Backyard Birding in South Texas

I’ve been in Texas the past few days, visiting my parents, and stumbled across their digital collection of bird photos taken from their yard in Corpus Christi, Texas, which is often dubbed the “birdiest” city in the U.S. You can see why just from this small smattering of their collection.

First photo is not just a photo of a majestic Cooper’s Hawk, it’s a photo of a Cooper’s Hawk eating another bird — looks to be a white-winged dove, albeit a headless one.

Cabin Fever Finally Ends

It was warm and sunny enough to spend the afternoon traversing — in waterproof hiking boots, of course — across Astoria, Queens. I hope I finally got some Vitamin D.

Last weekend I walked 4 miles in a bitter wind, learning the hard way what windburn feels like. After a brutal January, it’s nice to feel 40 degrees again.

The Homesick Texan = Me

So apparently I’ve been a little too melodramatic  — me, melodramatic?  — about the cold weather and six (!!!) recent snowstorms that have buried New York City in layers of snow, garbage, snow and then more garbage (and the occasional dead body).

My friends told me this weekend (in a joking tone, of course!) that they have contemplated staging a  “Joy winter intervention.” They don’t need to go that far: All I want is a little empathy. Try being a girl from South Texas, where on every day of the year, it’s normally one of the warmest places in the nation. Where, this weekend, people were at the beach in sandals, sipping cold beer and finding it altogether unfathomable to contemplate snow piled upon garbage piled upon snow.

Where, on weather maps, it’s almost always glowing orange-red, a fireball of warm, delicious heat — in a galaxy far, far, faaaaar away from any terrifying sub-freezing purple, or heaven forbid, dark pink.

Of course, the frente frio that swept the upper-half of the United States today did dip down into Texas’ nether regions, bringing down the temps to a less balmy 55. Time to put on a jacket and real shoes before you go walk on the beach!