Sunday, October 9, 2016

Staying i Texas for a little longer.

A Night Heron  giving me a great pose .

Just hanging out , most of the other Herons have already moved on as we have had a couple cool days and it has triggered the migration south .

Our duck families are almost done with their training and are enjoying the pond . With most of the other ducks having moved on we now await the arrival of the ducks from the north on their southern migration.

Just a joy to watch as they feed .

These Vultures are enjoying the fresh cut grass and are sunning themselves . They are also looking for the little critters that didn't make their way out from the grass cutters .

With the Alligator hunt over the ones who were in hiding are now making their presence known again.

Just a sunny day and all is good. Cooler nights and warm days make it perfect for them.

My favorite subject , I have been taking pictures of this one for the last several months and I'm always in awe as to the grace it displays as the hunt goes on in it's daily routine . 

A new born sunning itself .

One of those really still days and it's just perfect for a flight over one of the Refuge bayous .

Another one of the larger family groups on a little walk along the pond .

In the last week tens of thousands of Black birds have been passing through on their southern migration and the racket they make is just so beautiful to hear. It makes us glad to see the birds in such large numbers again . It brings back memories when I was little and the bird migrations would fill the skies .

Had a really still morning on the way to open the VIS in the Refuge yesterday morning  and all the spider webs were covered in dew with the sun just starting to light them up . All covered with natures jewels .

A spider checking out the early morning catch.

A different pattern in this web . It's a shame the goldenrod tore  a hole in the center.

A controlled burn going on in the Refuge . They are getting the marshes ready for the fall migration of ducks and geese . In the next two weeks more RV families will arrive and the Refuge will become a very busy place. First the Raptors will arrive in large numbers and then  ducks and geese by the tens of thousands, soon after that the song birds . So many different migrations . At least they do arrive a little spaced out . But it's just so wild when there is a hundred thousand birds of different species here .

This mornings Sunrise , it was just so awesome . The temperature here was 54 degrees and with no humidity it was a joy to be outside . This is the beginning of the weather change here and it's a welcomed relief . It's weird to have the AC cycle . The silence is weird after it running nonstop for the last 6 months.
So here we are in Texas still and we assume we will be staying awhile longer as we still haven't resolved Laurens medical issue. We met with a new doctor and he has put her on a new drug to see if we can clear up her problem without having to do surgery. It's a ten day regiment so we will once again have to be patient and wait for the outcome.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

I'ts really quiet here.

Now that the gator hunt is over they have started to show up again in the Refuge . The recovery of the Gators after their near total wipe out after Hurricane Ike has been really well managed and there were enough to allow 20 permits to catch one in the refuge were issued for  10 day window for the hunt  . The gators won this one as only a few were taken and now it is over .

There are still a few Lotus blooming in the pond but most have passed as the cooler weather is arriving. We haven't hit a 100 degrees now in almost a week. The next cool front may take us down into the low 80's in the day and some 60's at night . we haven't seen those temps since early April.

All the baby ducks are now grown and getting ready to migrate .These Whistling ducks have been flying all around the Pond and are ready for migration south from here very soon.

A Yellow Crown Night Heron out looking for dinner . We had several hundred that had nested here and the to will soon move on .

So many rain storms and so many Rainbows .

A young Spoonbill working a mud flat for lunch.

We were helping with a bird survey on one of the non public parts of the refuge and came across a bunch of new born were standing in the road .

As free range cattle they have no fear of vehicles and they moved along with us as we traveled .Some of them still had their umbilical cords hanging and had some dried birthing fluids on them . Just so cute .

                                                                                 We see a rainbow almost everyday .                                                               It looks like we will be here for at least another month or two as we will see Laurens surgeon on next Wednesday and will find out when she will have her surgery. We are missing the family at the Beach in NC  this week and will miss a wedding next week in PA,. But our needs are coming first and we need for Lauren to feel better again before we move on. If things drag out here for to long we will stay in Texas until next year . Then we go back to our normal travels     G

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Our back yard

The Ranchers' cows have taken to sleeping by our back gate to the RV pads .

Once again the Spoonbills are just loving the Rice fields .

They are so neat to watch as they feed ,

A Cormorant drying it's wings after diving for lunch .

This  is the first full size Gator we have seen in over a month. They really don't like the hot weather either.

This Hawk dropped into watch the Blackbirds work our feeder . It just hung out for a half hour and then just flew away .

Nature at it's best .

So many cows and so many Egrets .

Just a little conversation between friends.

A Big Heron drying it's wings and enjoying the sun.
Still in Texas awaiting the hospital tests for Lauren on Monday and Tuesday. Then we will figure out if we are moving to the Outer Banks for the rest of the year.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

It,s getting a little cooler

The rice fields on the Skillern Tract are ready to be harvested and the Herons have moved in for some easy eating .So many fine bugs to eat and so little time until the harvest .

One of the new rice fields in the main refuge are drawing in the Roseate Spoonbills and the Wood storks . We had several hundred Wood Storks here for almost a month. Now this one seems to have forgotten to move on with the rest.

We are still doing some odd jobs the best we can as the refuge has received over 26 inches of rain in the last two weeks and things are a bit muddy here. I even got the car stuck the other day on a path that we have driven on all summer . Needed to get one of the other government vehicles to pull us out .Yes we are still in Texas . We did finally get the truck all squared away  and then Lauren has had a recurring medical issues that we have to get resolved before we head east again. It appears we will miss our family week in Nags Head this year and once again we will miss another wedding . We hate missing family functions as we miss seeing family in the north East .

Some of our Whistling duck babies are now almost grown and are just so much fun to watch the parents training them .

Just a lazy day on the ranch fields . Egrets and cows just go together .Part of the Refuge is leased to the local Cattle Ranchers and it helps with defraying the cost of keeping the Refuge operating .
It's been raining and he is just so miserable .
Whistling ducks are moving around in large groups now. Getting ready to migrate as the young mature .
Water lilies are now chocking off many of the water ways here and this is just a small batch shot of a 1 mile back up on the refuge Bayou boat ramp. And yes the locals are still using it .Funny that as soon as the temperature drops into the low 70's they will all fade away.
Young Roseate Spoon bills trying their wings .
Their just so beautiful in flight.
After one of the many thunder storms this Rainbow popped up behind the RV. on some days we will se several and we even get to see both ends. Just no pot of gold has been found. We keep hoping.

Young Cattle Egrets trying their wings over the Pond Rookery

Some Herons hanging out on one of the dikes in Shoveler Pond

A few Stilts drying their feet on the pond loop road .On some days we see several thousand bird on the loop .

A heron coming in for a landing
So many different birds in the pond rookery. The government vehicle we drive is a hybrid and when we are taking pictures we go into electric mode and the racket the birds put up in the rookery is just awesome. Thousands of bird conversations all at once . Just neat to hear.
A small group of Spoonbills on one of the new rice fields. If it stops raining for a week or so the field can be completed. It still needs a few finishing touches.
A Heron waiting for us to leave so it can continue it's fishing for lunch .

A huge Clutch of Whistling ducks .
So now as it stands we won't be on the east cost until mid October if all goes well with Lauren's tests. We shall see?