Sunday, February 20, 2022

A busy ten days!

It has been ten days since I last wrote a blog and it’s not because we have had nothing to write. I could have written five different blogs and so this one is going to be crowded. Our rv park has had a plethora of activities including our yearly Arts and Craft Show. We also had a Valentines Day Prime Rib Dinner. we went fishing twice, and out neighbors from Star Valley, Jo and Robert stopped by for a day of birding at Lamar.
Our Happy Hour group meets each day at four pm, (most of the people drink non-alcoholic drinks). It’s a gathering of as many as twenty-seven people and that means there are lots of special things to celebrate! One was the recent birthday of our dear Yooper, (Michigan Upper Pennisula inhabitant) friend Jane, (of Dave and Jane). Eighteen of the group gathered for pizza at our local pizzeria, Panjo’s. In our opinion it is the best pizza in Rockport and it didn’t disappoint any! Happy Birthday Jane!
Dave took Roy and I fishing, and we actually caught keepers. Many of the fish were too small but we got lucky and caught six keeper sheepsheads. Nothing like fresh fish! On another day Dave and I went fishing while Roy joined another group and fished from shore. While we caught quite a few fish, all were small, but its still fun to have a good day of catching.
Valentines Day is celebrated each year by the park celebrating by a smoked prime rib dinner. Our activity directors, Zita and Alan are second to none and Alan is a Pitmaster from Kansas City. The prime rib was the best we have ever had. Upon entry, Barb and Dan took pictures of every couple which are provided to all at no charge. No one left with an empty stomach!
Finally, we were able to spend a day of birding with our Star Valley neighbors, Jo and Robert. They were full-timers, and were in charge, last year, of the Escapees Rally at Rock Springs, Wyoming. They are traveling to the Maritime Provinces for the summer and have rented their lot out for the entire summer! As they had never seen a whooping crane, they called us and drove their rv to Rockport for a few days to check out the area. We agreed to meet at our rv park and Renita, and I guided them to Lamar. Of course, the birds weren’t waiting for us, so we went to Big Tree which is the biggest and oldest Live oak tree in Texas.
A flock of sandhills landed in a field but no whooping cranes were present and so we drove to Goose Island State Park. After driving through the campgrounds, we did spot a flying pink rosette spoonbill. We didn’t get any pictures, but it was the first time they have ever seen one!
Leaving the park Renita drove to Eighth street and as we came to the open filed and there was the whooping crane family of four! The juveniles have lost most of their brown color and only have a little on their heads and necks. They were waiting for a feeder to start to dispense food, and you can see the male watching the feeder, while the juveniles and female feed in the tall grass. Our number one goal for the day was reached!
On the way out a beautiful, northern belted kingfisher posed on a fence post. It was a perfect shot with great light but as soon as I lowered the window the bird took off. That is typical behavior for a kingfisher. Renita wa sable to get a great picture of a greta blue heron in its breeding plumage.
Still, it was a superb day of birding! Next week Renita and I are teaching a wire wrapping class in the park, one of two. Its time to pass on our techniques to others, and we are teaching the class at cost. We are also getting ready for our big show at Robstown, Texas. It is the Gulf Coast Gem and Mineral Societies annual show, except for last year when covid caused its cancellation, (for the first time in fifty-two years). Clear skies!

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

A Trip to Port Aransas with Pam and Roy

As we watched the birds at the birding center, a local birding volunteer asked me what kind of an egret was sitting on a post. I answered that I thought it was a snowy egret. He said that I was wrong, that it was a white morphed reddish egret. He directed my attention to the black legs and feet and described how most herons and egrets stand still and wait for food to swim nearby. Reddish egret, on the other hand, hunt in a drunken walk and often run to their prey. I thanked him for the information and now I feel good about telling the difference between the eight different white wading birds. They include the snowy egret
, (notice the yellow feet), the great egret, (yellow legs), the white morphed reddish, (with a two-color beak and black legs/feet), and the juvenile little blue heron.
Pam and Roy have arrived from the frozen wastelands of Iowa and are here for the next two months. Renita and I are so happy to see them after a three-year hiatus while Roy battled a long-term illness. He is on the mend now and so there will be more posts on fishing.
On the way to Port Aransas Renita stopped the car so that I could try to take pictures of the belted kingfishers that perch on the power lines while waiting for fish. My pictures are ok but I need to have better light to get great ones.We had a good day birding, with the usual sights at the LeonaBelle Birding center.
Besides the giant alligator, a juvenile dark morphed reddish tried to confuse me, and we spotted a brown form that we thought was a nutria but turned out to be an empty beer bottle
. All of us enjoyed our lunch at our favorite restaurant, Virginias, and we walked on the newly repaired south Jetty. Several big ships and a Coast Guard Cutter headed inbound to Corpus Christi.
One of them was accompanied by several dolphins but they were not going airborne as the prow of the unladed ship prevented the good wake for their leaps.
Omicron has passed through our park and all of our friends have now recovered, and out of isolation. One of the ways we celebrated was to hold our annual Blue Lagoons Craft show. It featured eight different crafts/artists. Unfortunately, the show was poorly attended due to the cold keeping most people indoors. Still, it gave us a good opportunity to set up our displays in preparation for next months Gulf Coast Gem and Mineral show in Robstown, Texas. That is one of our three big shows and this year we have expanded from four to six tables. That is because we now have increased our jewelry from fourteen to twenty display cases, (covid did not stop our continued love of lapidary and jewelry making and our displays were getting too crowded). It was a good day and a good start to the month, and we look forward to the many outings. Clear skies
ps we did spot the two whooping cranes but they were far away at Charles Pasture.