The tall bird stood tall over than the nearby sandhill cranes. The sunlight wasn’t great and so we headed down anther road to get closer to our first whooping crane of the fall season. It was a solitary adult size bird, but we couldn’t see any other white adults or any mixed color fledging, It was probably a two-year-old bird. It didn’t matter as the whoopers were back in Lamar!
Two cold fronts had passed though our area and while our friends up north wouldn’t describe them as “cold”, they kept us inside our fifth wheel. It stopped raining for a bit and we had decided to head over Copano Bay Bridge to see if there whoopers in Lamar. A newspaper had just written an article on the return of some of the whooping cranes to the Aransas National wildlife refuge.
Driving further up St Charles Bay, we stopped at a turnout and spotted another whooper standing on a point that we often kayak to and fish. It was watching two men and a dog working on their duck hunting blind, duck season had started, (one of the reasons we don’t usually kayak on weekends is the noise of the airboats taking duck hunters to and from the blinds).
A little nearer to us Renita spotted one, and then another whooper as they stood on another piece of land. They leaped into the air, beat their wings and landed into a nearby hidden lake. It’s a large lake and contains fish but we don’t kayak there anymore as it also is the home of a very large alligator!
The bird count was four whoopers, four sandhills, a flock of black belied whistling ducks and a single rosette spoonbill. We drove to Big Tree and walked around it, Reita can often hear the distinct call of the whoopers, but she didn’t today, (I can’t unless they are very close). There were a few monarch butterflies in the brush and we mused that perhaps they were some of the same ones we saw in Kansas.
Heading up eighth street we did catch a glimpse of a black crowned night heron adding it to our list, along with pelicans and white egrets that I had forgot to mention. It started to rain and so we returned to our winter home.
Thanksgiving arrived and most everyone gathered for our buffet dinner. Alan and Zita, the park activity directors had smoked, deep fried, and roasted four turkeys, (thank you both)!
The two days later the wind calmed and so we loaded the kayaks and went fishing to a nearby state park. The sheepshead had been eaten and we wanted to catch some more of the tasty fish. However, when we got to our spot, we caught fish after fish, but they were all too small to keep. Our friend
He kindly invited us over and we and as soon as we got situated Renita caught a fish on her first cast, (speckled trout are called weakfish in Florida due to their soft mouths and so we lost quite a few). Finally, Renita caught our first keeper.
It wasn’t too long before he caught his limit and left. The fish were in a feeding frenzy and small trout were hitting our bobbers! Renita swore that as her cast reached the water a fish had been waiting and took her baited shrimp before the bobber splashed down!
Finally, out of bait, we loaded the fish, Renita had also caught a keeper black drum, and we ended up with six trout and one black drum. I can report that the trout fillets, (a white-meat not unlike walleye), tasted great with the parmesan crusted recipe I had used before! What a busy week! Clear skies