Welcome to my photo journal.

Friday, November 27, 2009

White-tailed Hawk

Here's Ken's photo of the White-tailed Hawk, he combined two photos into one.

4 and Twenty Blackbirds

On our way home this afternoon, we parked on the side of the road and watch a couple of farmers plow up a grassy field.
He had what looked like thousands of birds enjoying whatever feast he was plowing up.
There were cattle egrets, great-tailed grackles and 5 hawks.
When Ken looked at his photos this afternoon we discovered that at least one hawk was a white-tailed hawk so we can add a new bird to our birding check list.
There were so many grackles it almost blacken the sky at times.
Here a few of the grackles are taking a break.
This is what makes it fun to be a bird watcher.
It made my day since I was feeling a little under the weather with allergies.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

This photo was taken last Jan. of the Arroyo City turkeys,
we haven't seen them yet this year.

Todays weather

We got up to the chorus of coyotes this morning and to fog. We went in to town so Ken could have his breakfast burrito, then we walked around Ramsey it was very humid but the butterflies were out.
We didn't last too long there and then stopped at Walmart for a few Thanksgiving supplies.
Ken is going to heat up a Stouffer's mac'n cheese and take a box of wine to the Thanksgiving dinner.
I took this pic on the drive home, the storm clouds were coming in and by 1 pm we had wind and rain. The temp is to drop also from 74 to mid 60's and it is to be nice the next couple of days.
We've been going to our wetland birding area a couple of times but it always turns cloudy on us so pictures aren't that good. I was excited to see my first snipe there. It is a nice place to watch the birds, the common yellow-throats, marsh wrens and at least 10 Harris hawks as well as all the water birds.
I would like to wish Dennis a Happy Birthday!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Birthday party

Here's the birthday boy and part of our entertainment Friday evening, she put on several fun costumes in the same vain her counterpart played the guitar and sang.
Bob was very surprised so the secret was well kept by over 40 people. It was a perfect day today and we went out birding, saw our first American Avocet and found a new spot to go birding.
Hope you all are having a nice weekend.
Ken is going to grill pork chops this evening.
We are still having Internet problems, seems it goes out every few days Ken has been going up and helping with the problem.
Our phone doesn't work at all out here this year so we have to go to town to make our calls so if you want to hear from us send an e-mail and we will return with a call as soon as we can.
We picked up our first box of forwarded mail today, thanks to all who mailed fabric squares.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Some neighbors

These Sandhill Cranes have been visiting the field across from our RV park, they get a bit noisy but I enjoy hearing them,
As well as our morning owl call and sometimes earlier coyote chorus.This Great Blue Heron was behind us one morning just looking things over.

We've been out checking various nature centers seeing if we could find a different butterfly but so far they have been the usual ones we already have bunches of photos of.
We did join Frontera Audubon Center figured a membership was a better deal than paying every time, it's a really nice spot to bird in Wesleco.
Today, we went out driving and ended up at South Padre Island. We checked out the finished birding board walk, it's nice. We saw several shore birds there, it's always a good place to go birding. It was a cloudy day and fact started to rain on us coming home so the photos we took aren't the best. We'll visit again and again and will get better photos, the Roseate Spoonbill hopefully will be there then.
We had our first pot luck dinner last night, Troy and Sandy supplied the hamburgers and everyone else brought sides. Then we played Pegs and Jokers with two other couples for an hour or so, the guys skunked us gals we'll get them back next time.
Friday evening we have a birthday party to go to, Bob is celebrating his 80th, Bob and Norma are from Moberly, MO. They are the ones who invited and taught us how to play pegs and jokers so I made him a card with that theme.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Photos from Bird Festival

Here's a photo from Walmart's parking lot, three new wally world shoppers? At the Bird Festival Bazaar there was a booth with live raptors, they had been injured and are now being used for educational purposes. You could also have your photo taken with them, we didn't just took photos.
This is an Aplomado Falcon, I had posted earlier that we saw one in the wild last week when we were at Laguna Atascosa NWR so now you can see what one looks like.

It was an easy way to get a nice photo of a Bald Eagle too!
A cold front is passing thru today which is to bring some much needed rain.
So far no rain but the temp has cooled to the 60's.
Ken is cooking up some ribs and beans today so we will be eating well for a while.
The park's Internet system has been fixed, hope it stays fixed.
Yesterday, we went to Santa Ana NWR and walked around, did see a Common Mestra butterfly and several of the others. I was watching at one of their feeding stations and saw a raven, at the time didn't think much of it but later when reading thru our bird list discovered it a Chihuahua Raven as the common Raven is not here. Should have taken a pic but didn't.
I got caught up with the laundry yesterday afternoon and this morning cleaned the RV some, then joined the exercise class at the clubhouse. It's not often we're around for me to join the ladies with their classes. There were 7 of us today.
The ribs are ready so time for some lunch.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bird Festival

We have enjoyed the Harlingen Bird Festival, we went Thurs and walked around the venders booths, bought a couple of t-shirts, and 3 old birding books.
We then visited with the guy who gives bird walks at Ramsey Park and he gave us all kinds of places to go birding and eat.
We went to a seminar on how to ID birds but it really wasn't that helpful.
Friday we went butterfly hunting at a couple of parks and saw our first Red-bordered Pixie and Gauva Skipper and several I haven't taken time to ID.
Photos will be posted on Flickr when I can get them there. Today, we got up early and went on a birding tour of the salt lakes and Edinburg wetlands, at the lakes we saw 5 Nilgai, the big elk like animal from India that now roams south Texas.
We saw 65 bird varieties today and several were new to us.
Our park is having internet problems so I haven't been able to get on line and may have problems in the future so I'm making this short hoping I don't get cut off.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I finished reading My Life in Paris today.
I really enjoyed it, I loved Paris when Cheryl and I visited and this made Paris more personal.
The food sounds so delicious and Julia's work on research for their book was unbelievable who knew it took so much work to write a cookbook.
I just found Julia's story fascinating.Here's a busy Turk's Cap flower, Hummingbirds like it too.
I need to start studying up on birds again, we went out today and saw a couple of little birds we couldn't ID.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Laguna Atascosa

Originally uploaded by 4catsandus

Sunday we drove over to Laguna and saw our first Aplomado Falcon but didn't get a photo as it was too far away. We also saw a large family of wild pigs, several of these Caracaras and White-tail Kites.
It was a nice day and we were able to be out and didn't get a mosquito bite or chigger bite there. We both have gotten several bites already from walking at Ramsey.

I've joined Flickr a photo viewing site. I've been downloading some of my better photos there so far I have 90 photos there. If you would like to see them go to www.flickr.com/photos/jap4cats/ or just click on the Flickr side bar. I will be posting most of my photos there now.

It was a misty day today so we didn't get out to look for butterflies but it made for a good day to go through the photos we've already taken.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Oh My the Butterflies!

Our Friday was exactly like I said it would be, I know Ken.
Friday early am I heard a pair of owls, then later i heard some Sandhill Cranes passing over.
On the way in to breakfast we saw two Ospreys, several Harris Hawks, a White-tailed Kite and a Kingfisher.
Today on the way in we counted 8 Scissortail Flycatchers.At Ramsey Park the butterflies were thick almost like being at a butterfly house.
This is a Queen, beautiful isn't she.
This is a Silver Banded Hairstreak, one of the Texas speciality butterflies.
The American Snouts were thick as well as many we haven't identified.
We saw many of the Texas speciality birds, the Green Jay, Kisskadee, Golden-fronted Woodpeckers, Buff Bellied Hummingbirds, Curved-billed Thrashers, Long-billed Thrashers and Mockingbirds.
In our park we have spotted the Couch Flycatcher.
Today we took in Harlingen's Market days, fun booths to look at and two bands playing and of course food booths. We tried our first fruit cup today, a cup filled with fresh coconut, melon, watermelon, pineapple, cucumber and orange. The locals squeeze lime on it with a sprinkle of chili powder so we did the same, it was refreshing although I didn't eat the coconut.

I bought a few things from the antique tables, these old photos and three books all were a dollar each.

Tonight we cleaned off the bikes and rode around the park a couple of times, it has been a couple of years since I rode a bike but you know the old saying.
Ken bought out the grill and he put on a couple of chicken breasts, we are going to try to eat a little healthier this winter.
Have a good weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


We arrived at Hummingbird Cove this afternoon around 4 and are pretty much settled in. We have even meet 2 new people and visited with our old friends Sandy and Troy. The cats have been sick on this trip except for Squeakie she must have an iron stomach.
Our first night was in Guthrie, OK and second night in Lexington, TX.
On our drive today we must of hit more butterflies than we saw all summer back home.
The snout nose butterflies were out in force around Victoria, TX and at one point it was almost raining butterflies.
We noticed our first boattailed grackle at Sinton, TX and we then felt we were almost at our winter home.

Our first sunset here at Hummingbird Cove.
We learned that South Padre is plagued with the red tide causing the fish to die. It is nasty stuff in that it affects the air quality too.
On the news we saw a tropical storm that may come into the gulf, maybe it will clear up the red tide.
They now have a yoga class here, I may try and catch it when we aren't out birding and looking for butterflies.
It was so nice to be out in the evening in short sleeves, the daytime temp has been in the 80's.
We'll probably go to San Benito tomorrow to have breakfast at McDonald's, Ken will need his breakfast burrito fix, then check out Ramsey Park and see if there are any butterflies there.
Then Friday evening is Happy Hour up at the club house, we'll go up and see who's here and get reacquainted. It's early so there aren't many here yet.
Til later, have a great day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rio Grande

Heading down to the Rio Grande Valley for the
birding festival.This is '08 poster.