! I love the reflection and the owl.


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