Wednesday, November 16, 2022

A Red Shouldered Hawk and the Houston Gem and Mineral Show

Yesterday, our friend Jane knocked on our door. She told us there was a large hawk perched on a post next door. Assembling our camera, with the Sigma 150-600 mm lens, I followed her out and after help I finally spotted the beautiful bird.
We were sure it was a red shouldered hawk, and while we have taken pictures of one before, we have never had one pose so close for so long. It repeatedly turned it’s head giving us profile after profile and looked at us face on. Moving to another spot, we used their truck to hold the camera steady and continued to take more images. Dave asked me if I had taken enough and laughed when I said I had only snapped a little over one hundred pictures< In one photo I caught the hawk blinking.
Instead of an upper and lower eyelid they have a third eyelid called a nictating membrane. It keeps their eye moist and clean, like we do. In some birds it also protects the eye and allows them to see when they are underwater, (like a kingfisher).
The wind was blowing strong and at one point almost blew the bird off its perch. It’s feathers had been puffed up, it’s a cold forty five here, and so it decided to take off for a better spot.
I forgot to zoom out as it got antsy and so my flight pictures were not the best but still the detail was great! We also traveled to Houston to see our cousin Angie and her husband Pete. We stayed with them and attended to the Houston Gem and Mineral Show. Pete is a retired geologist and also collects specimens so we all enjoyed the show and made purchases.
Checking out all the booths/tables, we found several rocks we did not yet have. One type of Jasper is called a Dalmatian jasper, another a fossiliferous crinoid marble,
and a third was a black nephrite jade from Australia, (the Australian Jade was given to us by Angie who had found it while cleaning out her Dad’s house).
We also looked for a pectolite called larimar, which is only found in the Dominican Republic.
Its an expensive rock and has multiple hardness areas making it difficult to cut. Not finding any rough we broke down and bought five, very expensive cabochons, (they will probably end up as Christmas presents and will not be sold). Besides rocks we went out to eat including at a place that advertised the World’s best chicken fried steak, (I still think the one I ate in Hondo, Texas is the best)! As always we had a wonderful time with Angie and Pete, thanks for the invite! Clear skies

1 comment: