Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

I'll be spending a quiet evening at home with my new wife, treating ourselves to some baked brie and enjoying a sip of wine. We might even ring in 2009.

The cardinal shot above is one of the many we got yesterday in Palo Duro Canyon. Below I've added a few more.

Tufted Titmouse

Tufted Titmouse

Female Cardinal

Golden-Fronted Woodpecker

Male Cardinal

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hairy Woodpecker

Here is a new one for me. This Hairy Woodpecker paid our back yard a visit after I filled our feeder up with sunflower seeds. He might have been checking it out. Might have just been there coincidentally. The hairy woodpecker is nearly identical in appearance to the Downy Woodpecker, but the hairy is larger, with a longer beak. The downy is the size of a sparrow, whereas the hairy is the size of a robin.

I've also been playing around with manual focus, trying to get good, clear shots of birds back in the array of branches of a bush. This sparrow was one of my successes.

Thursday, December 25, 2008


This last week has been both sweet and a little bitter. Saturday, I received the perfect wife as a gift from God. That was "sweet". For our wedding, my son couldn't make it, nor could he apparently send a card or anything. That was a little on the "bitter" side. Admittedly, he lives quite a ways away and genuinely might not be able to make the trip. However, simply acknowledging the event would be nice. Am I petty for wanting to see something in the mail (electronic or regular mail) from him? Is 42 cents too much to spend to send a 50 cent card from the Dollar Tree? Or even a quick note by Email?

Today is Christmas Day. We had a nice quiet Christmas dinner with all the trimmings - just my wife and I. It was great! We gave each other some awesome gifts and had a great time. I've gotten something from most of my family - be it a just a card, or a package in the mail. That was "sweet". I got nothing from my son. He didn't even call. I called him a little while ago. He seemed a little preoccupied, but that was kind of understandable I guess - being Christmas and all. One of the things that bothered me is that he didn't say anything about the 11x14 photos I sent them in a 16x20 frame. No mention if it got there in one piece or not. I had to ask. When I did, he offered that he really liked one of them, but never once did I hear the words "thank you". Not even the one word "thanks". Nothing. Will something show up late? Maybe. The number of disappointments of the past indicate that there will be nothing.

I try to go out of my way to make sure I catch every special day in their family - birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, etc. I've never missed one. I try to send gifts, but can't always. I always send cards, regardless. I let them know I think of them.

Am I wrong to feel the disappointment, and a little hurt to boot? It's not easy to fight off encroaching bitterness. Maybe he harbors some resentment towards me for leaving him to put up with his mentally ill mother. If he does, I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do about that. It's up to him to clear that hurdle. I have every right to be alive and happy.

The Best Christmas Gift of All!

Here is my best Christmas gift. Nothing can out-do this one. I received it early - on the 20th. This gift came from God Himself.

(Photo by Steve Douglass)


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Wedding Day - IMG_2080

This morning I was greeted with a gift when I looked out our front door. It only lasted moments, but enough of those moments to allow me to capture some of it before it vanished. As photography goes, it isn't much. It marks the beginning of a very special day.