Borrego Springs, CA

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Mardi Gras??

Sometimes I think Stephanie stays up at night thinking of unusual assignments for me.  A few long time readers may remember way back to October of 2010 when I was assigned to help man a booth at the …


I had the pleasure of listening to a day of lectures on growing alfalfa and hay and keeping your cattle healthy.  I was actually there to get ranchers to sign up for a grant that would help them eliminate feral hogs on their ranches and farms.


The real bonus that day was attending the hay show, and being able to see the Texas state blue ribbon hay bale!  Not easy to forget an experience like that!  Winking smile  I was also given a nice rain gage and a poster showing the different breeds of cattle.  What more can I say?

So I had high hopes for today.  My assignment was to be at a booth at the Civic Center in Beaumont to talk about the refuge.  That’s like asking a bear to eat honey!  The reason for the gathering was the kick off of the Celebrating Seniors, Mardi Gras Style activities for the weekend.  It didn’t turn out the way I thought it would.

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To begin with, I was denied entry at the vendor’s door because Anahuac NWR wasn’t on the list.  What??  Eventually that was straightened out, and I had a bare table all to myself.  All the other tables were decorated for Mardi Gras, and all I had was a stuffed Cooper’s hawk and some maps of McFadden and Anahuac refuges.  That table in the bottom middle picture above is where I was supposed to be, but there was no room.

The seniors arrived by the busloads and swooped down upon us.  It appeared they were there for one reason, and that was to gather as much free stuff as they could.  Many brought their own bags, and some even had suitcase like bags on wheels to fill with free handouts.  I was not prepared for that.  I had no candy, or pencils, or pens, or beads, or anything.  One thousand seniors were expected, and I perhaps spoke to six of them. 

It reminded me of the raucous Mardi Gras parade I was in in Mississippi a few years back.  Parade watchers clamored at the sides of the float screaming for handouts.  While these folks didn’t get as nasty as the parade watchers, it was obvious that they didn’t have time to talk to someone who only had information rather than junk to hand out.

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Many of the attendees, and vendors, dressed for the occasion.  (Notice the bag the gentleman brought with him.)  And the other booths at this affair?  I was flanked by a Hospice table and an Alzheimer's table!  Other vendors were from health care units, assisted living, cemeteries, and a heart hospital.  Now there’s a real celebration of life!  Disappointed smile

Since I didn’t have much of a crowd at my table, I decided to take a walk around to find the ladies room, and view the other tables.  First, I packed away the bird books and binoculars that I had on display.  I was afraid someone would take them if I left them out.  I did miss my big chance though, while I was walking around.  I decided not to put my name in for a free drawing of a $650 headstone!  Surprised smile  Uff-dah!  This was so bizarre to me that I’ve just been chuckling all evening.

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While on my little walk about, I went outside to the senior petting zoo.  It had been announced that seniors could go outside to see a couple of horses.  This provided hands on activities.  You could pet or curry the horses, or even help with the horse apple pick up.  Confused smile  I must admit that I enjoyed the horses more than the cemetery, extended care, or hospice booths.

I’m thinking the refuge probably won’t participate in this Mardi Gras thing next year.  I’m also thinking that I’d rather attend a Beef Symposium.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A couple of opinions/things I’ve learned

Nothing monumental to say here, but just some observations really.  You may remember that a couple of months ago I purchased a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner.  After two weeks, I posted a mixed review about it.  Now, after a couple of months, I’m very glad I have it.  With Emma, the hairball, living with me I was always upset about the amount of dog hair in the rig, and just hated dragging out the regular vacuum to take care of it.  I’m into a regimen now of running the Roomba every other day.  It’s true that I have to stop it about five times while it cleans to empty the debris basket, but now I’m not embarrassed to have someone step into the rig.  Funny how such a little thing like that just improves my disposition.


Next, I recently did a little study on band-aids.  (I know, I need to get a life. Thinking smile)  Every winter, no matter if I’m up north or down here in Texas, the skin on my fingertips cracks open, bleeds, and is very painful.  I go through a lot of band-aids trying to cushion and treat the cracks!  I always bought the Band-Aid brand when they came in those nice flip lid metal containers.  I believe those cans are a thing of the past, but I have four of them in the rig that I just keep refilling.  I’ve tried every local brand, but nothing beats the adhesive power of the Band-Aid brand.  Sometimes cheaper isn’t as good as or better than a big brand.  I think the same thing is true about Thomas’ English Muffins.  I’ve tried many other brands for much less money, but they just don’t toast up as well as Thomas’ with those nifty nooks and crannies where the butter pools.  But I digress…

Stephanie has asked if I will be returning to Anahuac next winter.  I’m in a quandary.  This is my favorite refuge to volunteer at, I guess, and I love what I get to do here.  However, I’ve been thinking about maybe visiting Kurt (Nurse Ratchet) out in Arizona next winter.  It’s a lot of miles to drive there from Minnesota, and I’m just imagining the dryness out there and how that may cause even more cracked fingers.  I’d sure appreciate any input from any cracking finger types out there.  Send a kiss

Last on the list of my scattered thoughts tonight is the value of those rotisserie chickens found in grocery stores like my favorite HEB down here.  They always look tasty, and smell so good as I do my grocery shopping.  I picked one up the other day in Beaumont, and decided to figure out how many meals I get out of a fully cooked $7.00 chicken.  I had a hot chicken meal when I got home and a chicken sandwich the next day for lunch.  Then today, I fixed enough cold chicken macaroni salad for three meals.  I’ve also got three individual sized packages in the freezer for future meals, and that doesn’t include some scraps to liven up Emma’s kibble for four days.  Seems a bargain to me, and I didn’t have to do the roasting. 

In between all these revelations, I’ve done a workout at the wellness clinic, did stuff like the week’s laundry, and picked up volunteers Colin and Denise (from England) at Bush Intercontinental Airport this afternoon.   Tomorrow, it’s time for a haircut, another workout, organizing my income tax info, and getting some supplies for an exciting Thursday assignment.  With the weather forecast, it may be a few days before I get any photos.  That’s life…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A workout, Talleys, martins and grass

It’s been quite a busy weekend for me.  First, on Friday, I drove into the town of Anahuac and signed up for a membership at the Wellness Clinic.  That’s where I did the physical therapy on my shoulder.  My shoulder is fine, but I’m having some issues with my back that makes walking any distance a real problem.  I thought maybe if I could do some treadmill work, things might improve.  For $27/month, seniors can use the workout room, pool, and classes six days a week.  I’m not really interested in the classes, but Friday I used the treadmill and recumbent step climber.  I planned to finish up with some time in the pool, but it was closed for repairs.  I think I’ve been sitting around too much lately, and maybe that’s why I’m having some back problems.  We’ll see.

When I got home, there was an email from Nan and John Talley saying they were staying the night at the Walmart in Port Arthur, and they wondered if we could get together on Saturday.  I sent them my phone number because I had a different idea.  After we talked, they left Walmart and headed to Winnie.  I figured they could stay here overnight with electricity since the site next to me was vacated by fellow volunteers Terry and Bob while I was in Chicago.  They were up for that.

As I waited for their arrival outside with Emma, I heard a familiar sound and scanned the skies.  Sure enough, the first purple martins had arrived!  That means that migration has begun for sure, and spring is not far away.  Wahoo!

John and Nan Talley

It turned out that John and Nan didn’t arrive until well after dark, but we made plans, after they got backed into the site, for an all day tour of the refuge on Saturday.  And what a beautiful weather day we had for it!  It was pretty windy on the refuge, but the sun was shining, and we weren’t freezing to death.


When time allows, I start visitors out at the VC to watch the movies about the refuge.  After that, we head around the Shoveler Pond auto tour route.  As with Sue and Mo when they visited, we took the boardwalk into the fresh water marsh.


Nan recently lost her camera, so had to use her phone to try to get a picture of that baby gator that greeted us as we started out on the boardwalk.  Of course, there was a lot of jabbering away as we leisurely took our stroll.


With the nice warm temperatures, more than alligators we out sunning themselves.  I think it might have been John that spotted this tiny red-eared slider turtle.  It was only the size of a medium sized cookie.


And then Nan spotted another young alligator that was so well camouflaged in the muck and mire of the marsh.  I would guess that it was about a year old and probably a sibling of the first gator we saw.  Mama was probably lurking nearby, as they usually don’t send the young out on their own for at least two years.


It was a grand day on the refuge, and we enjoyed our packed lunches out in the wilds.  After we got back to the rigs, Nan invited me over to a delicious dinner that she had prepared, and we continued our visit.  It’s been over two years since we last crossed paths just before they went fulltime.

John and Nan headed out today for Houston, and I just lazed around most of the day.  I’ve been trying to get someone to help me with the grass around the rig.  This maintenance area that I stay at is mostly cement, but there are areas of green around the RV sites, and they’ve recently gone crazy with growth.  So much so that the grassy area where Emma does her business was about 18” deep.  That was unacceptable to her as she doesn’t like to get her feet wet in the heavy dew of the morning.  Eye rolling smile  Happily, Barry and Lynn stopped over after working the VC today with a weed whacker, and we took care of the problem.  The whole area really needs a mowing, but with reduced staff numbers it’s hard to get that accomplished.  The weed whacker is too much for me to handle, and as near as I’ve been able to figure out, there isn’t any mower located here.  Grrr!  After all, I do have those steel toed boots whiling away just waiting to be used…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Early signs of spring?

I know that spring doesn’t officially start for another month, but I’m beginning to see some signs that things are changing.  I was out today to do my weekly waterbird count.  In December and January, I could expect to count thousands of geese and ducks.  We’re more than half way through February now, and those numbers have declined.  In my seven count areas, I found only one goose today.  There are still some snow and white-fronted geese around, but nothing like two weeks ago.

To me, that means they’ve got hitch itch and spring migration has begun.  With all the snow storms still going on up north, I’m not sure how far these wanderers will get, but nature is on the move.  The lengthening days have triggered something inside these birds that compels them to seek out their northern nesting grounds.  Honestly, I’ve about had enough of winter, so I can rejoice in their leaving.  Those of you in the north, be on the lookout for those first robins too!


In a month or so, the neo-tropical migrants will begin arriving after their arduous flight over the gulf from Mexico and Central America.  I’m thinking this young merlin will probably stick around and head north with them.

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It looks to me like this young fella/gal will make it through its first year and live to a ripe old age.  If you look closely at the top of its breast you’ll notice a slight bulge.  What that means to me is that it has recently had a successful hunt and its crop is full.  Since 80% of birds die in their first year, this is a sign that this bird has mastered the ability to find food.  Good to see.  This merlin is one of our smaller falcons, and catches small birds on the wing.

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Also still hanging around is this young white-tailed hawk.  It’s maintained a territory all winter near the intersection of FM 1985 and Pear Orchard Road.  I especially like this bird because it’s always willing to pose for me.  Winking smile

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I went into the VIS yesterday to get a little refresher on operating the little nature store there.  After over five years, the new VIS may actually open in the next month or so.  I certainly won’t miss the little shack we’ve been operating out of for so long.  The new VIS will command a wonderful view of the refuge from atop posts to keep it out of the way of hurricane water surges.  I’ll post some pictures once it’s in operation.

Tomorrow, I think I’ll go into Anahuac to the Wellness Clinic where I did my shoulder physical therapy to sign up for a monthly membership.  I’ll let you know how that goes.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Escaping the deep freeze

After the blizzard on Monday in Chicago, blue skies greeted me as I woke up on Tuesday.  Time to make my escape back to Texas.  We made it easily to Midway Airport, but that’s when some minor problems began.  It seems that just about all the flights out had been cancelled on Monday, so the place was packed with thousands of travelers trying to leave.  That meant super long lines at the luggage check-in and the security check area.  Like at Hobby Airport in Houston, I was sent to the pre-screened line that was much shorter.

When I told them I had bionic hip parts, I was sent to a different line for a scan, but was assured I wouldn’t have to take off my shoes or take the laptop out of my backpack.  Hah!  I tried to tell the security guy there that I had a metal hip and would need to go through the circular scanner, but he insisted I just walk through the regular scanner.  Of course, the alarms went off, and he shouted at the top of his lungs that I had set off the alarm.  Things went downhill after that. 

A crabby female guard approached me to ask where my belongings were.  As I attempted to show her the bins that were mine after going through the x-ray machine, she screamed at me not to touch my own things.  I was then led to another area and chastised for still having my shoes on.  I tried to explain about the pre-check line, but she wouldn’t listen.  She also made me take the computer out of the backpack and send it through the x-ray once again.  As someone else whisked away my shoes, I had to stand straddle legged with my arms extended palms up to endure a full body pat down.  I guess I must look like a terrorist. 

There was another elderly gentleman next to me that was receiving the same treatment because of his belt buckle.  I understand about security issues, but really, was this rude treatment needed?  It was a far cry from my experience at Hobby Airport in Texas.  As I was finally, gruffly, allowed to put on my shoes, sweater, and coat again, another man standing nearby said they seemed to be targeting seniors that day.  They had given him a hassle too after telling him to leave his keys in his pocket, and then coming down on him for it.  Sheesh!  By this time, my flight was already boarding.  Of course, I made a wrong turn in my effort to find a bathroom before the flight.  There was a line six ladies long just to get into the restroom, so I just reversed, and eventually found my gate in the knick of time.

The flight was jam packed, and due to technical difficulties, Wi-Fi was not available on the flight.  Normally, this wouldn’t bother me one bit, but I was supposed to check out a different cell phone that Dennis gave me while on the flight.  I’ll post about that some other time.  Anyway, I finally made it to Houston, and started to peel off layers of clothes as it was 79* when we landed.  Wahoo!  I had escaped the freezing temperatures.

When I started this post, I was going to talk about what I did today, but it seems this post is long enough.  I guess I’ll have to cover that tomorrow.  I really enjoyed my trip overall, but it sure felt good to pick up Emma from the kennel and arrive back home.  I think she was happy too, as she passed out as soon as we got back in the rig.

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Monday, February 17, 2014

I didn’t sign up for this!

I knew when I made reservations to fly into Chicago in February that I would be experiencing cold temperatures that I haven’t been used to for the last eight years.  I’ve been cold since I stepped off of the plane last Wednesday.  I expected that, but today what I was hoping to avoid while here happened anyway.

_MG_9862It seems that Mother Nature had other plans, and the Chicago area was hit with another snow storm.  _MG_9871

After the grandgirls went off to kindergarten and pre-school, Robyn and I had planned to drive into the city to meet my sister, Pam, for lunch at Red Lobster.  With a blizzard raging outside, we had to scrap those plans.


That’s the mound of snow right along the edge of the driveway of Robyn and Dennis’ house.  What a shame that they only have one shovel, and all I could do was supervise! Eye rolling smile  I’m sure it has been many years since there has been this much cold and snow in Dyer, Indiana.  What a crazy winter all over.

There has been a birthday party, gymnastic lessons, and so many other activities of a young family going on that I’ve had no chance to keep up with my blog readings.  It has been a very good visit.  Avery’s birthday party was on Friday evening, and as usual, Robyn made a special birthday cake.


The latest rage for little people seems to be the new movie from Disney called “Frozen”.  It’s a fairytale type story about a fair maiden that has powers to freeze things.  So, the cake had the main characters from ‘Frozen’.  I especially liked how Robyn fashioned the ice shards by making a clear type of blue/green candy brittle that could be broken into chunks the color of ice bergs.  While the main characters were store bought, the reindeer crashing through the snow wasn’t.  She made that out of clay and painted it.  I wouldn’t have the patience or the talent to make a cake like this.  And the cake inside was all bright tie dyed colors.

I’ve been so busy that I lose track of time, but I think it was yesterday that Robyn and I were talking about a recent resurgence of her interest in photography.  She took a class a while back, and has joined a local group on-line that has a weekly photography challenge that they are supposed to be creative with.  This week’s subject to get a picture of was a ‘cup’.  I don’t know why, but the first thing that popped into my mind was a bra.  After all, they come in different ‘cup’ sizes, and I told her so.  She chuckled, and that set us off into all the possibilities with a bra.  I won’t go into all of those ideas, but suffice it to say that she thought most were a little too ribald for her group. Surprised smile I do seem to remember something about ‘My Cup Runneth Over”, though…

DSC_3497This was her final submission, with a bubble bath in the background.  Lots more artistic than I would have been.  I guess I’m more literal.  Most other members of the group have submitted pictures of a cup of coffee, and Robyn has received very few comments on her photo.  I’m thinking these other people are a little prissy, and don’t know how to think out of the box.  What do you think?

I’ll be flying back to Houston tomorrow… I need to rest up after this whirlwind week.  I didn’t sign up for a snow storm, but I wouldn’t have missed any of the other enjoyments for all the tea in China!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy   

Friday, February 14, 2014

A fish tale

This is going to be one of those catch up blog posts that happen to us bloggers when we are more than BUSY!  I’ll just hit some of the highlights of the last three days.  I awoke early on Wednesday morning as I was excited about my trip to the Chicago area to see my daughter, Robyn, and her family.  I had my bag packed, was checked in electronically to my flight from Hobby Airport in Houston, and had everything timed down to the last minute for my departure.  I had to drop Emma off at the kennel on my way to the airport and planned to just leave the car in the extended parking area there.

Everything was fine until, at the last moment, I got an automated call from Southwest Airlines that my flight had been cancelled!  That put me into a slight panic, but I weathered that storm and made new reservations for later in the day.  That flight wasn’t cancelled, and I just delayed my action plan for three hours.  I got a little more panicked as five of the parking areas were full at the airport, but I finally found a spot.

After checking my bag, I headed for the security check lines with what was a slightly bewildered look on my face, I guess.  I haven’t flown in quite a few years, and wasn’t quite sure what problems my bionic hip would cause.  I needn’t have worried.  A guard at the front told me to use the pre-scanned line that had very few people in it.  I didn’t have to take off my shoes or take my laptop out of my backpack.  I just stood in a tube thing with my hands over my head, and it was done.  The rest of the trip went smoothly, and I had a fantastic view from my window seat of the Chicago skyline along Lake Michigan, as the plane looped out over the frozen lake on approach to Midway Airport.

I spent most of the day on Thursday riding along with Robyn as she completed a couple of her Life Vest work appointments.  We chatted up a storm as many miles were involved between appointments. 


When we got back, I was tasked with helping my four year old grandgirl, Phoebe, get her Valentine cards ready for pre-school the next day.  We made a pretty good team, and spent some time giggling along the way.


                                                    “You want me to do what Grandma Belt???”

As Robyn and Dennis were getting dinner ready, I decided it would be a good time to teach Avery how to talk to a fish.  You can see that she was a little skeptical.  She knew that I would be giving her a goldfish for her sixth birthday and was very excited about it, but had no idea of the proper way to talk to her new pet.  Winking smile


                                  Now is that a good fish face or what?!  (Ignore the wrinkles please) 

DSC_3373                               I just had to show her how it was done, and she was an avid student!  Open-mouthed smile


                                                          Not bad for learning a new language!

Today was the big day for picking out the fish.  We went to the local Petco store, and it only took about 30 seconds for Avery to find the goldfish of her dreams. 


It’s name is ‘Goldie’, and Avery never let it out of her hands until we got back home.  Precious times with precious grandgirls…

Notice the winter coat and hat?  Did I mention that it is dang cold up here in northeast Indiana?  It was 4* when I got up yesterday.  What was I thinking when I planned this trip???  You Grandparents know the answer to that, but I’m freezing!!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Off I go into the wild blue yonder…

I couldn’t believe it when I woke up yesterday morning and the sun was shining with temps in the 60’s!!  What a welcome surprise that was.  I hopped in the refuge truck and went to pick up fellow volunteer Lynn.  We would spend the morning on the East Unit.  Our task was to check out the piles of soil that we will use to get prairie seeds started once the weather warms up a bit. 

I also wanted to check out an area along Galveston Bay and the Intracoastal Waterway to see if perhaps any shorebirds had started migrating into the refuge yet.  I know it’s a little early, but one can always hope.IMG_6019The East Unit is where the duck and goose hunting occurs in season.   The duck hunting season is over now, but snow geese can still be taken on Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday until Feb. 26.  Since it was a Monday, I knew we would be okay to be on the unit.

There wasn’t much bird life around, so the only picture I took was of oysters along the banks of the Intracoastal during low tide.  It was a gorgeous morning that we enjoyed until we headed out of the unit.  You could see the gray cloud cover of an approaching front coming in quickly.  I dropped Lynn off at her rig and then headed over to the VIS to have my lunch and meet a busload of seniors to give them a tour.  While I was munching away, the front arrived, it began to spit rain, and the temperature dropped like a rock! 

The bus arrived, I hopped on, and began the tour.  By this time it was close to 1:00 in the afternoon and this group of seniors was sitting in a warm bus after just having consumed a filling BBQ meal at Gator Junction.  Can you guess what that means?  Yep, most of them began to doze off before my very eyes.  Disappointed smile  I danced as fast as I could and tried to make my presentation as interesting as possible, but you might have thought that they had just consumed Thanksgiving dinner.  That coupled with the lead foot of the bus driver resulted in the quickest tour I’ve ever given.  There was thundering applause as we returned to the VIS area, but I’m not sure they really enjoyed the brief tour or were just happy to be done with it and on their way home.  I don't know smile 

Today, I put up some bird feeders at the Visitors Center, and then went to the farewell luncheon for my volunteer neighbors, Bob and Terry.  They will be heading out later this week for other adventures.  So for a while anyway, it will just be Emma and me at the Winnie facility once again.

It was miserably cold and rainy again today, but I decided it was good practice at being cold for my trip tomorrow to Chicago.


With any luck, there will be no flight delays, and I’ll be with Robyn and her family by tomorrow afternoon.  I dug out my winter coat, and will be wearing it on the plane.  I’m off into the wild blue yonder…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Help with the bird survey, and a shock of sorts

So far I’ve done the weekly waterbird surveys on the refuge by myself.  Sometimes that’s a challenge as I have to write down the birds I’m counting as I’m looking through the scope.  I’ve got it down to a routine, but this week a fellow volunteer asked to come along and record for me.  I couldn’t pass up that offer!


Meet Lynn, my partner in crime for the day.  I told her to pack a lunch, and we were off into the dreary skies and fog.  Of course the weather guessers had forecasted temps near 70 and sunshine, but that didn’t happen.  Since I’ll soon be gone for a week to Chicago, I wanted to do the count late in my work week, and then again the day after I get back for consistency. 

1200 snow geese (20% of the flock)

Duck and geese numbers were down today in my moist soil unit plots, but it was a banner day for egrets and dowitchers.  There was one big flock of snow geese as we traveled along, but of course they weren’t in one of my count areas.  My estimate is that there are about 1200 geese in this photo that I took with my telephoto lens and it was only about 20% of the flock.  I think you can click on the photo to get a closer view.  Seen from afar, it sure does look like a pile of snow out there.


Occasionally a portion of the flock would take off as perhaps an eagle soared by or there may have been a coyote out there shaking things up.  That’s when you get the jaw dropping view and deafening sounds of thousands of geese taking flight. 

We stopped along the one lane gravel tract, lowered the truck tailgate, and hopped up to have our lunch surrounded by the marsh and all of its inhabitants.  I’m a slow eater to begin with, and considering everything to see and hear, and of course chat about, it took us a full hour to finish our sandwiches.  So much better than a restaurant or fast food place.  It’s one of the reasons I treasure volunteering.  I’m in my element.

At our last surveying location of the day, we finished the counting, and then Lynn noticed a coyote casually walking into the count area.  It was pretty far off, but with the scope and our binoculars we spent about fifteen minutes or more just watching what he was up to.  It was obvious that he was marking his territory in many locations.  Then, he stopped to chew on a snow goose wing that he found.  As he busied himself along the perimeter of the water, we just sat mesmerized by these National Geographic type moments.  It sure was nice to have someone along today who appreciates these wonders as I do.


When I got home to the rig, I turned on the computer and there was a new post from Donna Cave about how she and Dennis had finally found some Whooping Cranes to see.  They’ve been on the lookout for them as they are spending time camped at a couple of state parks in the Aransas, TX, area, and I was thrilled that she saw some.  Donna is not a big birder by any means, but she enjoys all wildlife (except maybe alligators) and likes her encounters with birds.  In comments on her blog, I have affectionately referred to her as a budding junior bird nerd, or Grasshopper (remember that show?) in her endeavors to identify birds that she sees.  Well, I was in for a real shock as I read further.


She returned to the same field later on her bike and reported that she saw a plethora of young whooping cranes!  Oh no!  While the first collage definitely shows whooping cranes, this collage is of sandhill cranes.  How could she have made that identification error?  (Sadly, I must admit that I have made numerous bird ID mistakes, but don’t tell anyone, okay?)  I was aghast!!!


I certainly cannot compete with Donna in the eclectic beauty of her ensembles, but really folks, I’m not sure what to do about this astounding blunder.  I thought I taught her better!  I’m leaning toward calling her Stink Bug instead of Grasshopper.  What’s a person to do??  I await your input…Winking smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy