Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Fred and Becky's visit, and teaching a wire wrapping class, (passing skills on)

The last week has been cold, there were a couple of days where it was warm and foggy, but the first of two cold fronts passed though, and we have been hiding inside ever since. Of course, we had company, as our Star Valley friends came down to camp and fish. We had also planned to teach a class on a wire wrapping, so the cold fronts did not interrupt that. They camped at Goose Island State Park at a great site for their camper van. We met and talked over our options, deciding to try to spot whopping cranes the next morning. The next morning, we awoke to a heavy fog. It was a really poor day to take decent photos, but as we could not wait for better weather, we drove over to their campsite and picked them up.
Getting our cameras ready, we first drove down fourth street and after passing the cattails, we spotted two whooping cranes. They were in a field along Lamar Beach Road. Pulling over along the beach side. Fred, Becky, and Renita bailed out as I rolled down my window and shot through the opening. We knew right away that the fog was going to cause problems, and it did. Still, we hoped our computers image processing programs would allow us to mitigate its effects. Renita and I use a standard processing program on our windows program and our friend Fred uses a free program on his iPad. After we exchanged our best photos, I noticed how Fred had been able to lessen the effects of the fog. Our program had also worked but nowhere as good as his. He retouched one of our photos and sent it back to me. The difference is plain to see. We need to get his program and learn how to use it.
The first image is our original image, the second we retouched using Windows,
and the third is the one Fred edited with his iPad.
We did see quite a few birds. Rosette spoonbills have arrived as they use a rookery nearby. A cara-cara landed on a telephone pole,
and a few ducks were swimming in a puddle in the field. After taking their pictures two young bulls decided to engage in a head-butting match and we were actually able to get the cloud of dust as the charged each other.
Meanwhile a flock of sandhill cranes landed and the spoonbills flew away. Now the four whooping cranes were nearby and one of them flew over to the sandhills and started to chase them.
Imagine our surprise when we saw that it was not the dominant male but instead one of the juveniles. It sure did not take the new whooping crane long to emulate his father actions. After making one charge the sandhills scattered and he then began feeding.
After returning home we noticed an unusual bird in one of the photos. Posting the picture on the Bird ID Group, where it was identified as an Upper Sandpiper, a new life bird for our list.
We spent the rest of the day watching the whooping crane family. After lunch we got live shrimp for bait and then drove back to the park where we fished on the Fishing Pier. The fishing was terrible but at least Fred was able to catch a pinfish with his new pole. I caught a couple of stingrays, so we never caught anything for dinner. The next day our friends decided to check out sights around Rockport. We had a wire wrapping class to teach. It was a free class where the participants tired their hands at what we do for our business.
While we have taught classes in the past, its not our favorite thing to do. Some of our older students have difficulty manipulating the tools and wire.
This time the small class of five had great day. Here are the result of three of the students!
This week we are getting ready for the Gulf Coast Gem and Mineral Show, in Robstown Texas. Its our second biggest show of the year. Now if covid numbers will stay low and if the crowd will attend…. Clear skies

1 comment:

  1. Interesting differences in the photo processing. Stay safe and healthy.