Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for February 17th, 2022

Two days, two birds

with 16 comments

On January 29th I stopped along Cameron Rd. in northeast Austin to photograph a possumhaw tree (Ilex decidua) with a good amount of fruit on it. After taking several pictures I glimpsed a mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) fairly high in the tree, so I hastened back to the car, switched to my 100–400mm lens, and made it back to the possumhaw, all in just three minutes (thanks, metadata). I hoped the mockingbird would still be there, and it was, though a little higher than before. I did what I could.

The next day we visited the small Selma Hughes Park on the Colorado River for the first time. What caught my attention were several dead trees heavily covered by dense vines, of which I took many pictures. Four days later, while looking through the photographs of those vine-covered trees on my computer screen, I noticed that four frames showed something I hadn’t been aware of at the time I took the pictures: at the very top of one dead tree stood a bird. It wasn’t in previous frames nor in the ones that followed. I’m thinking the interloper that had flown in and out without my noticing it was a bluejay (Cyanocitta cristata).


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Which of the following stories, if any, are real?

  1. A gun-control activist fired several shots at and almost killed a mayoral candidate in Louisville, Kentucky. Black Lives Matter posted $100,000 bail for the shooter.
  2. A member of the United States Congress claimed that the recent expiration of pandemic-related child tax credits has contributed to the current rise in crime because parents have been driven to steal baby formula from stores.
  3. More Americans aged 18 to 45 now die from fentanyl overdoses than from automobile accidents, Covid-19, cancer, suicide, or any other cause.
  4. Students in a graduate school course staged a sit-in after the professor corrected errors in spelling and grammar that the students had made in their papers.

Scroll down to find out which ones are real.

All those stories are real. You’re welcome to read the details about

the gun control advocate’s use of a gun in an attempted assassination
Black Lives Matter posting $100,000 bail for the assailant


the politician who blamed the conspicuous rise in crime on the need to steal baby formula


the deaths among Americans due to fentanyl


a graduate school protest against a professor who corrected grammatical and spelling
mistakes the students made in their papers [see item 9 in that article].

© 2022 Steven Schwartzman




Written by Steve Schwartzman

February 17, 2022 at 4:28 AM

Posted in nature photography

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