Monday, February 16, 2009

The road home

We said, "Goodbye," to Texas.

We took the back roads in Louisiana

and wiggled our way into Arkansas.

Healing waters and a hot meal sounded delicious!

Bath House Row is the focal point of this National Park.

The Arlington looked intriguing.

This grand old Hotel has many stories.

I wonder who else has taken healing baths and had massages?

I enjoyed mine!

This is a resort town.

Scary stuff!

We brought home a few little reminders of Texas.

We hung our cowboy in the travel room and put our pins into the map.

The photographs are processed.

We will choose one to print and frame.

This was a very fun trip.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Aransas, Texas

We came upon a flock of Sandhill Cranes
in the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge.
They were feeding in a grassy patch.
When we stopped they flew.
They are so beautiful.

We were told at the visitor center that a pair of Whooping Cranes were nesting on the refuge.
We climbed the observation tower and looked out but the birds we saw were very far away.
I am not sure I saw Whooping Cranes. I do so want to see them.
We are hoping to see some during the Spring migration.
I am planning a weekend trip in April to a refuge closer to home.

This is a large refuge with plenty of deer

and flocks of Black Vultures.

I was awed by them.

Turkey Vultures mingled in.

I think I have my photographs for Halloween cards.

It was here we saw the Javelina.

We saw our first "alive" Armadillo.

This friendly fellow came right up to us.

There were alligators also.

Much smaller than the pair we saw in Atascosa.

This marsh was accessible from a trail.

Nice to be up close to the turtles.

Many American Robins.

A little sweet bee buzzed me and my husband.
Bee whispers.
It was time for us to leave.

The visitors center was closing.
We needed to start heading north.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Boca Chica

When a prescribed burn closed the wildlife drive
at Atascosa we decided to head over to
Boca Chica.

The pavement ended and we were out on the beach.

When Brown Pelicans flew over I gasped.

We parked right away.
I had never driven on a beach before.

There were all sorts of cars on the beach.
I felt pleased to have seen any birds.

It was warm on the beach in the sun.

Living in the Mid-west means I seldom see shore birds.
The Ringed Billed Gulls were easy to identify!

The other shore birds I am not certain of.

As we drove back to the Inn we stopped a few times.

The Prickly Pears were starting to bloom.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Laguna Atascosa

On the way to Laguna Atascosa, Texas,
we stopped to watch Roseate Spoonbills.

I believe this juvenile White Ibis enjoyed the company of the Spoonbill.

This area was near the road.
I saw abondoned tires and blowing trash.

The birds did not mind the passing cars.
They did weary of me taking photographs!

Roadrunners greeted us near the entrance of the refuge.

This refuge is made up of 46,000 acres at the southern tip of the Central Flyway.
7,000 acres are marshland, saltwater and freshwater.

We watch in wonder as this Sora fished.

The Common Yellow Throat did not seem to mind us.

Black-necked Stilts,

Northern Pintail ducks and

Glossy Ibis fed with a pair of alligators.

A Great Southern White flew about as we hiked.

I loved seeing the bugs!

We spotted a Tri-colored Heron

and a Green Jay taking a bath.

This was a wonderful birding day.