Atlantic bottlenose dolphin escorting a tanker through Aransas Pass, Texas Gulf Coast.

There is a short car ferry across the shipping channel, and there was a brief wait while the ship went through. Two dolphins led the way, I managed to capture one as it “surfed” the bow wave.

Migration…. second world America.

Not quite Third World America, but definitely heading down that road. Not an unusual solution to the housing crisis in these parts, there are many dry dusty establishments in the neighborhood with a water faucet, 110 volt AC outlet, and a sewage hookup. If you can afford the $200.00 a month rent. Shade will cost you more. Forget about any appliance that requires 220 volts. Hopefully propane won’t go up too much, and we have a warm winter.

Third World America is at the next exit.

Oh… wait… it’s this exit.

He’s sitting in the shadow of the WalMart sign about a hundred yards directly behind me.

Migration… just passing thru.

So begins a photographic chronicle of the seasonal influx of migrants into the Lower Rio Grande Valley. This particular conveyance belonged to a rather entertaining pair of snowbirds I observed in the restaurant next door to mine own humble winter quarters.

It being rather uncouth to photograph them as they dined, I will attempt to paint a verbal picture.

The gentleman was classic California nouveau riche, silver hair, narrow frameless specs, earth tones, sleek black socks and loafers, conservative in every other degree. His only condescension to hippiedom was a diamond stud earring. He looked to be about sixty.

His companion was a lithe young Asian woman of exquisite poise and carriage. Immaculately attired in perfect Southwest regalia; from her cowboy boots rose tight jeans to an outrageous turquoise and silver buckle, from there it was up and over a silk blouse to the feather tipped ends of her braids.

As her companion disappeared around the corner to the washroom, the young woman gave a slow measured survey of the room around her, returning her gaze to me just long enough to feel my heart skip a beat.

The old geezers trip to the washroom obviously began to drag on, as the lovely woman  sat silhouetted against the sunset and began to fidget.

I shifted my chair, focused on my pizza and drank my beer.

Upon her companions return, the apprentice dragon lady leaped from her chair and  fawned all over him as they discussed the bill and which credit card they should use this time. Studiously ignoring their noisy exit, I craned my neck to see which vehicle was next to leave the parking lot. As I guessed, it was the ornately tricked out Hindi camper-mobile, on it’s way to who knows where, but certainly not someplace uncomfortably cold. Most likely the Holiday Inn.

Well, that’s migration a la First World America. Third World is on the next street over.

Old Testament Bear Poop

photo by Robert Caputo, by way of National Geographic.

I accompanied an elderly man to church this morning, out of general human kindness, and to help assuage his fears concerning my soul.

One of the scripture readings was 2 Kings, chapter 2, describing Elijah the prophet being taken up into heaven by a chariot of fire.

(OK, there are reasonable explanations for this, bear with me…)

Elisha, his apprentice, is now left behind to lament and rend his clothes, accept the adulation of his followers, and carry on the prophets work:

“23And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head.”

“24And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them.”

Way to go, Elisha.

Head prophet for how long and you’re so sensitive about being bald that you curse little children?

But I almost laughed out loud at verse 24… two she bears came out of the woods and ripped apart 42 children.

I’m still looking up data to support there even being bears in Canaan, much less two females together, much less them being so wantonly savage as to take the time to shred 42 children.

I call bear poop on this one.


Branch scars on young aspen trees have the look…

Some enterprising little spider found a niche to keep an eye out for passing gnats as well.

The pale green is young aspen reclaiming mountainsides burned in a wildfire.

Diamond Peak area of the Aldo Leopold Wilderness in the Gila Natl. Forest, Southwestern New Mexico.