TOLEDO, BUCKAROO!!! IT'S THE RICKUBISCAM
(sometimes known as the "rick, don't touch that!"
SEE WHAT THAT RASCAL RICKUBIS IS UP TO!
THE CAPTION SAY "IT'S LIVE"? IF IT DOESN'T, IT
Usually, the newest material on my pages appears here first. But sometimes, it doesn't. I'll try this--here is a
list of pages that have been recently updated (except this one--you can
see that here). Visit them directly to see what
else is new.
I'm still updating my pages--I'm just not always putting the newest material on this
page. Lately I've been spending my usual "web page" time expanding the
images on my old pages, so updates here haven't been as common.
started this domain, the only way to connect was via dial up--and slow
dial up at first. Everything I posted then was configured so dial up
users could download and see the pages. Now I'm upgrading what and when I can so the old
media looks better. hmns
Pied-Billed Grebe sinking 04/09/2017 Newly added 01/06/18
Spoonbill at Fiorenza 12/02/2017 pic Newly added 01/03/18
Emu walking filmed at 120fps wmv 10/08/2017 Newly added 11/13/17
Black and Yellow Argiope bouncing web vid wmv 09/12/2010 Newly added 10/22/17
Minor repair of shelter with emus vid mp4 09/16/2017 Newly added 9/18/17
Minor repair of shelter with emus vid wmv 09/16/2017 Newly added 9/18/17
Solar Eclipse images through binocs vid 08/21/2017 Newly added 8/23/17
Solar Eclipse images through binocs 08/21/2017 Newly added 8/23/17
Solar Eclipse images through leaves 08/21/2017 Newly added 8/23/17
Shaking hands with a N. Clavipes 07/16/2017 Newly added 7/25/17
Walking a N. Clavipes on my hand 07/16/2017 Newly added 7/25/17
01/13/2018 and 01/20/2018 . Various
species of the "tropical fish" known as Plecostomus have become
established in Texas waters. They are considered invasive and
Since they have been living in these waters, it's reasonable to assume
that they have survived winters here. However, over the last few weeks
from January 12 to January 20) we've had especially
cold weather. During the first week there were about 4 days of
temperatures around 30 degrees F. And during
the second week we had
about 4 days near 20 degrees F. While I was visiting Archbishop
Fiorenza Park on the 13th, I noticed many dead Plecostomus along the
of the lake. On the 20th, most of the carcasses were gone
from where I'd seen them, but I did see Black Vultures eating a
few. I assume that the cold weather killed them.
of the dead fish are from the 13th. I've taken a picture of my foot
near some of the carcasses for scale (shoe size 11). The pictures of
are frame grabs from a short video clip. And the video is here.
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go back to my home page, click Welcome
EVER APPROACH ALLIGATORS. THEY CAN BE EXTREMELY
THEY FEEL THREATENED, JUST LIKE ALMOST ANY ANIMAL. DON'T
DISTURB ALLIGATORS AT THIS PARK, OR ANYWHERE ELSE.
few comments about alligators.(2451kb)
to see a flv video movie (625kb) of a series of eleven 11 x 14 posters
pictures of some shirts I've designed advertising my website.
For the story of my new titanium/ceramic toy, click here
to see how I've been recovering. I've come to think that these
pages are less about me, than what I'm writing about, but some people
were concerned. So, this page will show how it went.
here for the
chronicle of past rickubiscam
from the gallery, lower on this page,
there is a short list
of previous "events" that I've given special notice to with
that I feel will fit the theme of one of my other pages will
be moved off of this one.
ENTIRE PAGE SHOULD UPDATE EVERY 60 SECONDS. OF COURSE, IF THE
ISN'T LIVE, THEN IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER,
refresh changed to 60
minutes (3600sec.) 05/06/2001)
I AM ONLINE (AND THE CAMERA IS ON), THE CAMERA UPLOADS EVERY 60 SECONDS
OR SO, SO RELOAD OR REFRESH THIS PAGE IF YOU
SEE A CHANGE (THIS MAY BE NECESSARY WITH SOME BROWSERS).
on the RICKUBISCAM on the RICKUBISCAM
natural observations that first appeared on this page have been moved
my other pages. See the following links
are my other Brazos Bend
and/or critter pages:
01/07/2018. One of those
days, at Brazos Bend State Park. On Saturday, January 6, volunteer
Chuck D. showed me that he'd gotten some great pictures of a juvenile
Bald Eagle at 40 Acre Lake.
OR, FOR OTHER ANIMALS:
at Brazos Bend State Park Introduction---------Critters
at Brazos Bend State Park Page 1
at Brazos Bend State Park Page 3
On Sunday morning the next day
(01\07) , I was out at 40 Acre Lake (where I usually start
anyway). I was near the Observation Tower, and watching the sky,
and also looking and listening for
signs of disturbance from the
many wading birds and waterfowl in the area. American Coots
occasionally bickered out in the water and chased each other. Once, the
coots sounded a bit different,
so I looked to my left (North)
until I saw movement in the water near the coots. I wasted a second or
two as I went through what normally moves out there. Anhinga? No. Cormorant? No. Diving
No. Grebe? No. Otter!? YES!! It was an OTTER!! I quickly
brought the camera up and started shooting video. I tried not to move
as the otter came closer. It swam to the edge of the floating hyacinth,
then it dove.
It was about 10 yards from me when it went under. The pictures below are frame grabs from the video. And the video is here.
seemed to me that it might want to cross the trail (probably close to
the concrete around the culverts). So, following my own advice, I
backed away from the tower about ten steps. This was to allow
for the otter to cross. And...nothing else happened. I looked all
around for a sign that the otter was moving. I looked behind me in case
the otter passed me. I looked down and to the right (South)
case the otter crossed and went into the lake leaving a wake. I spent a
few more minutes looking back and forth. I didn't see the otter again.
It might have crossed in front of me after that. But I could
have missed it; because I was distracted.
Because...when I was waiting for a sign of the otter I happened to look right again (South), but this time I looked *up*.
the juvenile Bald Eagle was circling in the air above the lake. I
caught some video of the eagle as it circled around (it was near the
Southeast corner of the lake) and it made an aborted talon-strike at
surface of the water, then landed in a tree. So, while I was watching
that, the otter could have crossed to the East. What a choice!
Should I watch for the otter to reappear...or for the eagle to
move? I watched
the eagle, and it took off again, but moved away from me, then looped around and went West.
The images below are frame grabs from the video. The video does look a bit better. And that video is here.
of us who have been able to see otters are often confounded by their
ability to move quickly and with stealth. I found some
information in this document:
North American River Otter Husbandry Notebook, 3rd Edition
Edited by Janice Reed-Smith 2008
link is here.
aerobic dive limit for an otter (how long it can stay under holding its
breath) is 50 seconds. (Page 27) But average dive time is
21 seconds ( page 28). Top speed of an
otter in water is 7 miles
per hour. (That's about 10 feet per second) (page 28) If we
cut that in half (considering we usually see otters relatively at ease)
that's 5 feet per second.
In a 21 second dive, at 5 feet per second,
an otter could move 105 feet (35 yards) or maybe as far as 210 feet (70
yards) if it's in a hurry.
There are some good online
sources for collected information about otters. Some day I'll be able
to examine all that's there. Here are two:
river otter alliance
otter specialist group
for the young eagle. Sources on the TPWD website say that Bald Eagles
lay eggs in December, and eggs incubate about 35 days, to hatch
sometime in January. The chicks leave the nest in about 12 weeks,
the parents still feed the young for another 4 to 6 weeks while they
learn to hunt. So eagles hatched this season should still be in the
nest (not flying around). The feather markings change as the young
ages, with the prominent white head and tail and dark body appearing
only in mature adults (about 5 years old). This one might be close to 2
years old. I'm guessing by comparing with my
Sibley's field guide
and my National Geographic field guide--which show more white patches
on the wings during 2nd year. I'm sure the birders out there can
correct me if necessary.
winter has been a good one for otter sightings. Most of them seemed to
be along the Spillway Trail. On December 10, I went out to the Spillway
with the goal of seeing an otter. While I was there,
Volunteer C. also showed up--with the same goal in mind.
I moved towards the East end of the trail, near
a raised section we call "Otter Island", this is near the alligator nesting display.
stayed near the Spillway Bridge-since an otter had run under it a week
or so before. He was about 300 yards from me (according to Google maps)
And so we waited for a few hours. (Image below left)
10:00, I saw that C. had gone over the Spillway Bridge and a little
way to the West of the bridge. I was still in my spot. C.
seemed to be watching something,
so I focussed my binoculars on him.
And that's when I saw the otter run RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM. He got some
good pictures then, but the otter was so close he had
trouble fitting it all in frame. (Image above right.)
that, C. seemed to be following something, so I caught up with him.
He had been following the otter, but stopped to take pictures of a
Vermillion Flycatcher. We
continued West to the Observation Tower,
since it seemed likely that the otter would cross into 40 Acre
Lake. We just got to the Observation Tower...and I saw it
This time, it was about 150 yards South when it crossed the trail. We
saw it go into 40 Acre lake and watched it swim West, where we lost it
when it submerged.
(Image below left, below center)
continued West along the 40 Acre lake trail, where we stopped to look
for the otter again. No luck. We spoke to a visitor who was
fishing, then continued West, and then I saw the otter again, on
of the islands--near the West end. ( Image above right.) We watched and
tried to get more images until it submerged and we lost it again. The
otter stayed was too far away and in too much cover for me
to get a good picture, so I filmed some video. I've edited that into a clip that can be seen be following this link. The images below are frames from the video.
09/04/2017. About a week after Hurricane Harvey left, I was on a bridge over one of the bayous when I noticed a Softshell Turtle
below me. I was still coping with the damage done to our area, and the
sight of this beautiful turtle swimming in a bayou water
been about 20 feet higher a week before....really helped calm my
spirit. I took a few pictures, and a video clip. I used my photo to
the turtle. It is a Spiny Softshell turtle (Apalone spiniferus), and after a bit more
research, I discovered that there a number of different species of
turtles in Texas! According to two sources I have--Audubon Society
Field Guide to North American Reptiles and Amphibians p.486 1992 and
Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North
America p.80 2nd ed. 1975--I believe this could be a Texas
(Trionyx spiniferus emoryi Note 11/20/2017: since I first posted this-11/18/2017-I have discovered that the taxonomic name for this turtle was changed
in 1987. This has been changed to Apalone spiniferus emoryi). But it seeems to be out of its range--but I'm not too good at "keying-out" critters.
(I've found a turtle identification key for Texas
turtles on the TPWD website! Here's the link: https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_lf_w7000_1667.pdf )
The video clip can be seen be following this link.
Sunday at BBSP gets very busy. This year, I had time to put a camera on
my bicycle handlebars and do a quick ride on the Elm Lake Trail before
it got busy. I was experimenting with doing "virtual" trail tours of
I'm not sure if this works or not, but here is an edited
version of the footage I filmed. A surprise unique to the park happens
near the 6:47 mark. Links to the video are here (files are about
200mb): Elm Lake trail mp4 Elm Lake trail wmv.
now has her own page. For Piper-related news, you can go here.
have created all the content
on *my* pages. That means that I have either shot the video, taken the
pictures, or performed any demonstrations. That also means that I've
every image on these pages, that is, I've cropped, enhanced, resized,
and otherwise optimized
ACRE LAKE!! 11/19/2006
is a picture I shot 11/19/2006 from the top of the Observation Tower at
40 Acre Lake. What an improvement from the summer! Click on the image
one that's a little bigger.
*every* single image on my pages. That means
I've also edited, enhanced, extracted images from, recoded (in two or
or four formats) every *video clip* on these pages. I've also, for
or worse, composed all the text and layout on these pages. I've had to
learn to use the
various utilities for doing all of this, as well as
and legally getting copies of them in the first place. I'm also
for all the hardware used to do this. I also pay for the server space
for all of this information as well as for my access to it. It costs a
lot of money, time,
and effort to put these pages out here...hopefully
to entertain and to inform. And this is *after* I spend time at my "day
job". People are welcome to the information here, but if it's
elsewhere, then I deserve credit for my effort. If it is used for
else's profit, then I deserve
part of that profit. *That* is the
of my notices about copyright.
page was born 9/16/1999. Rickubis designed it.
(such as it
Go back to my home page, Welcome
many come by to see the
lets look at the counterprovided
started June 18, 2001. 1/10/2012 = 10473 3/25/2014 10904 9/12/2014
= 10959 11/19/2015
= 11137 2/16/2017 = 11326
the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra! Go buy it! This
me laugh all the time. If you share my love of 50' B-movies, you'll
like this movie.
these clips 01--02--03--04--05--06--07
(1 & 5 should interest my ranger friends). They are
order, but don't give away too much.
copyright of the various
owners. No ownership by me is implied and clips are only here to