Tag Archives: house sparrow (Passer domesticus)

Among the missing

The words are forgotten, lost in a drive just three hours long, misplaced somewhere along 170 miles/270 kilometers of road.  Ancient names known for a city lifetime of decades, now the words hide behind months of rural living.  How familiar they were, how missing they have become.

A rock dove (a.k.a. common pigeon; Columba livia) standing on a sunny pier (2008_12_27_003660)

My lips tremble when I try to speak them.  It is as if I ask them to verbalize an unfamiliar language, phrases borne of another land, yet I ask only that they remember the words that go with the mind’s pictures, the names once common but now rare.

A fox squirrel (a.k.a. eastern fox squirrel, stump-eared squirrel, raccoon squirrel or monkey-faced squirrel; Sciurus niger) lying atop a tree trunk (2009_02_02_005789)

Dropped into memory’s abyssal hat and plucked out one by one, I read from the mental slips of paper names of the absent, of the once ubiquitous, of those long called neighbors.  What alien text is this?  From what removed existence come these unremembered names?

A male house sparrow (Passer domesticus) perched on a limb (2009_02_21_010424)

When a few short weeks ago I journeyed back those three hours, back that long distance, unbidden the words came back to me, names once more as comfortable as the threadbare sweater worn each winter for its personal value rather than its fashion statement.  I knew each name that matched each face, knew the words too quickly lost.

A male red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) perched in a tree (2009_03_21_013137)

Yet back to my new world I had to return, and again the names hide among the missing, the faces lonely for the words that call them, the world outside my door barren for their absence yet abundant for their replacements.

An American coot (Fulica americana) swimming toward shore (2009_03_21_013166)

For they have indeed been replaced, the once familiar now forgotten, their collective presence full of new words, words like Texas coral snake, Inca dove, southern black widow, eastern bluebird, white-tailed deer, northern rough-winged swallow, flying squirrel, alligator, cougar, fish crow and black bear, along with many others.  How delightful these new words, how appealing the newfound familiarity of such names.

A male superb cicada (a.k.a. green harvestfly, green cicada or superb green cicada; Tibicen superba) clinging to the side of a tree (2009_07_06_026143)

Nevertheless I miss the old words, the old names, those now among the missing.  In another lifetime they shared my life, found each day right outside my door.  But now they only live in other places, not here, not with me, though near me, short drives away, or once more rediscovered at the end of that three hour journey, at the destination resting 170 miles/270 kilometers away.

Still, now I shall stutter the gibberish that goes with each mental picture, shall feel the unfamiliar words stumble upon my lips, shall pluck the words from memory’s deep hat with hope I shall remember those who remain among the missing.

— — — — — — — — — —


  1. Rock dove (a.k.a. common pigeon; Columba livia)
  2. Fox squirrel (a.k.a. eastern fox squirrel, stump-eared squirrel, raccoon squirrel or monkey-faced squirrel; Sciurus niger)
  3. Male house sparrow (Passer domesticus)
  4. Male red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)
  5. American coot (Fulica americana)
  6. Male superb cicada (a.k.a. green harvestfly, green cicada or superb green cicada; Tibicen superba)

A desolation called Texas

A fox squirrel (Sciurus niger) standing on a fallen log (20080314_02632)

The world is brown now, and not a good brown, not a rich brown, not an earthen tone that looks warm against the skin and tastes good upon the eyes.  No, this is the brown of death, of drought, of crippling heat, of climatic records driven to the brink of extinction, then cast over the precipice of what was.

It started with drought, that’s all, the last appreciable rain falling in early September when the remnants of Hurricane Hermine came through, what with her tornadoes and floods and hail and wind.  But after that?  Nothing worth talking about.  In fact, what little rain came after just made it worse.

The few snow and ice storms we had helped get winter grasses started, but then the drought killed them and left dry kindling in their place, more dry kindling than we already had, more fuel for fires that swept the state, killing some, maiming others, knocking down home and hearth from border to border.

And the spring storm season gave us a few tornadoes, more lightning than the parched state needed, and a little rain here and there, just enough to start the spring growing season before the drought killed that smidgen of greenery, so more fuel for the fires, more death, more brown.

Burn bans spread almost as quickly as the fires did, crimson warnings seeping from major wounds in the map of Texas and spreading, oozing, spilling in every direction, all the while chasing the flames that gushed across the landscape.  And still no rain.

Then summer blasted in on the heels of a spring that grew hot, too hot, and summer’s been hotter, really hot, splitting the skin of weather records and pouring salt in the open wounds of worry.

A black and yellow mud dauber (Sceliphron caementarium) building a nest (20080708_09205)

Insects are scarce, something people have noticed since we’ve had no mosquito problems for quite some time, a surprising fact since we always have mosquito problems, even in winter if the day is warm enough.  And people noticed there are no moths around outside lights at night, and that surprises folks because, like mosquitoes, we always have moths and butterflies, as long as the day is warm enough.

I found the majority of wasp and bee nests have failed, many abandoned before they were completed, even in the nesting box I built early this year on a sleepless night, the majority of the abandoned attempts losing their queens over a single two-day period when temperatures soared and refused to fall, and climbing steadily higher since.  I’ve seen more dead insects than live ones and so few spiders that it feels like a famine of the sort.

A common whitetail (Plathemis lydia) resting on parched earth (20080712_09363)

Dragonflies and damselflies, at least the few that can be found, spend too much time on dead plants and parched earth, some landing never to move again, most in fact, and detritivores like millipedes and isopods have been no-shows this year, much like the fungi season last autumn and again this spring, complete no-shows, not even vain attempts to keep up appearances.

Ants venture out in the coolness of morning, but around dawn is the only time to see them since it’s too hot most of the day and night, and I’ve seen only a few katydids and grasshoppers, something that really put the halt on the digger wasps who built nests only to abandon them due to lack of food for their young.

A male house sparrow (Passer domesticus) perched in the shade of a bush (20081020_13873)

Though some might find it kin to karma, house sparrow numbers have declined, the flock that’s lived around my home for decades having diminished until it’s just a whisper, no more than a quarter its normal size for as long as I’ve lived here, and like them most birds are suffering, both young and old, both native and not so native, because when the bottom of the food chain suffers like this, the effects ripple along the links making sure everyone suffers.

Armadillos have been brazen and apparent, seen almost every morning before the sun grows too high and the day too hot, and their signs outside my patio have become almost desperate, each morning revealing more digging and destruction as they hunt for anything edible, sometimes digging deep and sometimes digging gaping holes and sometimes digging trails to follow the ants who won’t venture topside except when absolutely necessary.

A purple martin (Progne subis) chick hiding in the grass after leaving the nest early to escape the heat (2009_06_29_025000)

Three great purple martin roosts form a triangle around the metroplex, their enormous sizes making them oft watched radar regulars at the National Weather Service, but this year the numbers are down, way down, with most nests failing because young were too hot, too hungry, too thirsty, too weak, many abandoning the nest houses to escape the heat, only to be exposed to direct sun and predators without parents to help them.  I can’t count the number of unready young who fledged before becoming fledglings.

House finches, mockingbirds and mourning doves nested in the tree outside my patio, and all three species failed to fledge young, the mourning doves having tried twice before giving up, and I felt surprise seeing the mockingbirds bringing mostly fruit to the one hatchling they had who only lived a few days and spent most of that time crying loudly as though the same old berries weren’t cutting it and the few insects offered were just a painful tease.

Bats and common nighthawks vanished almost as quickly as they appeared this year, what with the nights empty and lights left lonely for the insect dancers who once upon a time filled their luminance with endless performances, but not this year, and so dawns and dusks are empty of the night flyers who have never been absent as long as I can remember, and the lights long for the moths and beetles and other bright lives who once filled the void with shining lines traced on dark backgrounds.

So now the whole state is in pain, climatologists saying the need here is more than 15 inches of rain just to get to a comfortable place, and saying it’s not going to get better any time soon, and the Forest Service saying all of Texas is a tinderbox ready to burst into flame, and farmers in the same area having long ago given up hope for crops of cotton and wheat and such, and ranchers culling herds because there’s not enough water and not enough grass and hay costs too much since it has to be shipped into the state since none of the Texas hay crops grew into anything more than fodder for wildfires.

Secretly like everyone else in the state, residents wish for an energetic hurricane season with multiple strikes on the Lone Star State, drenching rains being the primary need with other considerations becoming less than secondary, but like the storm seasons of last autumn and this spring, hurricane season is looking less promising for Texas, and the drought goes on and surpasses the Dust Bowl in severity and blows away other drought records like they were so much childish scribbling, and the heat goes on and begins a serious effort to challenge the heat wave of 1980, the heat wave to end all heat waves for the 40+ years I’ve lived here, and all the while we miss the rain, and relief from the heat, and the normalcy of nature, all of which now seem so far removed and so imaginary as to be from another world.

As we head into the season for migrations, both butterflies and birds alike, I worry what these creatures will find when they reach this place, for even now the hour is late, and there is no chance for recovery before they begin passing through, and what they’ll find here is a growing desolation, dry and parched land with no plants and no insects and no relief from unrelenting heat.  This place has become the kind of miserable that’s felt from the lowest to the highest, from the least to the most, and we’re all suffering, and waiting for change, and watching the sky, the forecasts, the prognostications, and wondering how bad it can really get since no one’s willing to say it can’t get any worse, because we know it can, and it has, and there’s no reason to think it won’t if that’s to be the way of things.

— — — — — — — — — —


  1. Fox squirrel (a.k.a. eastern fox squirrel, stump-eared squirrel, raccoon squirrel or monkey-faced squirrel; Sciurus niger)
  2. Black and yellow mud dauber (a.k.a. mud wasp; Sceliphron caementarium)
  3. Common whitetail (Plathemis lydia)
  4. House sparrow (Passer domesticus)
  5. Purple martin (Progne subis)

Sparrow goodness

The Rodney Dangerfield of the North American bird world: the house sparrow (Passer domesticus).  They get no respect.  And in kind, most sparrows get the same treatment because, by proxy, they’re no more interesting than their introduced cousins.

What I’ve learned over the years is that ubiquitous house sparrows blind a lot of people to other species.  Essentially, if a sparrow doesn’t have some blatant distinguishing characteristic like two heads or diamond-studded feathers, it winds up lumped into the “just a sparrow” pile of birds.  That’s unfortunate given the diversity of our sparrow populations where both large and small differences separate the species.

A female house sparrow (Passer domesticus) perched in a bush (2009_02_18_010114)

The obvious: a female house sparrow.  She stood patiently by my patio fence and watched me as I snapped her photo.  One thing about house sparrows: they don’t worry so much about me, and that gives me good opportunities for taking pictures.

A male house sparrow (Passer domesticus) perched in a bush (2009_02_18_010125)

Beside her stood a male house sparrow.  I suspect these two are an item since they never moved far from each other.  Like his lady friend, he perched calmly and kept an eye on me, yet he didn’t panic and didn’t flee.

A lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus) running through the grass (2009_05_22_020747)

A lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus).  Not as easy to find as I would like, at least not here in the middle of the city.  Drive a wee bit out of Dallas and they become abundant.  This one took me by surprise at White Rock Lake.  As I stood photographing a group of sparrows, this bird came running around from behind me and tackled something in the grass.  I barely had time to turn and snap a picture before it carried its treat into the air.

A field sparrow (Spizella pusilla) perched in a tree (2009_10_31_035854)

A field sparrow (Spizella pusilla).  More specifically, a gray variation.  Bad light notwithstanding, I was at first confused by this bird because it looked like a field sparrow yet lacked any noticeable facial patterns.  Only when I processed the image later and compensated for the backlighting did its true nature become obvious.  (I’ll note I had a few other photos that showed wing patterns and the like, but overall this was just a bad photographic encounter.)

A vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) standing in shadowy grass (2009_10_31_035943)

A vesper sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus).  Even the dark shadows of a large tree and early morning couldn’t hide that bold eyering.  Vesper sparrows are large birds by sparrow standards.  Size makes them noticeable when foraging with a group of birds, and the heavy white eyeliner stands out in good and bad light.

A chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina) standing in brightly lit grass (2009_11_01_036863)

Chipping sparrows (Spizella passerina), on the other hand, are typical of small sparrows.  A group of them shared dew-covered grass with several other sparrow species in addition to dark-eyed juncos and meadowlarks.  While the vesper sparrows always looked obvious, the chipping sparrows would vanish beneath the grass as though they’d fallen in a hole.  Then suddenly a head would pop up and look around, then the bird would go back to foraging.

A Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) perched in a tree (2009_11_01_036354)

A Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis).  Of all the sparrow species, Savannah sparrows seem the most variable.  Most of the variation, however, tends toward subtle color and pattern differences.  Joyous little Savannah sparrows aren’t at all worried about people.  If they’re disturbed or interrupted, they perch in the open with a sort of blatant “You see me standin’ here!” attitude; also, they aren’t secretive and often move about as though they hadn’t a care in the world.

A white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) perched in brush (2009_11_01_036451)

The white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) is another large species (well, large by sparrow standards I mean).  I don’t know if it was playing stoic and hoping I didn’t see it or if it was unbothered by my presence, but this adult stood its ground in some shoreline brush only a few steps away from me.  OK, I stood there for a while waiting for it to come to me, but I was surprised when it didn’t flinch as I turned to aim the camera.  Maybe I’d stood still so long that it figured I was stuck to the ground and therefore posed no threat.

Sometimes finding sparrows is easy.  Open, grassy or brushy areas near cover often give me Savannah, song, field, chipping and vesper sparrows.  Clay-colored, white-throated, Lincoln’s and white-crowned sparrows tend toward brushy areas and woodland edges, including the reed beds along the lake shore.  Lark sparrows spend time in meadows, grasslands and open woods, but they dislike coming into the city and make me work to find them (or, as in this case, they surprise me with a brief visit to remind me that they’re waiting just outside the city gates).

On the other hand, sometimes finding sparrows is difficult.  Even in areas where I would expect to see one or more species, I have walked away with nothing but house sparrows to show for the effort.  Time of day seems important: Early morning, especially with heavy dew, makes a perfect time to find them en masse.  Away from people works for some species and not others (Savannah sparrows are a good example with their devil-may-care attitude and in-your-face antics).

Overall, I’d say the trick rests entirely on not ignoring a sparrow.  Any sparrow, I mean.  What looks mundane could well be a sparkling gem hiding right in front of your eyes.

It’s just a sparrow

A lot of people hate sparrows, or at least many ignore them.  Small, insignificant birds, scourges related to the introduced and reviled Old World creature, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus).

A male House sparrow (Passer domesticus) perched on a bush (2009_02_21_010379)

And when most look at a sparrow, that’s all they see: something to be treated with nonchalance, something pedestrian and common.  Or worse, something repulsive because a group of fools let it loose upon North America in hope of bringing the birds of Shakespeare to the New World.

Not that house sparrows are evil, mind you, for they’re not; they’re simply doing what nature made them to do.  You can’t blame the species—or any other species for that matter—simply because humans unleashed them in non-native habitats.  If that’s you and you’re looking at someone to blame for what house sparrows do, you need only look in a mirror for the right target.

Yet all the disgust aimed at house sparrows too often blinds people to the native species that bring a great deal more to the table than a fit of misguided anger.

A white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) foraging beneath a canopy of cloud, trees and brush (2009_04_19_016196)

Who would notice a white-throated sparrow (Zonotrichia albicollis) foraging beneath a canopy of cloud, trees and brush?  A little bird, sure.  Why bother with such a common creature?  After all, it looks like every other sparrow, so there’s no need to stop and appreciate its beauty.

A Lincoln's sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) perched at the edge of a forest (2009_03_07_012249)

Or what of the Lincoln’s sparrow (Melospiza lincolnii) perched at the edge of a forest, crest raised and eyes watchful?  It’s nothing more than a shadowy figure always flitting about in thickets and woodlands, always nothing more than a fleeting glance of something wistful.  And since it looks like every other sparrow…

A field sparrow (Spizella pusilla) atop a withered reed at the lake's edge (20080202_01669)

A field sparrow (Spizella pusilla) atop a withered reed at the lake’s edge must be nothing more extraordinary than a female house sparrow.  The size and color of its beak means little to the common observer.  But for the rest of it, what minor differences exist represent variations on a theme instead of beauty.

A song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) perched on a reed (2009_02_03_006429)

My observations show a song sparrow (Melospiza melodia) perched on a reed is no more noteworthy than an ant climbing a distant hill.  To me, it’s as though these feathered wonders are invisible, cloaked by the bending of space that renders them unseen and unheard.  But what a song they sing!  And too bad for those who fail to notice.

A Savannah sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) perching in lakeside brush (2009_03_21_013285)

Just one of many Savannah sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) perching in lakeside brush commands little interest from those who pass by.  Tiny to the point of being inconspicuous, these varied and diverse fowl escape the notice of all but the interested.  And who would be interested in sparrows?  Few, I can tell you that.

Rented lens

I rented a new lens last weekend as I planned a road trip Saturday that would take me worlds away.  I would have the opportunity to hike through rugged forests and canoe through timeless waterways.

Those plans fell through.

I drove many hours to reach my destination and found heavy clouds and light rain.  I sat in the car for at least two hours listening to music and biding my time, but it came to nothing: the weather failed to improve.

Never believe what weather forecasters say.  The prognostication for this trip changed only after I arrived there; the week prior to that it had been all sun and comfortable temperatures, but afterward it was all clouds and unimpressive showers.

Although photography in cloudy weather can be challenging, it does offer a new world of colors and light effects that simply don’t exist when the sun is shining.  On the other hand, rain—even light rain—makes it all but impossible.  The camera absolutely can’t get wet.  Water on the lens element would create terrible photos; water on the lens itself could ruin its electronics and introduce moisture to its many moving parts.

Me being wet only could make matters worse.  Not that I mind dancing in the rain; it’s just that I mind the rain when I’m in the middle of nature photography.

Add to that spending a great deal of time in thick woodlands where every bit of light helps.  Skies heavy with dark clouds dripping like wet cotton robs the scene of essential illumination and forces higher ISO settings and longer exposures, neither of which would help when most subjects are wont to move about during our photo session.

I finally returned home later that afternoon full of disappointment.  It was a three-day weekend, though; certainly I could find time to salvage the situation.  And I did: I took several walks at the lake to ensure my $25 investment paid off.

The magic hour was Friday evening after I ran across town and retrieved the lens.  It also happened to be my first opportunity to give it a test run (thinking I should do so prior to my road trip Saturday).  I have more photos from that session and several others over the weekend that will appear in later posts.

But for now, let me repeat myself: “So much life flourishes at White Rock Lake that living here makes it all but impossible to not see something of interest even if the length of my walk is from the living room to the back door.”

A northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) perched in the shrubs outside my patio (2009_02_15_009948)

Speaking with a neighbor of mine recently who happens to be a teacher, we both remarked on the morning serenade we both enjoy.  It’s given by a local northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), one who happens to perch outside my living room window or in the tree outside my patio before beginning a boisterous declaration of welcome for each new day.

What a lovely song, what a diverse and complicated song!

And they started several weeks ago to nest, for I’ve seen mockingbirds aplenty as they inspect and test and carry away various bits of material, some of it stolen from abandoned nests.  Even before February began, spring had already come to North Texas.

This happens to be a photo of the resident mocker who practically owns my patio.  Several live around here, sure, but this one sings from the front door to the back doors, and it does so at sunrise and sunset as if on cue.  I welcome the song, welcome the sign of things to come as it defends its territory and prepares to build a family.

A male house sparrow (Passer domesticus) perched in a tree (2009_02_15_009958)

House sparrows (Passer domesticus) live in one my neighbors’ trees.  I watch them come and go from that tree, run back to it when an alarm sounds, emerge from it each morning and climb under its covers each night.

This male perched in the tree outside my patio as his entire brigade came to visit.  They enjoy the birdseed I put out, yet they also make a terrible mess trying to break apart and consume the cat food I put out.

Chased off by cardinals and mockingbirds and wrens and blue jays, let alone a cornucopia of other species, these little bundles of busy entertain me with their antics as much as they thrill me with their company.

A female house sparrow (Passer domesticus) perched in a tree (2009_02_15_009963)

Is that not the epitome of a curious glance?

This female house sparrow also perched in the tree near the male shown above.  She watched me intently yet distractedly, almost as if she wanted to make certain I wasn’t going to bother her but wasn’t otherwise too worried about my presence.

A Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) perched on the patio fence (2009_02_15_009973)

Carolina wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus).  What I can say about them that I haven’t already said?

They’re busybodies, Chatty Kathy dolls with wings, a collection of gossiping birds who let little but hell itself stand in the way of the duties at hand.

They don’t particularly care if I’m close to them or not so long as I don’t bother them.  And I don’t.

This one came from the tree to the fence just long enough to see if it was safe.  I stood but a step or two from where it perched.  Once it realized I was not a threat, it flew onto the patio floor and took a moment to bathe in morning sunlight, then it grabbed a piece of cat food and swallowed it whole before darting back through the fence and continuing its pillaging of the ground cover.

A male northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) perched in the shrubs outside my patio (2009_02_20_010284)

My dearest bird friend: a male northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis).  I wept with him last year after his mate died.  Neither of us understood the loss, understood why she left him suddenly, understood why such a beautiful life ended so abruptly.

I celebrated with him this year when I realized he had found a new mate, a new lass who won his heart and helped him move beyond the sorrow he sang into the air for too many months.

This is his realm, so far as cardinals go, and he chases away all interlopers.

But who is the gal who salved the wounded heart and made his singing joyful again?

A female northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) perched in the shrubs outside my patio (2009_02_20_010294)

As I said previously: “She’s a splendid thing, a beautiful creature worthy of this man’s dedicated love.”

Even as he stood in the shrubs and watched me, she took her place nearby and kept an eye on me as well.  The setting sun brought out the best in both of them.

But cardinals are flighty beasts given to sudden escapes when the world doesn’t stay the way they want it.

A female northern cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) taking flight (2009_02_20_010296)

Off they went even as I tried to capture one more image of her, one more photograph of the lady who soothed the savage beast.

I adore her all the same, though, for his pain so filled the hours that I find him a new creature now that he’s taken a new love.  I hope their life together is full and joyous.

— — — — — — — — — —


[1] Special thanks to nathalie with an h for her continuing advice and guidance on all things photography.  Just prior to my failed weekend adventure, it occurred to me I might be able to rent a better lens for my trip.  I asked her about it one morning at Starbucks and she immediately grabbed her iPhone, pulled up their web site and wholeheartedly recommended Dallas Camera.

Everyone in the world should have a nathalie with an h to illuminate the trail ahead when it comes to stumbling through amateur photography without a clue as to what matters and where to go.  Her continued support and encouragement are priceless.

[2] It goes without saying Dallas Camera provided exceptional service even at the last minute, and renting the lens for $25 to cover the weekend from Friday through Monday morning represented more than just a bargain: it felt like grand theft.  With a selection that boggles the mind, friendly and knowledgeable staff, and prices that are difficult to fathom, this company is hands-down the best place to go in the DFW metroplex for photography equipment rentals.

[3] Perhaps, given a cool lens that can offer world peace and contact with alien races, you wonder why I chose what many would consider mundane subjects for this post.  They are only mundane to others.  Nothing in nature bores me; nothing outside the realm of human civilization gives birth to yawns in my world.  Even a simple blade of grass is worthy of investigation to me, part and parcel a universe demanding of attention.

[4] House sparrows, along with European starlings and rock doves and a great many forms of life, seem to bring out the worst in people as they’re considered invasive.  The word ‘invasive’ is inaccurate and misleading; the word these people should be using is ‘introduced.’  The species themselves cannot be blamed for doing what nature made them to do, for filling those niches evolution helped them find and dominate.  That they displace native species and irritate “nature purists” is the fault of humans and not the flora and fauna involved.  Nothing about house sparrows bothers me; in fact, they are beautiful and intriguing and needful of the same respect I give every other species.

That said, anything I can do to assist native species harmed by their introduction is a worthy cause indeed.  But hating any of these lives confuses me, and attempting to harm them is as contemptible an act as was introducing them in the first place, whether intentional or not.  Remember, the only truly invasive species appears to be humans, and only humans appear capable of causing without consideration wholesale extinctions, of destroying habitat on a global scale, of killing for sport rather than survival, and of consuming and conquering sans any consideration for the children of tomorrow, let alone any form of life impacted by our activities.

Getting of my soap box now…

[5] I do have a plethora of images taken with this lens.  By orders of magnitude, I have many more pictures not taken with this lens.  I’m still trying to share any of them I think are of note.  Perhaps it’s time for me to rethink the fate of xenogere unseen given my doubt that I can ever post all of them here…