Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Holy bald eagle, Batman!

I headed out this morning to do my weekly survey on seven specific areas of the refuge.  Each of the survey plots is basically a semi-circle with a radius of 300 meters.  That means I can’t count any water birds that may be nearby, but not within the designated perimeters.  That can be frustrating to me at times since, like today, about 10,000 snow geese were just outside my count area.  In previous weeks, these huge flocks chose areas within my boundaries, but not today.  Instead, the count areas seemed to be inundated with immature bald eagles!  I’ll get to what that means in a minute.


Three of the count plots are in closed areas that are not open to the public.  These areas are closed so that the wintering water birds have very few disturbances, and can build their reserves up for their arduous migration north for breeding.  As I unlocked the gate to get into this area, a little savannah sparrow was busy foraging for something to eat right in front of me.  I couldn’t pass up the chance to get its picture.

As I made my way down the one lane gravel road to my first stop, I had to wade through several bunches of cows feeding in the marsh and giving the road a new fertilizer treatment.  Smile with tongue out  When I got to my survey location, there didn’t seem to be as many birds around as usual.  That’s when I noticed three young bald eagles perched or flying over the area.  The perched eagles could only be seen through the scope.

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I tried to get a few pics of the eagles that were on the wing.  Not very good photos, but it is what it is. 

I counted what I could, and proceeded on to my second count area.  It, too, had less ducks and such than normal.  As I scanned through the scope that I attach to the driver’s side window, I spotted a small hummock in the marsh that had six bald eagles on it!  Dang!  I’m always thrilled to see bald eagles, but give me a break!  With that many eagles around, it was no wonder that many of the ducks, shorebirds, and egrets had made themselves scarce.

Bald eagles generally prefer to eat fish, but they aren’t above taking advantage of waterfowl resources, and carrion.  Since all of these eagles were young and under the age of four or five, they too need to do what they need to do to survive.  I just wished they had chosen an area other than the ones I was surveying.

In the last week or two, I’ve noticed quite a few snow goose carcasses in this area.  What’s the cause for that?  My guess is that it is the result of many things… old age, disease, wounded birds from the hunt, and perhaps the unusual ice storms that we’ve had lately have taken their toll.  Coyotes also take their share, but they generally eat what they kill.  If you are a young eagle trying to get through the winter, eating dead snow geese will certainly help you survive.  It just doesn’t help me count waterfowl in an area.

IMG_5884In general, I’m noticing an overall decrease in waterfowl numbers from their peaks in December.  It’s that time of the year.  Could it be that ducks get ‘hitch itch’ too?  Or maybe with our nasty weather, they’ve headed further south.  Only time will tell.  Found this handsome brown pelican looking for a bite to eat in Oyster bayou today on the edge of one of my count areas.  I really liked its ‘Mohawk’.

Tomorrow I’m off for my second physical therapy workout this week in the town of Anahuac.  Some of the exercises are a challenge, but most of my shoulder pain is gone.  I’m hopeful I can avoid surgery.


                                                                               THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

If you put out a bird feeder…

Soon after I arrived at Anahuac NWR, I set up the Hard Rock Bird Café.  It took a few weeks for the birds to discover the feeders, but discover it they did.  Lately, I’ve had more than my share of hundreds of common grackles descending on it.  I haven’t taken any pictures of them yet as they’re a rather skittish hoard, but tonight I thought I’d show you some pics of the other birds that dive in for a snack when the grackles and blackbirds fly off when I open my squeaky window above my kitchen table.  They have gotten used to that squeak, and just wait for those big piggish birds to leave.

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I placed the feeders near some yaupon plantings so the birds would have a place to alight coming and going.  This American goldfinch was all puffed up to combat the low temps this morning.

IMG_5776The blue jays here always have to contemplate whether or not it’s safe to come down for some seeds.  It’s hard to get clear shots of the birds in the yaupon bushes because of all the little branches.

While my rig’s stairs were still covered in ice, and there were lots of icicles hanging off the rig, the bushes and trees didn’t have the icy coating that we experienced last Saturday.  That’s a good thing unless you’re trying to get interesting ice pictures. 


Not all of the birds that visit me are interested in the seeds. I do think that because other birds are hanging around, some of the non-seed eating birds come around to see what all the commotion is about.  Such is the case with this ruby-crowned kinglet.  They are just a bundle of activity as they search for insects among the branches.  I was happy for it to sit still long enough to get a shot.

75 Anahuac NWR 2013-201411

Then, several yellow-rumped warblers bubbled through.  I’ve come to recognize their little “tic, tic, tic” call as they, too, look for hidden spiders and such in the bushes.  One of them even ate some of the dried up holly berries.


Not many worms available at this time of the year, so this American robin stopped by for some berries.  I’ve been told that Native Americans used these berries to brew up a tea that gave them hallucinations until they consumed enough to cause them to vomit. (Ilex Vomitoria (sp?))  I don’t know if they were seeking a ‘vision’ or just a way to clean out their systems.  What ever… I haven’t seen any birds staggering around.  Eye rolling smile


A shy cardinal came along to enjoy both the seeds and the berries this morning.  As I watched this bird, I noticed three things about its feathers.  The tail feathers are already looking worn along the ends.  It won’t produce new tail feathers until late summer.  Can you see the greyish edging to the feathers on its back?  By the time breeding season is here, those grey edges will be worn off and he will be a magnificent brilliant red all over.  Then, one of its primary flight feathers on the wing appears almost black.  Do you see that black stripe?  I think that’s unusual.

Seems like I’ve always known that if you put out bird feeders, you have to expect more than seed eating birds.  All the little birds suddenly disappeared at one point this morning, so I took a look see.


Sure enough!  A young Cooper’s hawk had come swooping in to visit the café.  After all, they have to eat too! Freezing cold weather is hard on many creatures, and if this young lady survives her first year she has a good chance of living a nice long life.  That’s the nature of things, and I welcome her here occasionally.  I just hope she dines on some of those blasted grackles! 

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I didn’t sign up for this!

Yep, I’m now a wimp compared to what I used to live through in the winters in Minnesota and upstate New York.  I’ve about had it with these ice storms.  We’ve had two in less than a week.  Picture this… I had to crawl out of the rig backwards last Friday on my hands and knees to get down the stairs.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.  I couldn’t take a chance on breaking a bone or ruining my new hip if I tried to walk down them.

I needed to get the extend-a-stay tank to the propane place for a refill, but it was frozen solid to the ground and the hose and its hook-up was coated with a half inch of ice.  I couldn’t get it loose until Saturday.

I thought this ice storm was just a freak occurrence, but today, I awoke to the same thing!   However, I fooled the ice god and draped the stairs in a big towel last night before the latest onslaught began.  It worked like a charm, and I was able to walk out almost normally to take Emma out.  If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t have gone outside at all today. 

There was a nice warm up here yesterday, and my friend Bugman Jack stopped by briefly on his way back down to where his rig is somewhere around Corpus Christi, I think.  He had been attending a pine needle basket weaving workshop near Houston. 

We went out for a late lunch before he continued on his way, and I finally solved the mystery of who sent me the bottle of Tweed perfume a bit ago.  I had initially thought it came from him, but the Missouri postmark didn’t jive.  Last November, Jack and his long time friend Carol stopped by for a brief tour of the refuge.  She’s not from Missouri either, but her father was.  Turns out she was down in Missouri helping her father during his final days on this earth.  She found the Tweed at the Vermont Country Store, ordered a bottle, and sent it to me anonymously.  Thanks, Carol!  I would never have guessed.

As happened last week, we have been cautioned not to try to do any volunteer work during this ice storm.  That’s fine with me.  Temps are supposed to rise into the 40’s tomorrow after lows in the 20’s tonight.  I’m hoping to be able to get out for some ice pictures in the morning before it melts.  It’s been several days since I’ve taken any pictures, and I’m missing it.  Winking smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I can put the Mentholatum aside

Yes, today marked the end of this year’s duck hunting season in Texas.  That means I can put the tube of Mentholatum away.  I won’t need to mask the smell of the mottled ducks when we extract their gizzards.  Most hunters today stayed as long as they could since it will be another ten months before they can enjoy their sport again.  I’ve enjoyed working the hunter check station, and getting to know the hunters.

IMG_4823Last November, I posted this picture of a water hyacinth.  While the bloom is pretty, it is an invasive species that tends to take over open water areas in ponds and bayous.  It’s kind of like the kudzu that is taking over forested areas in states east of here.  Anahuac NWR doesn’t have an active plan to deal with this invasive for one reason.


All the refuge needs is some freezing temperatures in the winter to knock back its progression, and we’ve had a lot of cold temperatures so far this winter.  All that brown stuff is dead water hyacinth.  Some, of course, will survive and the process will start all over again in the spring.

I’m afraid this post tonight is going to be a mixture of different topics.  I got an email from a friend this morning, and she reminded me that I had yet to give my opinion on the Roomba robot vacuum cleaner that I bought a few weeks ago.

                                          iRobot - Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot - Black - Larger Front

I originally ordered it for two reasons.  First, I hate vacuuming, and second, it was a very painful experience for me to use my regular vacuum when I was having such a problem with my shoulder.  As soon as it was delivered, I read the directions and plugged it in to charge overnight.

The next day, I turned it on to put it through its paces.  I have to admit that I wasn’t overly impressed with the job it did.  I also have to admit that I hadn’t vacuumed in some time, so it really faced a great challenge.  It was a hoot watching it maneuver its way around the motorhome.  It doesn’t really clean in a straight line at all, but it does change directions at wall barriers and at the edge of drop-offs like steps.  I bought the model that was supposed to be good for pet hair.  I’ve mentioned before that I can’t understand why Emma isn’t bald with all the shedding she does year round. 

The Roomba picked up the hair from the carpeted areas of the rig, but then seemed to deposit them on the linoleum sections of the floor.  I decided that maybe my test was a bit unfair, so I got out the regular vacuum and gave the rig a good once over.  Since then, I’ve turned the Roomba on every other day, and it seems to be keeping up with the hair and the rig looks ‘well groomed’ all the time.  It still dumps clumps of hair on the edges of throw rugs in the linoleum areas, but they are easy to pick up in a bunch.

Considering the price, would I buy it again?  Probably not, but I’m not going to send it back either.  I really do hate vacuuming, and in an area that is not so confined as to concentrate the pet hair I think it would be worth the price.  I’d be jumping for joy if I didn’t have to deal with so much pet hair.  It is great at getting into hard to vacuum places like under the driver and passenger seat, but I’ll probably drag out the dreaded regular vacuum about once a month to do the stairs and other places where I normally use the suction hose.

So, that’s my review of the Roomba.  I hope it helps some one out.  Looks like we’ll have to batten down the hatches again for the next polar vortex set to arrive by Tuesday.  I hope it doesn’t have all the ice accompanying it that the one last Friday had. Confused smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Counting down to the storm

Thursday is my usual day for the bird surveys on the refuge, and I headed out this morning to try to get them in before the approaching latest ‘Polar Vortex’ arrives.  The Houston area is in a tizzy about the possibility of freezing rain and temps in the 20’s overnight.  Many school districts have already cancelled school for tomorrow.  Being from the north, it sometimes makes me chuckle.  No school because there might be 1/10” of ice and some freezing rain?   Up north I remember school only closing if there was over a half a foot of snow or wind chills below –40* F.  IMG_5675

Anyway, on my drive to the refuge this morning I once again came across that perplexing, to me, raptor that I encountered a week ago.  I had a more satisfying view of it today, and just like last week it posed for me.


This time I could definitely see that its wing feathers were longer than its tail feathers.  The white spot on its upper chest was also more defined. 

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A couple of commenters last week suggested it might be a juvenile White-tailed Hawk, and I have to agree.  While these aren’t the best photos, they sure did help me for ID confirmation.  Anahuac is on the northeast edge of its range.  This bird will look a whole lot different in a year or two.

I’m enjoying noticing the differences each week in the plots that I survey.  Last week a bald eagle was sitting in the middle of one of the areas, and the usual mallards that I find there were no where to be seen.  This week, the mallards were back.  I’ve also noticed a big influx of shorebirds in one of the areas this week.  Could it be that the lengthening days are making some species experience the first inklings of hitch itch to head north?


My young friend, the juvenile black-crowned night heron, was in its usual location.  It looks so small here, but is really about 25” long.  At this stage, it has great camouflage for its life among the reeds.


On my way back to the VIS for a bathroom break, I noticed a lump in the gravel road.  I slowed down, and found that lump to be an American bittern.


First time I’ve ever seen one in the middle of the road.  They kind of skulk along when they walk rather than standing up straight.

It was a pretty good bird day for me, but the highlight of the day came while I was scanning one of the survey plots with my spotting scope.  I was mesmerized as I got to witness an adult Peregrine Falcon taking a bath in one of the moist soil units!  Now that’s a day to remember!  It was too far away for any photos, but I’ll never forget the experience.

I only got five of my seven survey areas done today, as I had to go to Anahuac for a physical therapy appointment.  The PT lady put me through quite a work out that I’m sure I’ll feel tomorrow, but it sure beats surgery.  So far, so good.

With the temps forecasted in those 20’s overnight, I turned off the water to the rig when I got home after putting some more water into my on board tank.  Then I got an email from Stephanie telling the volunteers not to do any work tomorrow until the temps increase.  Guess she doesn’t want any of us seniors slipping and falling down where we can’t get up!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Oregonians arrive

Just before sunset last night, Sue and Mo from Oregon arrived for a quick visit.  Of course Jeremy, the cat, and Abbey, the dog, accompanied them.  As they were setting up, Jeremy came out of their rig and wandered over toward my front yard to investigate.  I told Sue, I wasn’t too sure that was a good idea since ‘wild child’ Emma has never encountered a cat, and she was outside on her tie out.  As we walked over to check on them, I was surprised to see that Emma was just casually giving Jeremy a sniff.  That’s when Emma decided she wanted to play, and rose up and pounced on Jeremy.  Jeremy was not pleased with this action.  Can you remember the ‘Thrilla in Manila’ in 1975 between Mohammed Ali and Joe Frazier? 

Well, that’s what ensued.  Did I mention that Jeremy is 17 years old?  He was puffed up about three times his size, and holding his own as growls and cat screams filled the air!  What a tussle.  I was afraid that at his advanced age Jeremy might have a heart attack or something.  We dashed in to separate them, and that’s when Abbey joined in to protect Jeremy.  Oh my goodness!  Not a very auspicious start to our meeting.

Luckily, no animals were hurt in this getting to know each other encounter, and today Sue told me that she thought that little melee had invigorated Jeremy. 


Things calmed down after that, and we were able to enjoy a nice glass of wine on my patio.  Sue had invited me to supper in their rig, and what a treat that was.  The food is always extra tasty to me when someone else does the cooking.  Smile


This morning, we all headed out early for a quick tour of the refuge before they needed to get on their way to Louisiana.  Sue was hoping we could see some of those big flocks of snow geese that I’ve shown pictures of.  I aim to please on tours, but first we had to admire all the dowitchers working the wetlands.  We were able to encounter several large flocks of snow geese, but I’ll leave it to Sue to show those pics.  We probably saw well over 10,000 snow geese this morning.


Can you guess that it was a little more than just breezy this morning?  This little snowy egret was lucky to keep its feathers on! 


We stretched our legs along the boardwalk hike on Shoveler pond, but had to really hang onto our hats.  If we didn’t, they would have taken off and been lost in the marsh.  I think Abbey wanted to take a little swim, but Mo kept her on the straight and narrow.


By reading Sue’s blog, I knew that she really wanted to see some roseate spoonbills on their winter trip.  Emma and I had gone out yesterday to scope out where we might find them, and sure enough they were still in the same place today.  Score!  We found a flock of about 45 right toward the end of our time together.  I was pleased, and I think Sue was too.

It was great meeting and spending some time with these fun cyber friends.  Safe travels, Sue and Mo, as you make your way to Florida.


                                                                             THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A new mystery to solve

Before I get to the latest mystery I’d like to solve, I thought I’d talk about one of my other assignments on the refuge.  This one doesn’t involve bird surveys or hunters.  It involves upland prairie restoration.  I have a fairly good knowledge of birds, but I don’t know very much about plants.  My job will be to take a small part in growing native prairie plants that will be used to restore the prairies on the refuge that have been degraded over the years by development (ranching and farming and such) and natural occurrences such as hurricane Ike.


I had my choice of seeds to work with, and since one of the few plants I know and like is the cone flower, that’s what I chose.  Each of these seed heads was collected last fall to be propagated.  Every one of those spikes is a seed.


My first step is to rub each seed head with my finger to make the seeds fall off.  They come off very easily for this species, and I gathered them in a bag.  It didn’t take long before I had hundreds of seeds.


Next, I fill each of these cones with potting soil.  See those big bags of potting soil in the back of the picture?  Last weekend, I found them behind the hunter check station building in a pile that was just rotting away.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to carry those big bags to a more convenient location, so I put my thinking cap on. Who me?  As a group of five young muscular hunters came in to check out for the day, I asked them if they could help me out.  I heard a resounding, “Yes, ma'am!”  (I’m always pleasantly surprised with the politeness of young people in Texas and the respect that they show for their elders.)  The uneven terrain that they had to trudge through carrying those disintegrating heavy bags was more than they bargained for, but they kept up a lively banter and got the job done.  I sure appreciated it.

Anyway, as I was working the check station this morning I thought I’d start filling those cones with potting soil, and get the planting started.  It turned out I only got dirt in twenty cones this morning, and no seeds at all.  Every time I started on it, another group of hunters would come in and I’d have to stop.  I’ll just have to go back one day next week and just work on it when it isn’t a hunting day.  The nice part about this job is that I sit outside and can enjoy all the ducks, geese, and other little birds as I fill those tubes.

As I left the rig this morning to go to the check station, I stopped at the locked mailbox at the end of the driveway to see if I had any mail.  I found a small package inside, and the mystery for today began.  I opened one end and recognized the box inside, so I continued on my way to work.  I thought I knew who had sent it.


Perhaps some of you remember in a post I made a few weeks ago about how I liked Tweed perfume.  At that time, I also mentioned that it wasn’t easy to find anymore.  After I got home from work, I fully opened the package and found this note inside:


What’s this?  I took a look at the package wrapping, and it came from Marceline, MO!  I don’t know anyone in Marceline.  Oddly enough, I had visited the small town of Marceline in 2009 while I was volunteering at Swan Lake NWR.  This small town in Missouri is where Walt Disney lived for a time when he was a little boy.  I remember visiting their Disney museum there, but I can’t think of anyone I know from there. 

Who ever you are, I thank you.  You can bet that I put a little bit of that spray on this afternoon and basked in the fragrance!  Another one of life’s little mysteries…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Today was my day for the water bird surveys on the refuge.  As I make my way there along FM 1985 I’m used to seeing lots of red-tailed hawks sitting on the fence posts.  As I passed one bird, though, it registered in my mind that it was a lot darker than the ordinary red-tail.  What that computes to, for me, is to find a place to turn around and take another look.


Here’s what I found.  What a beautiful raptor!  But it had me second guessing myself.  Initially I thought it was the Harlan’s subspecies of red-tailed hawk.  This distinctive population is uncommon to rare, especially here along the coast.


Then I thought maybe it was the dark morph of a Ferruginous Hawk as when it flew; it’s tail was all grey.  It, too, is rare in this area.  There was no yellow on the beak, and the cere was blue (the area above the beak with the nostrils).  I’m going with calling it a Harlan’s red-tail, but I’ll be checking with a friend for his opinion.  At any rate, is sure was a beauty, and I was pumped that it so nicely posed for me.


As I began my surveys, I had to make my way through some cattle grazing the marsh, but I was happy to find that lots of snow geese had chosen to spend their day on the exact areas that I survey.  Still pictures just can’t convey the experience of coming upon these humongous flocks.  I tried to use the video feature on my newest camera so I could sort of bring this experience to my readers, but that was a disaster.

After I finished my surveys in this area, I returned to the VIS for a needed pit stop and to have my lunch.  Fellow volunteer, Bob, asked if I had seen any geese and I told him that there were more than 10,000 geese in my areas this morning.  By the look on his face, I knew that he would love to see them, so I told him to hop in the truck for a snow goose experience.  He had his phone along and videoed this take off.  Thanks, Bob, for letting me share your video and one of the joys of nature.

I hope it will give you some idea of the magnitude of witnessing this experience not only in the numbers, but in the sound of it all.  I feel so lucky to be here and observe this as a regular occurrence.  I had to ‘hang out’ with Rick this evening for quite some time to be able to get this video imbedded in my post.  What a challenge that was!  I sure hope it works for you to see and hear.  If it works, listen closely and you will hear Bob’s exclamation of wonder.


It won’t be long before all these ducks and geese will be heading north once again in the yearly cycle of life.  But I’m sure going to enjoy them while they’re here as winter ‘snowbirds’.  Winking smile

I’ll leave you with my bovine challenge of the day to get to my survey areas…


                                                                               THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Made a temporary decision today

I awoke with hardly any pain in my shoulder today, and that was a very nice surprise.  I was even able to vacuum the rig with my regular push vacuum.  Yes, I have purchased a Roomba robot vacuum, but I’m reserving my opinion on that item for another week or so.

This afternoon was my appointment with the orthopedic doctor to find out the results of the MRI I had last Friday.  As I suspected, I have a tear in my rotator cuff, and a few other little age and use related problems.  At this point, I have two options.  One is surgery.  The other is physical therapy.  The surgery would involve several laparoscopic incisions, and a long recovery period that includes six weeks of my arm in a sling.  Full recovery would take a year (just like my hip).  That would be a definite challenge for me in my lifestyle considering I travel solo and have a stick shift car.

As with my hip problems last year, the malady is not life threatening.  It’s a matter of quality of life.  My hip got to the stage where I was desperate for relief, and a return to a more normal life.  The shoulder has not reached that level of pain or incapacitation yet, so I’ve opted for trying physical therapy for at least a month to see if I can strengthen my arm and shoulder to the point where I can live with it. 

As the doctor said, “Surgery is what I do, but it’s up to you in this case to decide when it is necessary.  Physical therapy will either help or not, I’ve seen both.  It won’t cure the tear, but it may make your life more livable.”  Those weren’t exactly his words, but that’s what I took away from the discussion.  He definitely wasn’t pressuring me to go under the knife.  Isn’t growing old fun?  I’ve got my fingers crossed the PT will help me maintain the lack of pain I had today.  If it doesn’t, I’ll have to scramble to make other plans.

Several readers requested more Ole and Lena jokes, so here goes.  Perhaps the rest of us will just groan??

Doctor (on the phone):  Ole, I have to tell you…your check came back.

Ole:  Vell, let me tell YOU sumting.  So did my arthritis!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ordinary life

As you all know, many days in life are just plain ordinary.  Sunday was a gorgeous day weather wise, but very slow for hunters.  The only excitement there came when some hunters came in with what they said were four coots. 


American Coots are generally low on the list for hunters to take, but with the birds not moving around on Sunday my guess is these hunters wanted to at least bring home something.  Only problem was one of them was not a coot. 


It was a Common Moorhen.  I pointed that out to the hunters and Kay, and suggested she call LE (law enforcement) to report the problem.  Hunters can take ducks and geese and coots on the refuge, but that’s all.  They ended up with a fine, and the bird was confiscated.

I took Emma for her annual shots and did grocery shopping in Beaumont on Monday.  The highlight of that day was that I finally got the Thorlo socks that I had ordered in the mail, so my feet are happy.  Smile

Today started out with a two and a half hour staff safety meeting. Disappointed smile  Silly me thought long rather boring meetings would be a thing of the past once I retired.  To liven things up a bit, I went to get a hair cut, and then Emma and I took a drive around the refuge to see what we could see.


Should have known that these black vultures foretold the scarcity of birds that were willing to pose for pictures for me today. 


Most everything was hiding, and the huge flocks of geese were somewhere else.  We did see a nice flock of white pelicans just soring around though.

I checked the mailbox as we arrived back home in the late afternoon, and a box with my once a month mail from South Dakota was in it.  It was kind of like Christmas in January.  There were several Christmas cards inside, and a package from my sister.

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Inside the package were a couple of things to keep me warm in the winter temperatures.  I could have used those gloves with the mitten caps that fold over the finger tips last week when we had that blast of artic air.  Funniest part of this is that my sister lives northwest of Chicago, and she has really been dealing with cold temps.

Doctor:  You seem to be healthy for a man of 75.  How is your love life?

Ole:  Vell, almost every day.

Doctor:  That’s remarkable.  Tell me more.

Ole:  Vell, almost on Monday, almost on Tuesday, almost on Wednesday, and so on.

Uff-dah!  That’s the caliber of the jokes.  I guess it’s supposed to keep my heart warm.  I don't know smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy