Black-throated Green Warbler
Side view of the Black-throated Green Warbler
Front view of the Black-throated Green Warbler
Ear Lowering, etc.
Bird Walk and Estero Llano Grande State Park
Last year we spent a fair bit of time at a new state park called Estero Llano Grande and decided to go and see how much it had changed. They have definitely done a lot of work in a year — the park now has a large pond with a lot of water birds in it by the visitor center. You can pull up a chair and watch at least a dozen different kinds of ducks of water birds.
Cormorants drying their wings, a snowy egret in front.
A Screech Owl hiding in the tree --- look closely as he matches the tree.
The headless bird --- he's preening his right wing I think.
I'm pretty sure this is a female Northern Shoveler.
Santa Anna Bird Walk
The RV park held a “luau” which consisted of a very good dinner and entertainment including “hula dancers”.
Two of the Citrus Fiesta Royal Court.
Nice old sports car ---- Ed thinks it's a Jaguar --- with more of the Royal Court.
Now is this a fancy golf cart or a miniature sports car?
I bet more men would do the shopping if all grocery carts looked like this.
The float from our RV park --- it won first prize!
A float in the parade.
Zaph's ready for the luau
A couple in the mood to luau.
Bob (a neighbour of ours) singing Tiny Bubbles as bubbles floated around and distracted him.
The hula dancers.
Another Birding Adventure
I think this is a Loggerhead Shrike.
I think this is a female House Sparrow.
Did you know you could drink Aloe Vera?
The naturalist at Bentsen State Park also runs a night program so we decided to check it out. We headed out at sunset to see what night creatures we might see. Javelina, raccoons and Screech Owls were spotted.
The father of the owner is explaining the harvesting process of Aloe Vera.
The fresh aloe vera wasn't that bad .... but it wasn't real tasty either
The 80 something year old father of the Aloe farm owner does sand art. We watched as you pour sand into the jar and pushed it around to make the designs.
The finished product --- a cowboy on a horse.
A field of Aloe Vera.
Rain, Rain Go Away
One day of solid drizzle and one day of solid rain ---- Zaph and Ed looked like drowned rats when they came back from a walk. Tuesday morning was spent at the library helping people with computer problems and in the afternoon one of the fellows Ed had talked to in the morning came over to trailer to continue the discussion. He’s a musician / songwriter from Hamilton, Ontario and was trying to figure out how to use the computer to aid his recording process — interesting stuff. In the evening we went to the rec center to watch our neighbours slide show — a Patriotic Show.. The show was well done and included some amazing photos they had taken. We made the evening a double header by show our Peru slide show.
Birds, Birds, Birds
It’s warmed up a little and stopped raining so we headed to Bentsen State Park for a walk and a chance to look at some birds. During one of our walks we were told about bird walks led by a park naturalist so I dragged Ed out of bed early on Sunday and Monday for the 8:15 walks. It’s always interesting to go with a knowledgeable person who not only recognizes the birds by site but also by sound. We were lucky enough to see a couple of birds who are primarily found in Mexico or south but have wandered into the Rio Grande Valley.
You can't be in the valley and not go to Nuevo Progreso. We made a trip across the border to check out the stores.
One of the many Javelinas
What's behind door number 1 ..... 2..... 3.... 4..... 5..... 6?
And there's 6 more doors on this side. We think it's a bunkhouse that sleeps 8 and has 2 bathrooms.
Someone's having a good time.
A display window above the shop.
Anyone need a parrot?
Bbrrrrr.... cold and rainy for the past few days so we’ve spent a lot of time inside the trailer. A couple of our neighbours came in a watch some of of our travel slide shows and we headed over to one to watch the slides of their trip to Switzerland ... I’m ready to go there now. Zaph does manage to drag us out for walks a few times a day. I know I shouldn’t complain as a lot of places have been hit hard with extreme weather .... couldn’t believe the pictures of ice hanging off the fruit in California.
Oh, we did get out for a bit of entertainment --- "the club" hosted a fun night and I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.
The hunter was treed by the two furious bobcats at his feet.
Yup, that's the gentleman's belly all decorated up to be a face.
Happy Birthday to Ed!
The gangs all here.
A cake for Ed.
The goalie (Zaph) stopped the ball in time.
Ride em cowboy!
Racing to the finish line.
We Still Like Our Trailer Best
Boating on the Rio Grande
A head cold had slowed me down for a few days but as I’m starting to feel better we headed out for a boat ride on the Rio Grande with a number of people from the RV park. The river is pretty quiet but I did spot a Kingfisher flying past the boat and the Border Patrol boats whizzed past us a few times.
The fellow in the trailer behind us is celebrating a birthday on the 14th and the woman in the trailer next to him is celebrating her birthday on the 12th so the neighbours decided to throw a surprise party for them. We had a great time a met a number of people.
One of the restaurants on the side of the river that we passed.
Ok, Mexico is to the north and Texas is to the south.... wait that doesn't sound correct. But it is --- the river bends around in such a way that it puts part of Mexico north of Texas.
The birthday people ---- Harold and Rosetta
Setting up for the party.
Even the party animal was invited.
We changed our travel plans and instead of heading south and east we traveled south to the valley for the month of January. The two month trek home will be through west Texas and New Mexico. Using our mapping software and the internet we found a nice park in Mission, Texas that has a homey feel to it. The park doesn’t have the amenities of most of the larger parks (pool, hot tub, tennis courts, etc.) but it is full of friendly people. Ed and I are going to Spanish class and Ed spent a couple of hours helping the "computer wiz" solve peoples computer and satellite problems. We also found some time to check out a few of the local butterfly and birding spots.
There's a train track at one end of the RV park .... luckily it's not heavily used.
Zaph and I enjoying the sun.
One bird with two heads ...... a pair of egrets in an interesting pose.
Green Jays, Altamira Oriole and a Red-winged Blackbird
Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal
A Hawk --- we think it may be a juvenile Sharp-shinned hawk
A tri-coloured heron
One of your worst nightmares when driving a trailer is putting the trailer wheels into a ditch. This RVer cut the corner a little tight and dropped the trailer wheels into the culvert. Eventually they were able to jack the trailer up and get railway ties under the wheels so he could drive out of the ditch. Luckily his trailer only suffered minor damage.
As the Rio Grande twists around southern Texas it creates some interesting parkland. We're looking across the river into Mexico.
A father and son enjoying the sunny day by the river.
The Anzalduas Dam
A couple of fisherman in front of the dam.
The Lomita Chapel has been in this location since 1899