Welcome to my photo journal.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wind and more wind

Time to lite for a while and rest from all the wind.
It's been a windy week, warm to hot until this morning when around 9 am the front came thru and the wind switched to the north and the temp dropped 20 degrees.
We haven't been doing much, went to see Slumdog Millionaire, which was very good. One of our neighbors here in the park bought some DVD's in Mexico for $5 and have shared a couple with us. We watched Doubt it was good, and we have Revolutionary Road to watch today.
My cousin is leaving for home Sunday, so we went over and had Happy Hour with their group and went to the dance at their park Fun n Sun. We had a great time visiting with them over the past couple of weeks.
Boo looks so tired he can't stand up to get a drink of water, it has been a little warm in the RV for them the last couple of days. We finally turned the air on Friday afternoon to cool them down, it was 90 degrees out but the wind was blowing and didn't feel 90.
I'm doing a little laundary and it's time to put it in the dryer.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mardi Gras

I thought I'd crawl in to let you know what we've been doing the last couple of days.We've been listening to the owls in the early early mornings and the noise of the huge flocks of red wing black birds.
We went out butterflying Monday but the park was closed on Mondays, so we stopped in at a couple other wild life refuges and found several lizards about and a couple of new species of butterflies. I couldn't get a good pic of the butterflies, maybe I'll get Ken to share his with you at another date.
We both picked up a couple of ticks, guess I'll try and stay out of the grassy areas.
At Ramsey Park these Prickley Poppies are still blooming along several other flowering bushes. They have volunteers there that water regularly to keep their plants from drying up in this draught.

The Waterson's who are staying in Mission, came by to visit us Tues.

Last night, we went to our parks Mardi Gras party. We had potluck and a 5 piece band entertain us.
It is to be a warm and windy rest of the week til Sunday when another cold front comes thru. The temp today will be 89 degrees.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Getting caught up

Just hopping in to say hello
We had a rainy Saturday, which allowed me to catch up on laundry and cleaning.As you can tell here, we had a chilly morning today.
But it warmed up to almost 70, and we took a little nature walk at Ramsey Nature Park before doing our grocery shopping at Walmart.

Some new flowers were blooming and I caught this pretty little Reakirt's Blue out sunning.
I will probably watch the Oscar's tonight, although I don't think we've seen many of the movies in the running.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Kings Ranch

We've been out and about with the Carlows, yesterday we went to Donna's flea market and today we got up early and headed north to Kingsville to tour the King Ranch. We were there for the first tour at 10 am. good thing too as the other tours filled up fast. The tour lasted 1 hour and half. King Ranch is a national Historic Landmark, is recognized as the birthplace of the American ranching industry. Founded by Captain Richard King in 1853, King Ranch developed the Santa Gertrudis breed of cattle a cross of Brahma and Texas longhorn, and produced the first registered American Quarter Horse. It also had a triple crown racehorse, Assault. Today, King Ranch sprawls across 825,000 acres of South Texas land, is the home of 60,000 cattle and 300 Quarter Horses. King Ranch is one of the largest ranches in the world today. It employs 250 people today in the past up to 800. The employees live in nice homes on the ranch and have company pickups.
Beto Maldonado our driver and guide was born on the ranch, he and his father took care and showed one of the ranches prize bulls Macho. Beto is 79 years old and has lots of stories and has a book coming out in June.

The ranch keeps a herd of Texas longhorns for their historical value.

The original house burned down in 1912 and this beautiful 35,000 sq ft home was built. It is not included on the tour just a drive around it, in the museum they show a video of some of the rooms.
We had a long day but an interesting one. We saw Sandhill Cranes on the ranch and several coveys of quail. The ranch also has several nature tours which we hope to take sometime. We ended the visit with ice cream at an old fashion sofa fountain and a walk thru the Saddle Shop store.
The Carlows have decided to stay only one week and are leaving Sat. we've been having a great time and visit with them.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

B Day

I had a nice birthday, started with seeing the Sandhills on the way in to Harlingen to meet the Carlows for breakfast at McDonalds. We went to over to South Padre Island for the day, we walked the beach alittle and collected shells.
It was a windy day which brought out the kite surfers and we stopped to watch them. Then stopped at the nature boardwalk saw a longtail butterfly that may be a new one to add to our list. Then we stopped at the Sea Turtle Rescue Center.

Ken had chosen Louie's Backyard restarant to try, I had called my cousin to meet us there at 3:30 but it didn't open til 4 but the bar was open and a line dance class was going on so we had some entertainment til 4. We all had the buffet which had shrimp, crab legs, ribs and prime rib for $17 and margaritas for a $1. We had picked up coupons for free dessert and so we had chocolate cake. They sang happy birthday.

Here's the B party group.

Carlow's, Lewis' and us.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oscelot Fest

Sat. was a nice day to go to the Ocelot Fest in Harlingen at the Marine Military Academy. Money raised goes to help the Ocelot Habitat fund at Laguna Atacosa WR they estimate there are 50 to 100 left in the RGV and most are in the wildlife refuge.
The Cincinnati Zoo brought in the Ocelot and a another small cat from Africa. The ocelot is one of 4 cat species that can walk head first down from a vertical position. I didn't get a good pic of it doing that. There were lots of kids activities, fishing, archery, making bird feeders etc. There were a couple of sea turtles, small alligator, bugs, and other small sea life to see. There was also a raptor show with black vulture, barn owl, barred owl, tanner falcon, bald eagle and two Harris hawks, pic of one here.
It was a fun day. Our friends the Carlows arrived and are staying in Brownsville, so after the fest we drove down to welcome them to the valley. They are staying a week maybe two.
Friday we visited my cousin and her husband who are staying at Fun and Sun in San Benito for two weeks. We went to the outlet mall with them today and then they asked us to stay for chili and ice cream. It was a good day for chili as it was cloudy and drizzly day. We enjoyed our outing, I bought a new pair of sneakers at the Easy Spirit store and more underwear for both of us at the Jockey store so I won't have to do laundry for another 5 or 6 days.
We called the Carlows this evening to see what was planned for Mon. and learned another friend of Ken's and theirs is in Harlingen so we will try to get together maybe tomorrow. So we will have a busy week visiting with family and friends.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Another visit to Laguna Atacosa

It was another beautiful day with light breezes and I talked Ken into going birding, his choice and it has been about 3 weeks since we've been to Laguna Atacosa Wildlife Refuge. On our way over just a few miles from us in a recently combined corn field we saw hundreds of Sandhills Cranes and Snow Geese. I tried to get a photo.
At the visitor center there is a bird feeding station and this morning there were 3 javelinas, loads of longtailed grackles, cardinals and green jays. It was a fun site to watch.
We walked out to the alligator pond today, there was a big gator there along with a couple these Soras. I think they have the cutest tails. The pond was a good place to watch birds, moorhens, couch kingbirds, yellow rumps warblers and grebes, herons and egrets.

This is a colorful bug we found when we were looking for butterflies.
In honor of Abe Lincoln's 200 birthday here are a few quotes of his I like.
When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion.
All my life I have tried to pluck a thistle and plant a flower wherever the flower would grow in thought and mind.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Visit to Quinta Mazatlan

It was a beautiful day, much less wind, so a good day to go try a new place for birding. We picked Quinta Mazatlan in McAllen and it was a good pick, not for birding but for the beautiful adobe house and it's grounds. We haven't seen any lizards until this one greeted us at the front door.

There were birds, lots of sparrows, Kiskadees, a hummingbird, a dove, Thrashers, and of course the Chachalaca, this one is sunning just off one of the paths.

There were butterflies, this one I'm not sure what it is as the top side was greyish brown and haven't found it et in the book yet. There were black swallowtails, queen, sulfars, and a monarch.

Back in Harlingen we went to a couple of areas where we were told the parrots have been sighted but we didn't see any. We are about to give up on seeing them.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More wind

The Kiskadee came to our feeder this morning giving me another opportunity to get it's photo.
We had another windy day with gusts up to 40 mph, it's been 5 windy days now but the temps have been in the 80s. To get out alittle we visited Harlingen's Museum. They have moved 3 buildings there, the founders Lon Hill's home, a building that was the first hospital and a replica of road house. The museum is free and has 30 min movie on the history of Harlingen which made seeing the artifacts more meaningful.

Ken is checking out an old dental Xray machine.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A few thoughts

I was up early, again, this am and I started to go over our trip and what we've seen. I've been contemplating the different cultural areas we have passed thru. The Mississippi Delta where the ghosts of slavery still haunts and the 'Blues' that evolved from it, the soul foods, the attitudes and superstitions still found there. Then we moved to the Bayou area and the people who learned to live isolated yet still a community, the Cajuns, their food, customs, superstitions, language and music still alive among the cypress trees. Now here the RGV, which was Mexican and now Mex-American with Spanish still the main language on the street, Conjuca music coming from the cars and of course the food much of which we have no idea of what most of it is. A sign found in most ladies restrooms.

A sign outside just about every convenience store.

What a diverse colorful country we still are!!

Note: In our RV park we have recent immigrants married to Americans from Denmark, Germany and the Philippines, all who again add to our countries ideologies and diversity. We also have a French speaking Cajun and several visiting Canadians, not French speaking.

Another interesting thing is that Walmart changes it products to reflect the needs of each community, ex. here it sells packaged foods made in Mexico, the bakery focuses on Mexican sweets and during Christmas they sold hogs heads for Barbacoa. I enjoy trying the Mexican soft drinks made with different fruits and just recently found nonalcoholic Sangria which I really enjoy.
Until the next post, have a great day.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A little too windy

It was a little to windy to get photos of butterflies and birds but we went out and tried as it was a beautiful day otherwise. Tomorrow is supposed to be even winder!! Gusts up to 40 mph, today was just a 20 mph gust day.Below is one of Ken's photos, thought I treat you to a good photo for a change. We got our converter boxes for the tv's today, Ken fixed up the main tv this afternoon. Now I understand they aren't going to DTV til June. So no hurry and trying to fix up my tv in the back as it is proving to be a brain teaser as there is very little room to add a box.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Another beautiful day

We went back to Weslaco to Fronteria Audubon Thicket to go birding, it was a perfect day just a breeze and 77 degrees. We saw two new butterflies and a couple new birds the lesser Goldfinch, the Ovenbird and maybe the Clay Robin not sure with new birds unless there is someone there to help identify them for sure and or we get a good photo we can use to identify against the books. I believe this is a Texan Crescent.

Sabal Palms

A beautiful Malachite butterfly.
The wind is coming back for a couple of days, there seems to be alot of windy days.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A nice day for a walk

A nice day for a walk in a state park, Estero Llano Grande S. P. in Weslaco where I took this pic of a Funereal Duskywing, a first for me. And a nice day to be out sunning like this alligator, one of 3 that we saw in the S. P.

It was nice to be out birding again and discovering new places.
Ken has his computer up and running again. He sent for a new hard drive and installed it and all his programs himself.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Another Windy Day

Another windy day here, sunny tho, we went to a movie and saw New in Town it was cute.
On the way home we saw trucks hauling sugar cane in Rio Hondo so we decided to follow them to see where they were harvesting. It's not far from us about 10 miles. They have these warning signs by all the sugar cane fields as they burn the fields before going in to harvest them. Here they are in the burned field harvesting.
Here's the machine they use. They take it to a sugar processing house right a way to process it. Would be fun to learn about that part of the sugar cane growing business.

Tomorrow should be a nicer day to be out and looking for birds.