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Raro Dreams~


Woo Hoo!

I made a friend in Rarotonga named Emma from the island of Atiu, and she helped me find a hotspot that worked, albeit, it was quite a challenge.

Thank you Emma & Kia Orana!

Raro has amazing pristine beaches,

coral reefs,

and empty, jungle-covered volcanic mountains to explore.

Our son is exploring with us, and tomorrow we head to the more remote island of Aitutaki.

Cheers to you from the unspoiled & ethereal Cook Islands~

Magic on Wings~


Like the hummers, we have flown away,

to a place where wi-fi doesn’t fly.

I can’t get a satellite signal consistent enough to upload,

here in The Cook Islands.

But, I am getting stunning island vistas.

Sending Holler Hummer hopes that you are healthy and well,

and looking forward to connecting with you when we fly back to civilization.

Until then, cheers to you from the incredible Cooks~

Colorful Creatures~


Create their own vibrant light.

Phaninopepla, dark as midnight,

in full light, is radiant dark blue, with deep red eyes.

Male orioles, kings of beauty, rock yellow and black,

while male grosbeaks flash black, orange and white.

Mr Jay will drive our blues away,

as hummingbirds fly their own private rainbows!

Cheers to you from The Holler’s colorful creatures~

Common Folk~


Are underrated. (Click and enlarge to see the tiny details).

Like this Holler bathing birdie,

a California Towhee, who isn’t much impressed with the paparazzi, smart birdie!

This yellow house finch has a deformed beak and foot, but is doing well on Holler handouts.

Male yellow house finches are less successful with the ladies than their ruby colored cousins, but I think the ladies lack vision.

Mocking Birds may be common,

but they are oh so smart, and very handsome.

House finches are everywhere,

but are really quite adorable!
Cheers to you from The Holler common folk~

The Same Sun Shines For Us All~


Sunset in the open ocean off Peru.
This post is in honor of the innocent victims of gun violence in our country and their families. I honor the children who are leading our country away from the path of despair and gun violence.
“The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6. New International Version).

I salute and stand in solidarity with our student leaders today, and everyday, and all who support the will of the people for safety, sanity, and gun regulation.

The same sun sets for us all,

over the peaceful sea.

Mother Nature’s silent symphony,

a promise of enduring hope,

and lasting peace.

Bird of the Far South (Pt. II)~


These birdies give us a good sense of how difficult bird identification is, and why I am sometimes uncertain of my labels. If you find I am wrong with an identification, please don’t hesitate to set me straight. I welcome the help. This is a male Kelp Goose who was photographed at the furthest southern point in Argentina. Kelp Geese are part of the sheldrake family and range from the southern portion of Patagonian Chile to Tierra del Fuego and The Falkland Islands. They have yellow legs and feet.

Here we have a Kelp Goose chick, note the dark legs on the chick, and the yellow legs on the adult.

These are Upland Geese. They are also birds of the far south. They have the same basic coloration as male and female Kelp Geese, but male Upland Geese have black feet and females have yellow feet. I was pretty sure this was a female Upland Goose because she and the male had a chick which you can see below.

The chick had black feet too! Are you confused yet? This is why I would never swear by my identifications….

Here you can’t see the feet at all but this is the same pair that I am betting are Upland Geese. This family was photographed in The Falkland Islands.

In this group shot, the legs are not really cooperating, but my guess is still Upland Geese, males with black legs, and females with yellow. But they could be Ruddy Headed Geese.
Check this out:
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/saving-a-species-by-splitting-it-the-case-of-the-ruddy-headed-goose/
You have to be kinda confused my now, I am. Still I’m going with Upland until someone corrects me….

Here is a Male Upland Goose with Magellanic Penguins in the Falkland Islands. At least we can be sure of the penguins right? Don’t be too sure. They are some other penguins mixed in with this colony, but thankfully this shot is far enough away, and we can’t see well enough to sort this out! Laughing……

These are Patagonian Crested Ducks. They live in the same far southern region and there are about 10,000 estimated breeding pairs of these ducks in existence. This pair was in Ushuaia Argentina.

This guy is a year old Dolphin Gull, whose coloration is entirely different from adults whose photos I posted on my previous post. They are this color when they are young and change as they mature. He was in Tierra del Fuego and is also a bird of the far south.

This cutey is a Grass Wren, known as a Sage Wren in North America. He sings beautifully and was photographed in The Falkland Islands.

And finally we have a Southern Lapwing. This bird is found extensively throughout South America and extends to the very tip of the continent.
The good news is, we aren’t having a test on any of this, so we can just enjoy the beautiful birds, and hope I identified them correctly.
Cheers to you from the many amazing birdies of the far south~

Birds of the Far South (pt. I)~


There are lots of birdies in the southern hemisphere! They can fly where humans (and boats) flounder.

This osprey was the furthest north of all the birds pictured here. Ospreys are the most widely distributed bird in the world after peregrine falcons, and can be found on every continent except Antarctica. This guy was in Peru.

Magellanic Oystercatchers live on the tip of South America in Argentina, Chile, and The Falkland, Sandwich, and South Georgia Islands.

Peruvian Pelican’s are a near threatened species and are twice the size of their Brown Pelican cousins.

They can be found off the coasts of northern and southern Chile and Argentina. Standing next to them, they reached my shoulder!

These Brown Pelicans live as far south as the northern coast of Chile, which is where their territories overlap with Peruvian Pelicans whose distribution continues to the south.

This juvenile Black Crowned Night Heron,

was busy catching and swallowing a snake!

Cheers to you from the incredible birds of the southern hemisphere, and stay tuned for more, even further south~