Clang by Dave Hileman

The Liberty Bell cracked and was recast twice after its arrival from the Whitechapel Foundry in 1752 destined for the Pennsylvania State House. It "likely" rang on 7/8/1776 when the Declaration of Independence was read. It was cracked in the early 1800's but was not really famous until an 1847 poem was published. It is under the care of the National Park Service but it is owned by the city of Philadelphia. 

No Idea How He Got There! by Dave Hileman

To me these animals defy laws as the scamper across the face of the rocks here in Glacier National Park. Astonishing. 

"O Lord my God, how great you are! ....High in the mountains live the wild goats....O Lord, what a variety of things you have made! In wisdom you have made them all. The earth is full of your creatures." Passages from Psalm 104 NLT

New Jersey Line by Dave Hileman

Erected in 1907 and attended by a large contingent of veterans this was the first monument on the field at Monocacy National Battlefield just outside Frederick, Maryland. These troops held the line while the majority of Union soldiers crossed a railroad trestle and continue to protect Washington against Jubal Earley's attempt to capture the capitol late in the war.   

Pinnacles by Dave Hileman

About half way to the top of this trail in the Pinnacles National Park. It is not among the more popular of parks and you get there on a long 1.3 lane road. And it is hot and dry. The rock formations are interesting and the hike on this day was reasonably comfortable. 

BW III Completely Sane, Sure. by Dave Hileman

Close out Bird Week III with this Comorrant - the first I have seen in breeding plumage. If any of the birds looked a bit on the unhinged side this week, this one would  be first in line. 

"Haughtiness goes before destruction;
humility precedes honor." Proverbs 18 NLT

BW III Crazy Mad by Dave Hileman

This bird was not happy. Not sure what he saw below in the shrubs or if it was just for show but it was screeching loudly. This is a Pacific/Mexican variation of the Eastern Brown-headed Cowbird.

BW III Crazy Color by Dave Hileman

At first I thought this was a Scarlet Tanager, who wouldn't, right? But I had an actual world famous (in certain circles) bird wildlife photographer standing next to me who quickly pointed out that is was a Vermilion Flycatcher, seen easily with his black "mask" across his eyes and back of he neck. Beautiful bird. 

BW III Crazy Small by Dave Hileman

This is a TINY bird. A Costa Hummingbird is barely one ounce and less than 4" long. The streak from his "cheek" is called a gorget and this extended one is a characteristic of this genus. 

BW III Crazy Cool by Dave Hileman

First we have another spelling lesson, this is a Pyrrhuluxia, not to be confused with Tuesday's Phainopepla, which, of course, none of YOU did. This is a cousin to our familiar Cardinal. The "Cardinalis Sinuous" is a bit slimmer, taller crest, obvious color distinction and is not very common even in its habitat. I was thrilled to see this one in the Organ Pipe National Monument. 

BW III: Crazy Hair by Dave Hileman

Actually it is not hair but a feathered crest. This bird could also qualify for the "crazy eyes" as the primary color is bright red. Are you ready for the name? Phainopepla. It is about the size of a cardinal but in the flycatcher family. There are white wing patches on the adult but you only see that in flight. This one was hanging out near the Mission from last Thursday's post. 

BW III: Crazy Eyes by Dave Hileman

Yesterday I shared a photo of the male Bushtit, today the female Bushtit. Do you notice the distinction? Read the title! The male has a dark eye the female a yellow eye with a tiny dark iris. I was told once that the birders call this "crazy-eye." 

Welcome to Bird Week III, with a twist! by Dave Hileman

First, I know I did not give you enough time to take the week off work so you could really study each of these and, of course, the sudden surprise did lesson the anticipation. Yet, this week we are not only featuring birds but these are National Park Birds as well as new to my life-list (actually only a small portion of the 34 new birds added on this trip). See, the excitement mounted so quickly that knowing all this in advance might have been just too much. So we are off with the Bushtit. This little guy was found in the Sand to Snow National Monument in California and also at Joshua Tree National Park. It is a very tiny bird. 

"All of your works will thank you, Lord, and your faithful followers will praise you." Psalm 145:10 NLT

Mission by Dave Hileman

This is the Tumacacori Mission in southern Arizona, just a few minutes north of the boarder with Mexico. "Mission San Cayetano del Tumacácori was established by Jesuits in 1691 in a location near a Sobaipuri settlement on the east side of the Santa Cruz River. Services were held in a small adobe structure built by the inhabitants of the village. The mission was abandoned for a time. In 1752, the village was reestablished and in 1753 the church of the Mission San José de Tumacácori began construction at the present site on the west side of the Santa Cruz River. This first church structure was erected for use by the mission in 1757. 

The main church seen from the plaza of the visitor center.

The main church seen from the plaza of the visitor center.

Cool by Dave Hileman

This stream is glacier run off so the water is both an interesting color and very cold. This is in Glacier National Park. A rocky wonderland. 

Enter In... by Dave Hileman

...the Cathedral Rock at Yosemite. Not too difficult to guess why this name was given to this immense rock cliff. Stain glass is applied in the fall.

A Well Watered Tree by Dave Hileman

At Mirror Lake in Yosemite.

"The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring." Isaiah 58:11 NLT

Climbing El Capitan (Three Photos by Dave Hileman

There were several people ascending El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. I was not one of them. Proof is that I am here typing this on Friday. These two were interesting to watch as they prepared for the climb that day. Most of the climbers spend nights on the cliff. I have a photo of one of those tents I will get to next week. With a story!

Red Shirt is below, with his companion above in the crease.

Red Shirt is below, with his companion above in the crease.

Detail of red shirt, I would not be looking down.

Detail of red shirt, I would not be looking down.

For reference, these two are near the dark slash mid-mountain on the sun  side. 

For reference, these two are near the dark slash mid-mountain on the sun  side.