Being from Minnesota, I am usually only reluctantly looking forward to spring in Texas—mainly because the summer swelter soon follows. But this winter, the weather (mostly drizzle, fog, mist, clouds; rain) has been so appalling that I am definitely looking forward to spring more than most years. In addition to watching out for migrants, primarily at the migrant traps like Lafitte’s Cove, High Island, Sabine Woods, etc., we’ll be on the lookout for nesting birds, eggs and babies. And the Texas Gulf Coast is a great place for rookeries . . .
One of the best rookeries for observation and photography, of course, is the Smith Oaks Rookery on High Island. I have not been there since buying our 600mm f/4L, though. Some of the nests at Smith Oaks are just a little too far for optimum results with a 500mm lens, so I am looking forward to what can be gained with the extra focal length.
Unfortunately, two problems exist at Smith Oaks: crowding and mosquitos. Although not quite as bad as a shopping mall the day before Christmas, High Island can be quite crowded and not all birders are quite civilized. Some birders seem insistent that photographers stay in the “designated tripod photography areas, ” while some others feel free to stand around in those areas without taking pictures. In any case, listening to the snarky comments while swatting mosquitos may be amusing. Or not.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.—Joseph Campbell
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