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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A drive thru Rio Grand Valley

We drove over to Mission,TX to see how far and where Ken's friends are staying and check out some birding sites. It's about 45 miles from us, Ken called Julie and Noel and Noel was under the weather so we didn't see them. We then did some sight seeing along the Texas Tropical Highway 281. Here are some of my photos of today's drive. We find we like our RV park more as we travel about, like every morning we get to hear the sandhill cranes fly over and we have 2 Great Horned Owls near us, in fact I spotted one this evening.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Visit to Hugh Ramsey Nature Park

We finally went out to take photos, the past 3 days were so windy it was only good for shopping. Ken finally did his Christmas shopping and got it mailed today. His grandkids will have 2 Christmases this year.
We went birding but ended up chasing butterflies, even better. We did see our first Rufus hummingbird at least I think it was a Rufus, no photo of it. I couldn't find the flowers in our
Wildflower book.
The Egrets, I believe they are Cattle Egrets, like to follow the tractors in the fields.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

We enjoyed our little potluck Christmas dinner with the people from the park. We learned about the activities, line dancing, Friday dances and game day. The Friday dances sound fun but we'll see, Ken is not a dance goer.


We had a small gift exchange and some entertainment as you see here with the dancing Roll it Back.
Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Have a Merry Christmas


Sun Came Out

The sun came out this afternoon and it warmed up to 70, so I took a couple of photos.

This is the boat docks looking up to the old clubhouse.

The boat dock and fishing pier. The trees in background is an island. The river changed coarse after hurricane Bertha years ago and the docks are now on a channel.

Our site, with the clubhouse in the background, right now no one is beside us for several sites. We are on an corner space. In fact, there aren't that many in the park right now, there are about 100 sites with few permanent mobile homes.
They are having Christmas dinner and small gift exchange, so we went to WalMart to get a few things for it, Stouffer's Mac n Cheese.

The maintenance crew are very nice, asked if we needed anything to extend our sewer hose. We visited some later and he told us alittle about the island, it is a wildlife sanctuary, closed to public. There are supposed to be ocelots over there.
We then meet a neighbor to the park, his dock is next to the parks and usually is full of brown pelicans. He is a WWII veteran, wounded in Okinawa and has been in a wheelchair for 60 plus years, his is 82.
So, we're getting to know the people around here. The manager Carol is very nice and helpful. We've gone up to the local bar and grill and had lunch, they have great hamburgers and BLT's.
Stay warm back home! It's to be in the 80's here the next couple of days.



Sunday, December 21, 2008

All moved in

Sat. we checked out a few of the birding areas that were in Raymondville area, they didn't pan out very well since we didn't feel comfortable driving on some of the roads or walking who knows how far til we were at the site. We did see birds in a field across from the WLR,a field of snow geese and sandhill cranes. So not a complete loss, and we saved a turtle crossing the road. We got moved to our long term space this morning. It turned windy and wet and cold this morning and it is not Kens favorite thing to drive in the wind, but we had only 40 miles to go.
I'll post photos of our park when it is nicer weather for me to take photos.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Chasing Butterflies again

We started our birding today while learning the area. We were near Santa Ana NWR so we stopped to check it out. We saw our first Green Jays at their feeding station. We walked one trail and we saw several Zebra Heliconians we've seen them at local butterfly houses but never in the wild. Ken didn't bring a camera and we didn't bring any binoculars or have mosquitoes repellent on so one trail was it. We did stop at their butterfly garden and I tried to get photos of some butterflies but they turned out blurry. I think we saw Sickle-winged Skipper and a Little Yellow and Brown Longtail. They are to have 300 butterfly species here, but I hear it is nearly the end of their butterfly season.
We also drove out to Laguna Atascosa NWR, we didn't spend much time there as it was after 3. From there, we went and reserved our space for a couple of months at Hummingbird Cove RV park, we'll move in Sunday. We did look at another park that is not in the congested area and rent was twice as much so that clinched the deal for Hummingbird Cove. There are more than 500 parks in the area, and like AZ they all have park models. So we'll see how we like being away from all the action.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In the Rio Valley

Here's some pretty flowers to brighten your day, I took them at the Visitor's Center in Rockport, TX. We spent Weds. nite in Sinton, TX 25 miles north of Rockport. We left this morning in the fog for the Rio Grande Valley area, stopping for a couple nites in Raymondville till we find a spot for a couple of months. We arrived around noon so we looked around some today, Ken had looked at a few on the internet so we checked them out. We may have found the perfect place for us, quiet, small, friendly and close to the Wildlife Refuge but no McDonalds or Wal Mart for 20 miles. It is inexpensive and spaces are nice. On the drive out I spotted a field with Sandhill Cranes. We may not spent our 3 nites here next to the noisy road. It was a very balmy 80 degrees and windy today, and I hear wind is common around here.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Lake Charles, LA

We had a few things to do today, mail a couple of packages and Ken wanted to check out a letter he received from SS so he went to the SS office and waited for 1 hour and 30 mins but he got it straightened out. While he was at the SS office I went to the Town Hall and took in Tasha Tudor exhibit. She was an illustrator, in fact did The Night Before Christmas by Clement Moore. She passed away June 08 at the age of 92.
We went down to the beach and took a couple of pictures and had lunch at Steamboat Bill's, Ken likes their chicken breast dinner, I usually get the special which was Shrimp Creole today, I love their Louisiana rolls.
I was hoping to see the Port area but didn't get there or to the fancy home section of town.
It was 70 degrees most of the day but by 4 the temp dropped to 50 with a few sprinkles. We feed the squirrels this morning, and I took their portraits.
Tomorrow we hit the road and travel west how far I don't know.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Lacassine Refuge

Here are my photos from our visit to the Refuge today. It was 70 degrees and as the day went on it got breezy.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Relaxing Sat.

We had a relaxing Sat. took a walk on a trail, found a BBQ restaurant and had lunch then took a drive to Lacassine Refuge. We found it filled with water birds, Ken didn't have his big lens so we are going back tomorrow. It is a beautiful spot, so birding photos tomorrow.
Here are a few photos I took here at Sam Houston Jones State Park. There are a couple of very tame deer, they came right up to our car. Pic from our river walk.

The beautiful lob lolly pines at the campsite entrance.



They have several trails thru out the park, some geese, and muscovy ducks they will walk up to you looking for food. We didn't see much on our walk today just a few holly trees, pines, oaks, and cypress trees.


Friday, December 12, 2008

Another Drive

We drove the Creole Nature Trail today, it includes Sabine WLR, Rockefeller WLR and Cameron Prairie WLR, Ken was hoping to get some bird photos. We found that the hurricanes hit the area hard in September. The WLR's were closed and repairing buildings and roads washed out. Sabine is to reopen tomorrow and we did walk the trail some. We drove by the Gulf of Mexico and saw the damage, basically the little beach towns of Holly Beach, Rutherford Beach, Cameron, Oak Grove and Grand Chenier are gone. Some homes have been repaired, some have been replaced but many are just gone you just see where they were. We saw graveyards but no church nearby. Surprisingly tho, the trees especially the oaks still stand, nature has basically survived but man is struggling to survive in this area.


We did see birds but were not able to stop on the busy roads to look or photograph them, we saw several Roseate Spoonbills, Egrets, Herons, Ducks, Cormorants, Kingfishers, Shrikes and others we couldn't idenify.
Maybe tomorrow, we'll go visit Lake Charles.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snow Morning

We woke up this morning to half inch of snow, an unusual event for LA, they said on the news maybe once every 10 years. Some parts received 4 inches!! (My photos came up the opposite that I meant them to.) After the snow melted around 11 am we went for a drive on one of Ken's birding routes. We did see 2 new maybe 3 to add to our life list, Loggerhead Shrikes, Little Blue Herons and a ???. I didn't get very good photos of the Heron or the ?? maybe Ken did.
Here's a Bluebird right at our campsite this morning! We also have Pine Warblers and Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, hopefully I will get a good photo one of these days.




The rest of the weekend the temps just get warmer each day til 70's on Sunday.



We finally got some mail, it's been almost a month. We received a couple of cards and a Christmas gift looks good under our little tree.




Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Tree

It is still cold and rainy today so we just checked out the rest of the park after having breakfast at McDonald's, Ken is happy we have McD's close by again. I decided it was a good time to decorate our tree, Squeekie is checking out the spanish moss. Here's our little tree all decorated!! I used the queen butterfly I picked up in NM, my collection of pins and smashed pennies and a little cotton and all done.
The weatherman says we could have a little snow or sleet early tomorrow morning, I believe the cold just follows us, but Friday looks better.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hello again

We've been at Lake Fausse Pointe State Park where we had no cell service that is why I haven't blogged in the last few days. We found the LA's state parks are great places for us to stay, they honor our Nat'l Park Golden Age Pass which we get half price on camping fees which makes it $9 a nite and the sites are large enough for RV's. Lake Fausse is about 40 miles south of Lafayette and it was 25 miles from anywhere but it was beautiful. Here are a few things we saw: Remember to click to enlarge.





We saw about 25 armadillos Monday, you can just stand quietly and they will work their way up to you as they are nearly blind.



We are now at Sam Houston Jones State Park at Lake Charles, LA it is just a few miles north of town so we have cell service again. It's been beautiful the last couple of days about 70 but we may have a storm tonight. We really like Louisiana the people are nice and it is so beautiful and different from MO.
Ken is excited about the birding opportunities from here so we will be staying here awhile.



Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Natchez,MS

Monday we went to Meridan, MS to visit Ken's sister-in-law and had a nice visit.
Tuesday we headed a little farther south to Natchez, MS actually we are staying in at River View RV Park in Vidalia,LA. We do have a view of the river too. Today was a beautiful day, temp in the 70's more like it. The cats enjoyed the day with the windows open. We did a little sightseeing, we went through 2 mansions, the Melrose and the Longwood (couldn't take photos of the living quarters at Longwood). There are 10 mansions here one could take tours through but at $10 per person it gets a little pricey. At the visitors center they charge $2 for the 20 min.into movie of Natchez.
We visited St. Catherine Creek NWR and found a few birds to photograph.
We did enjoy a very nice lunch at Mammy's Cupboard, I had their Roast Chicken breast special for Wed. and Ken had a Roast beef Sand.
Tomorrow we may
head out again for somewhere in LA, stay tuned.