Date: March 26th, 2009 | Comments : none | Categories: Design, Flowers, Garden, purple, Seasonal, Spring, Texas, USA.

Blue Flag Iris, bright on a gray dayBlue Flag Iris, bright on a gray day


Date: March 25th, 2009 | Comments : none | Categories: Dallas, flowering trees, Flowers, Garden, Leaves, Seasonal, Silhouettes, Spring, Spring Silhouettes, Texas, Trees.

Dogwood flowersSpring Silhouettes

These photos were shot the other day when the weather was grey and the new leaves of the Oak on our front lawn blew in the 30 mph wind gusts. It’s astonishing that the tender young leaves were still tough enough to hang on and not rip in that rough wind. With the sun just barely shining through the overcast clouds, the effect of their silhouettes is so surreal.


Spring Silhouettes, new Scarlet Oak leavesSpring Silhouettes, new Scarlet Oak leaves


Date: March 15th, 2009 | Comments : none | Categories: Animals, conservation, Cultures, Historic significance, issues, Reptiles, Seasonal, Series, Spring, Texas, Travel, Travel USA, Unusual Interest, USA.

Thousands of rattlesnakes are caught for the Rattlesnake Roundup in Sweetwater, Texas each year. Here,1 of 4 pits. Thousands of rattlesnakes are caught for the Rattlesnake Roundup each year. The arena is divided into sections for wrangling demos, milking, skinning, crafts etc.

Rattlesnake wrangling You can get your picture taken beside a live snake bearing fangs Children watch the snake wranglers

Individuality - each snake has its own unique skin color and pattern Barrel of snakes that have just had heads cut off, ready for skinning Bloody Snake-skinning hand-prints, proudly signed

Individuality Deep-fried rattlesnake - all bones and grease! Miss Roundup and the rattlesnake eating contest

Taxidermy for sale Fang-bearing snake heads in jars for $11 each Crafty key-rings

Rattlesnake Roundup, Sweetwater, Texas March 13 – 15, 2009

From a cultural standpoint, I was quite curious about the Texan Rattlesnake Roundup. Attending, the view was to try to be unbiased and open-minded without any preset opinions. Still, as an animal rights ally I was interested to know whether the four event-filled days were about rattlesnake-appreciation or rattlesnake-loathing. I remain mystified, because it seems to be a mishmash of both.
Driving the three and half hours it takes to get back to Dallas, I marveled how what is acceptable for some, is taboo and unconscionable for others. Since many customs the world over, and across time, are basically borne of societal needs to collectively overcome threats and various natural causes, did this event begin in a similar way?…only here the rituals include a number of large people walking around eating disgusting, deep-fried rattlesnake that was more bone and grease than meat, and corn on the cob? Were the original celebrations of rounding up rattlesnakes actually efforts toward creating a communal mindset of safety, and have they evolved to dominate, even abuse, a predator that was perhaps more of a concern to the earliest settlers than it is now?
For Sweetwater locals, the occasion is an important part of their heritage and present lifestyle that brings the community together, draws in tourists and boosts their economy annually. Scheduled each year are: a parade, carnival grounds, a Miss Rattlesnake Roundup pageant, a Gun, Knife and Coin Show (because coins are obviously in the same category as knives and guns!), a snake-hunting competition, rattlesnake meat-eating contest, and vendors who earn a living selling various rattlesnake parts, products, and bizarre crafts. Unfortunately for raccoons and turtles it was an opportunity to sell their parts as well.
The demise of the rattlesnakes is undeniably sad and seemingly senseless, but the truth of every matter has many dimensions. It is easy to get caught up in the intrigue, and fall under the spell of groups in a festive state, to the point where I did try the deep-fried snake…but after one nip, threw it in the garbage, on top of others’ waste who had done the exact same thing.
I absolutely love reptiles, but admit to have considered buying one of the open-mouthed, fang-baring, stuffed intact, coiled-up snake souvenirs (not the ones sporting tiny cowboy hats and raccoon tails though). Although, upon guilty reflection, is one by-product any less vulgar than the other? I actually thought the coiled up rattlers ready to strike were really pretty, and only wanted one because I’m not likely to see a living one so up close and personal, hopefully.
Whether we agree or disagree, people earn a living doing things we can’t imagine. Practices and beliefs are incorporated over periods of time and passed down through generations. What was once relevant may have lost all sense currently, or in the future. Our consciousness evolves regardless though, and I wonder if in a distorted sort of way, most people leave the fairgrounds of cotton candy and snake pits every year with a deeper appreciation for the uniqueness of all creatures? I certainly did.
Only a human could come up with something so preposterous as little cowboy hats glued to rattler heads. Only a human would buy them! Generally what every pro/anti-whatever-activist-religious-righteous group is seeking is respect. It’s really about respecting all creatures, including humans, who do strange and unpredictable things.


Date: March 12th, 2009 | Comments : none | Categories: conservation, Flowers, Landscape, Mexico, Seasonal, Spring, Texas, Trees, Urban and State Parks.

Redbuds, early March, Coppell TexasOne Sweet World

Excerpt of One Sweet World by Songwriter Dave Matthews

Nine planets around the sun,

the only one with something there

Upon this watered one

American Elm seeds, early March, Coppell Texas

so much we take for granted

If greens all turned to grey

would our hearts still bloody be?

…so let us sleep outside tonight;

lay down in our Mother’s arms

Flowering tree needs positive ID, possibly Senna...Ajijic, Mexicoand here we will rest safely.

(The Dave Matthews Band)


Date: March 6th, 2009 | Comments : none | Categories: food, Fruit, fruit and veggies, Smile.

Grape GuyWhen the few remaining grapes in the bowl are staring at you, it’s time to throw them out.


Date: March 5th, 2009 | Comments : none | Categories: Series, Travel, Trees.

Photo compilation: Trees 2007 - 2009


Date: March 4th, 2009 | Comments : none | Categories: Dallas, Garden, Insects, Leaves, red, Seasonal, Spring, Texas.

Welcome to my garden, little ladybug
Welcome to my garden, little ladybugWelcome to my garden, little ladybugWelcome to my garden, little ladybug


Welcome to my garden, little ladybug.
Help yourself.



Nikki’s Photography is proudly powered by WordPress Copyright © 2007, 2008 / ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Images contained in this website are exclusively owned by / and protected by all applicable Copyright laws.
All rights reserved. / are registered trademarks of Nikki Coulombe.