My Red Cardinal (and Bird Obsession), at Bear Creek Park in Houston, Texas

As my daughter’s “Hoosier” Dad pointed out recently, the Northern Cardinal is Indiana’s Official State Bird and has been since 1933. However, Indiana is not alone…Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia all choose this as their State Bird!  The males are the beautiful red ones, the females are the brown ones with reddish wings.  I just think they are beautiful and sound so cheerful! To me, they have always been associated with a sign of good luck and happiness! I always tell my kids, when I see my Red Cardinals, I know it’s a good omen and will be a wonderful day! 

20170509-IMG_0236
I was driving through Bear Creek park the other day and stumbled on this beautiful Red Cardinal about to take a bird bath so I had to stick around!

20170509-IMG_0237-2

Splish splash he was taking a bath…

Continue reading “My Red Cardinal (and Bird Obsession), at Bear Creek Park in Houston, Texas”

Advertisements

The Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park and Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark in Houston, Texas

On May 4, 2017 I had FREE tickets (Thursday’s free day) to see The Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park to see Rain:  Magdalena Fernández at the Houston Cistern.  You do need to make advanced reservations online!  

Continue reading “The Cistern at Buffalo Bayou Park and Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark in Houston, Texas”

LAST CHANCE FOREVER; Birds Of Prey Is Our Feature of Today!

Today’s post is all about Birds of Prey! While at the San Jacinto Day festival, I was privileged to witness a demonstration on Birds of Prey graciously put on by the San Antonio based, nonprofit organization –  Last Chance Forever.  They are “dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned birds of prey, scientific investigation, and also just as importantly, the education of the public” (source: LastChanceForever.org).  

The show was definitely *****5 Stars worthy!!!! 20170422-IMG_6937

Photo:  Ms. Kelly Rayner, Program Coordinator-Last Chance Forever, San Antonio,TX (Holding a Northern Crested Caracara).  You can really see the huge talons and wing strength!
20170422-IMG_6944
Photo:  Northern Crested Caracara – What a truly beautiful bird!  According to Rapture Technician, Mr. Ian Joplin, (and lifesaver for this article!), the Caracara’s are very intelligent birds that can hunt and eat carrion, sometimes incorrectly referred to as a Mexican Eagle.

20170422-IMG_6960

The trust level these birds have for both Ms. Rayner and Mr. Schmid is amazing as they showed us the bird’s release and immediate return back to both handlers.

20170422-IMG_6864

Photo:  Ms. Kelly Rayner (Left)(Holding a A juvenile Bay-winged Hawk or Harris’ Hawk, both names are accepted) and Mr. Robert Schmid, Volunteer for Last Chance Forever (Right) 
20170422-IMG_6897 (1)
Photo:  Here we a close up of the stunning juvenile Bay-winged Hawk/Harris’ Hawk

20170422-IMG_6933

This is a hybrid falcon, a cross between a Sakar Lanner and a Lanner Falcon20170422-IMG_6915
Photo:  This hybrid falcon, a cross between a Sakar Lanner and a Lanner Falconlitte was too cute!

20170422-IMG_7005

I wanted to give you a perspective on the size of this Barred Owl

Bird Number Three

What a truly remarkable and stunning bird!!! Isn’t it just magnificent!!!!

20170422-IMG_7011

This Barred Owl was just so captivating to look at I HAD to get a close up!

Bird Number Two

This red phase Eastern Screech Owl, (the red is a recessive trait to more common gray phase) was the cutest little thing ever!!!

Bird Number One

Look at the HUGE size of this magnificent Golden Eagle!

20170422-IMG_7124

Gorgeous isn’t it? What a rare opportunity for those of us in the audience to see such a bird!

20170422-IMG_7120

The Golden Eagle (above)

20170422-IMG_7124 (1)

Stunning isn’t it!

20170422-IMG_7101

So glad I was able to see this unbelievable demonstration!! I was sad to say goodbye to the Golden Eagle!

Note:  If you would like to donate to this worthy cause or volunteer in some capacity, please contact info@LastChanceForever.org or visit their website at www.LastChanceForever.Org.  Here’s an interesting article if you’d like to read more.

HUGE shout out of thanks to Mr. Ian Joplin, Rapture Technician, who helped make sure I was labeling the birds of prey photos correctly!

Thanks for your feedback! Max and I always love to hear your thoughts!

Elizabeth and Max

 

 

San Jacinto Day Festival and Battlefield Reenactment 2017 – Part One

(Above photo:  Mr. Bill Lewis and Mrs. Kaye Lewis – Houston Area Square Dance)

I met this charming couple in their Square Dance attire and HAD to get their photo to help illustrate the fun of the day ahead.

Saturday, May 22, 2017 was the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battlefield Reenactment. It’s one of those events I’ve heard about for years and thought – maybe? This year I made it a point to check it out.  So glad I did!  I met some extraordinary people and the festival itself was extremely well organized! Parked at a chemical company parking lot – signage stating “Take a photo of what lot you are in” – happy I did! A shuttle then picked up our group in the G parking area.  Fast forward to leaving the event after the Reenactment – I thought we would be in a massive shuttle exit line, but it was probably the BEST organized shuttle line system I’ve ever seen in a festival situation! Kuddos to whomever organized that part of the festival!!! Great Job! Oh, bonus…parking and the festival entry were my favorite four letter word…FREE :)!

Note:  This festival series will be spread over several posts as I met far too many interesting people to put everything in one post so “stay tuned”!!

IMG_6592-1

Who was the first person I couldn’t help notice upon exiting the shuttle? The fun and lively “Mama Goose”.  Mama is a second grade reading teacher at Channelview ISD at DeZavala Elementary school and is the author of “Reading and Rhyming with Mama Goose” Mama Goose gears her words towards K-6th grade audiences.  Ms. Goose was additionally awarded Teacher of the Year within Channelview ISD and is a motivational speaker.  So lovely to meet someone promoting the importance and fun of reading to our youth and in such a magical manner!

 

IMG_6590-1

What child wouldn’t be entranced by Mama Goose reading them a story?! I just personally, really loved Mama’s positive energy and passion! 

UPDATE: From Mama Goose (##mamagoose), “How do we help children develop a love for reading? One nursery rhyme at a time. How do we capture the brilliance of their imagination? One picture at a time. Mama Goose grew up with Mother Goose nursery rhymes as a child. The classic style and simplicity of life taught her valuable lessons, as well as a spark for reading. Mama Goose grew up in the United States of America and wanted to share with the world traditions, values, and concepts that are germane to the U.S.A. Mama Goose is not a fictitious character; she is as real as the air we breathe. She’s a potpourri of Mary Poppins, Mother Teresa, and Willie Wonka all rolled into one. Get ready for a magical journey of nursery rhymes that are sure to inspire any child to fall in love with books.”

Ok, so far we have the Lewis square dancing couple and Mama Goose… gosh, I barely got off the shuttle and into the festival!

IMG_6675-1

The San Jacinto Monument (click link at beginning of post to read more about the day and history-no sense in me retyping it :)) 

IMG_6639-1

The crowds were fun and lots of families were out enjoying one of our great weather days! 

IMG_6622-1

Mr. Paul Washington represented the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum well to the delight of many of us festival attendees – he was a super nice gentleman too.

IMG_6624-1

(Above Top Two Photos:  Mr. Paul Washington-The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum-Houston, Texas)

Mr. Washington speaks to inquisitive crowds at the festival, generously sharing his knowledge.  (we’ll learn plenty more about the Buffalo Soldiers Museum soon – promise! It warrant’s it’s own post!!)

Hope you enjoyed Part One of the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment!  Stay tuned for more fun – promise it won’t be what you expect!

Thanks for sharing your time with Houston Photo Journey!

Elizabeth and Max (he refused to attend once I explained it was an outdoor event as his majesty prefers the inside during hotter weather, his air conditioning and a light blanket!) 

Max a few years ago-still just as cute!

Review: Wedding Photographer in Houston

Review: Houston’s Ammar Selo Photography – he was my daughter’s wedding photographer

Wedding Photographer Review Time:  While I’ve had the privilege recently of seeing numerous friends and co-worker’s wedding photos, they just don’t compare to the photos of my daughter’s wedding photos (not because it’s my daughter, but because the quality was phenomenal! As I would be ten times more picky about her photos!!)  Ammar Selo Photography was chosen for her and her hubby’s special day.  Of course I had gone online to research Mr. Selo’s work and thought it was outstanding, but when it’s YOUR child getting married… you want PERFECT!!! Indeed, PERFECT is what we received! I really cannot recommend this photographer enough!! He managed to capture images far exceeding our hopes and dreams and did so under some challenging circumstances to say the least! He was super fast with the photo previews, was practically invisible during the ceremony and reception yet blew our minds when we saw the photos! He was EARLY, captured those of us (ah…that’d be me that need to lose weight) in the best (i.e. slimming) flattering manner along with the rest of the guests, was very respectful and polite and just overall a pleasure to work with on this most special day!

Note:  Mr. Selo has no idea I am writing this and therefore, it is an honest, unsolicited, review for those of you struggling to pick that perfect wedding day photographer.  I don’t take putting my name of recommendation of anyone lightly! But this guy is great! Wedding Wire shows some reviews (all 5 stars which is the best score you can get) and I now see that he was won the 2017 Couple’s Choice Award – that makes me happy to learn. Very reasonable pricing too.

Advice:  Be clear and honest about your expectations when hiring Mr. Selo about what sort of photos you are looking to get and what you do and don’t like.  My daughter and her husband were and the results were incredible! I would additionally suggest booking early!

Thanks for visiting Houston Photo Journey!

Max and his Human known as Ma

Review: Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack

Almost two years ago, I started to try learning my new Canon Rebel T31 camera and a little about photography as I’ve always loved taking photos, then discovering all the hidden little treasures your actual eyes didn’t notice at the time.  To tell you the honest truth, for a while I just used a thrift store, solid black, diaper back to carry my camera and some neoprene cases to hold the 2 lens I had.  While that didn’t work out too bad, once I started investing more money – I wanted to protect my investments! That’s when I began my research on camera purses, bags, cases, etc. I ended up buying the Case Logic SLRC-206 SLR Camera and 15.4-Inch Laptop Backpack from Amazon for around $80.  I was able to watch this a YouTube Review I saw on Amazon by NiceOne but it’s no longer up on YouTube so here is another look at it instead 🙂 from JRESHOW .  

What was important to me:

  • I don’t want it to scream “rob me..I have expensive camera gear in this backpack!”
  • Needed to be as light weight as possible (I have a bad back)
  • Good padding for shoulders so it’s comfortable
  • Sturdy (duh on that, but I LOVE the hard bottom so you can stand the backpack on wet grass, etc. and just wipe it later)
  • Lots of pockets as when I am on a “photographic adventure” I use it as my purse too
  • Well made to protect my Camera and lens and adjustable velcro compartments so I can customize to fit my particular lens/storage needs
  • Outside, easy access pockets for cell, keys and pepper spray (ya never know-best to be safe).
  • Easy access to the actual camera without having to open the entire bag!
  • Reasonably priced (that’s a biggie) but quality!!
  • A place for a water hydration pack which is what I use the laptop area for in the hot, Houston summers and or a rain cover, book, etc. (but your laptop would certainly be safe in the padded area).

Would I buy it again is the real question???…Yes!

Note:  As of the time of this post, I have zero affiliation with either Amazon (other than buying from them) or Case Logic and have received not a darn thing for this review in any way, shape or form. Just trying to share good deals with you 🙂

Thanks for stopping by Houston Photo Journey!

Max’s Human and Max