Often the birds who get the most street cred are the ones who make the impossibly long migrations, yearly expeditions across thousands of miles, stretches of land rendered somehow familiar by instinct, experience, or something even less explicable. But let's not forget to give thanks to those avians, stubborn if not brave, who pick a home and stick with it, through frosty winter and boiling summer. Let's be glad that, at least in Texas we can hear the mockingbirds sing through the winter and even on the one icy morning we can watch their ballet through the branches. Assuming they're not pecking our heads off for getting too close to their nest.
Enchanted Rock State Natural Area, Texas //
Up on enchanted rock, low-sun glowlight turns the whole granite expanse into a realm of golden stone and deep dusk-blue crater pools. It's an improbably wonderful mix of colors and feelings that transports you from regular consciousness to some esoteric mind-place where fantasy runs free and everything seems pretty much great. Then the sun goes down, but luckily the world around you just goes back to its regular way of being impossibly beautiful.
Glacier National Park, Montana // Rushing through its slot-like bed, Avalanche Creek is just one of the lush mountain streams that help shape the dramatic, almost unreal geology of Glacier National Park. The creek gets its unique color from the minerals carried in the glacial melt water. Unfortunately, due to globally rising temperatures, the National Park's eponymous glaciers are likely to be gone by 2030.