You are currently viewing archive for March 2011
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
An uneventful drive --- hooray!!!!! First day we drove about 750km stopping in Blytheville, Arkansas at a Walmart. For some reason a lot of the Walmart's in Arkansas put up height barriers to keep trucks out of their parking lots including this Walmart. Luckily one entrance was missing part of the barrier so us plus several other RVer's were able to get in. Ate the last two pasties we made at the RV park this winter ---- yum. Now I'll have to try and make some myself.

Second day we drove around 870km to Auburn, Indiana stopping at --- you guessed it ---- a Walmart. Ed entered the location of this Walmart into his GPS marking it as a great overnight spot as it was perfect. Close to the highway but far enough off so it didn't sound like the traffic was driving through the RV, easy to get into parking lot (no barriers!!) and not to busy.

Having driven a little further than we planned on day 2 we only had to drive around 580km today. The border crossing was a breeze --- drove straight up to a kiosk, handed over our ID, answered a few questions and drove off. Arrived home at 3:30pm giving us time to unload things we didn't want to freeze and winterize the trailer.

2011/03/27: Azaleas and Family

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Tyler is known for three things: smoked Turkey, the Rose Festival and the Azalea Festival. In past visits we've eaten the turkey and seen the rose gardens. Now we've seen the Azaleas. One area of Tyler is called the Azalea district --- this area has a lot of older homes and lots and lots of Azaleas.

This weekend, tours of historic homes were available as well as tours of gardens. The Azalea girls stood outside each home that was on one of the two tours.




It was good see all of my sisters family during our visit. The kids all love Zaph and enjoyed playing with him.

Ed and myself with our great niece Sarah and great nephews Timmy and Omar.

The kids.

2011/03/26: Tyler

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
After an uneventful (thankfully) seven hour drive we arrived in Flint, Texas (just outside of Tyler). Pulled into our spot, unhitched the trailer, opened the slides --- ohoh the 2nd slide won't open. Decided that the trailer wasn't as level as it should be and maybe it needed a board. So closed the one open slide, hitched up the truck, moved the trailer forward, put a board under the wheels on one side of the trailer .... oooops wrong side, tried again but on the correct side. Unhitched the trailer and yup the slide didn't open. Luckily it's the slide that really doesn't need to be opened. Another job for when we get home.

Had a very nice dinner last night at the restaurant where Ted (my youngest nephew) works. It was nice having him wait on us.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Yesterday we boated around the Aransas Wildlife Refuge, today we drove through the refuge. For whatever reason we didn't see a lot birds but we did see some other interesting things. Ed was a very good spotter .... helps that he has really powerful binoculars .... and he found a pair of Whooping Cranes way, way, way in the distance. There were people on the observation as well so we shared the siting with them.

Thistles and butterflies were everywhere.

Saw these deer from the observation platform as well.

This bullfrog was busy making a lot of noise.

On the way to the wildlife refuge is a small town, population 192, and this place with probably a population of about 10.

Back at the state park we took Zaph for a walk.

Our trailer. Pretty good location except when the wind was blowing .... almost lost the door a couple of times.

Interesting name for a beach. Apparently when the seaweed comes in this beach stands up to it's name.

Flower dog.

2011/03/24: Skimmer

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Early morning .... left the trailer by 6:45am .... still dark. Yes, Ed too. A birding trip on the Skimmer out of Rockport harbor leaves at 7:30am and Ed wanted to make sure we were on it. This is the 3rd time we've taken the trip with Captain Tommy and once again we loved it.

The main purpose of the trip is to see the Whooping Cranes. There are 417 Whooping Cranes in the wild, 281 are here in Aransas Wildlife Refuge. This group of cranes summer in Wood Buffalo in Alberta.


The birds are found in family groups of two or three birds: male, female and juvenile.

Although the birds will eat a variety of food, the blue crab is somehow a necessity in their diet. This group of birds caught a number of crabs while we watched them.



Coyote out on prowl. Although the cranes couldn't see him, you could tell that they knew he was there.


Long-billed Curlew.

Oyster Catcher.

A rookery. Great Blue Herons, Egrets and an Oyster Catcher were nesting. We even managed to see the greenish blue eggs of the Egret.

2011/03/23: Goose Island

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
A little further north is Goose Island State Park. This is another stop Ed, Zaph and I enjoy. This year we have a campsite right by the water. Zaph is a little sad as he doesn't get to go swimming at this park --- it's too rocky.

The ferry --- it takes less than five minutes to cross.

The "big tree" is near the state park. The tree is estimated at being a thousand years old.




2011/03/22: Mustang Island

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
The past four days have been relatively quiet. We spent a lot of time walking the seaweed covered beach --- I've never seen seaweed piled two feet high along the shoreline but apparently it happens as people didn't seem to be overly bothered by. A trip to Port Aransas, the National Seashore and the local Wal-mart (the trucks change oil light came on and given the number of kilometers ahead of us we decided to have the oil changed) were the highlights.

Roseate Spoonbill

Green-winged teal. The birds beaks were stirring up the sand.

There are a lot of geocaches on Mustang Island, one of which was out on these rocks. Ed did find it.

The boat is almost too big for the dock at this house.


The entrance at Mustang Island State Park.

One of our favorite places at the National Seashore is Bird Island Beach where the windsurfers play.


My guess is a Long-billed Dowitcher.

Great Blue Heron.

Northern Pintail.

Cormorants enjoying the sunset.

2011/03/18: On the Road

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Finished packing up the trailer this morning and hit the road north. The valley is getting a little warm, forecast is in the 90's for the next week or so and it's too cold at home so we're going to take a couple of weeks to make the drive home. First stop is one of our favorite places in Texas, Mustang Island State Park.

We knew it would be busy here as it is the end of the 2nd March break week but we were still surprised by the scene that awaited us at the beach.

One happy puppy.

A long walk on the beach ---- what a good way to celebrate a birthday. I had chosen a seafood restaurant called Snoopy's for dinner. When we arrived at the restaurant a little before six thirty and saw the crowd waiting we rethought the eating out idea. So it was spaghetti and a salad for my birthday dinner with a promise of fish once the March Breakers have left the island.

Happy Birthday Carol!!!!
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Wandered around the park this evening taking a few photos and saying good-bye to friends.

Leprechaun Zaph

Leprechaun Caitlin

The flowers were a little late this year due to the ice storm but they are putting on a show now. I think this is the bottle brush tree.

A close up of the flowers.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
The count down has begun .... one more sleep and we leave the valley starting the trek home. Ed was busy yesterday so we are 80% packed. A few things can be done today but most of what is left is last minute stuff so will be done Friday morning. Our friends John and Carol, who are also leaving on Friday want to go to Mexico one last time so the four of us are going today.

In between the packing I've been playing been playing cards and Ed has been answering computer and photography questions. He even fit in the time to get a camera that had been dropped hard in the sand functioning again.

Going to miss the valley but looking forward to the trip home and home itself.

2011/03/13: Birds

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
It's been more than a month since we've been to any of the state parks in the area. In fact, our visits to birding parks has been minimal this year probably due to a combination of bad weather, timing and other commitments. Our timing today at Bentsen state park was good as we saw a lot of birds --- regular ones and some visitors.

The park was a noisy place today as the hundreds of red winged blackbirds were busy singing.

I think this is a wild poppy.

An Altamira oriole.

A couple of Chachalacas

An Indigo Bunting starting to turn blue.

A Titmouse

A Grosbeak
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
Little Caity turned one years old today and her mom and dad decided to have a birthday party in her honor.

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A couple of the guests in their party hats.

The birthday girl with one of her presents.

Checking out the cookies that Zaph gave Caitlin.

The party moved to around to include a few other dogs. Thought it would be less hectic to have only a few dogs together at a time. Everyone got a party hat and party favors.

Time to blow out the candle.

Cake and ice cream..........yum!!!!!!!!

2011/03/08: Now that's a burger

Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
A friend went to Granny's Cafe last week and reminded me how much fun it is to share go to the cafe and share a burger and fries. Since John, Carol, Ester and Jim had never been to Granny's we invited them along .... six people are required to eat one hamburger and fries.

The "super hamburger"

John was given the job of splitting the burger. We were a little worried about giving him a machete.
Category: General
Posted by: The Agnew Family
I was street rep again this year. The job entails rounding up people on my street to help serve meals, set up tables and generally help out for two weeks of the season. To show my appreciation Ed and I hosted a party and since we were throwing a party we invited a few other friends as well. Oh, Zaph invited a few friends too.

We really appreciate the empty spot between our trailer and Glenn's trailer. The spot is short because of sewer clean out so the park doesn't put anyone in the spot. We borrowed Glenn's bean bag game and washer game and had a tournament.

Zaph and Delaney, one of his guests. Party's are tiring and sometimes you just need to grab a nap when you can.

A party always needs food. Ed and John grilled burgers and sausages. All the guests contributed something towards the meal so there was little work for me.

Hooray!!! I was told the party was a success. We ended the evening watching the new "True Grit" movie on the side of the trailer.