In the night...the scream of the rabbit is terrible. But the scream of the owl which is not of pain and hopelessness and fear of being plucked out the world, but of the sheer rollicking glory of the death-bringer, is more terrible still.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Hargill, Texas

Hargill is a "census-designated place" claiming a population of 1300. In reality the town itself is a wide spot in the road with an abandoned grocery store, one functioning building across the street which contains a cafe for the frackers, a convenience store and a gas station, - maybe three houses and one dead cat on the road. For us it was a place for five carloads of birders to rendezvous. The area around Hargill is dead flat farmland punctuated by well heads and a compression station. The horizon is far, far away in all directions. It is marvelous raptor country. The primary reason we were there is someone had seen Mountain Plovers in a melon field. Mountain Plovers are misnamed, they were where they should be. They are birds of short grass or bare flat land. We found the melon field straight away - never did spot any Plovers - it is very big country. We saw a lot of raptors of various species through scopes, at distances where they could be identified, but of course way beyond what I could shoot with my 55-300mm rather short lens. For instance, in the center of the picture below is a White-tailed Kite posed nicely on  branch. A great bird. You'll have to take my word for it.

After most of the dozen of so disappointed birders drifted off we followed a family group we bump into regularly at Estero Llano. A man, wife and their three children The children are devastatingly cute and sweet, and all just spooky smart. The boy behind Lorna at the scope is Jachin. I would guess he is about 10 years old. He has a sweet Nikon camera worth about three times what mine is. Jachin is a product of my friend Steve's photography classes. His best student. He worked his way up the camera food chain, buying his camera with prize money from photo contests. He is good - very, very good.

Sandhill Cranes along the road home. About that time we were hungry beyond reason and were starting to argue and bicker. It got worse, but after half an hour we found a good Mexican Cafe - one of those places where the waitress cannot speak English and Steve thinks he can speak Spanish. Inspite of his confidence, the ordering was eventually done by pointing at the menu pictures, laughing and making hand gestures. It worked.

After a stop at Costco we arrived back at our apartment; Sue and Steve came up and our neighbors Bill and Cathy came over for drinks, snacks and conversation. A nice ending to a good day.

Be well, -G.


Redwing said...

Great posts! Makes me feel like I'm there, which is not quite as good as being there. Steve speaking Spanish; must've been quite funny! And as for Mountain Plovers, I can't tell you how many times Carolee and I have done exactly what you've done and come up empty. Best wishes from BC.

Gunnar Berg said...

No guitar. No singing. You were missed.

Steve said...

A failed to mention detail is that we caught Gunnar on "diet day". All he had to say was, "cafe por favor". How hard is that in Spanish? The rest of us had to figure out how to order "tacos y tortillas y coca cola y salsa, por tres gringos, por favor". Wound up with french fries and tepid water. Not bad with the espanol, eh?

Redwing said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Redwing said...

Now if I'd been there, I'd have spoken Greek and who knows what we'd have ended up with? Are beers allowed on "diet day"?