Wednesday, May 30, 2018

On the road sort of .

Well we left Anahuac yesterday with great hope of at least going our normal 200 to 250 miles . Well as always we made only 100 miles and the truck had a little fit . A check engine light and then as a diesel it went into creeper mode . That is it would only do 25 miles per hour . You know how well that works on any highway. We managed to find an RV Park close by and get the rig into a slot . That was a relief and then the other shoe dropped . Found a diesel shop who looked at it  and found the problem , but couldn't get to it for a week . So off to a GMC dealer and they got to the problem and then bam, $5000. to fix , oh well , just another day . Should have the truck back on Monday and back on the road . Yea. Still cheaper than new truck payments .                                                          G

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Finally Fixed , Maybe

I know it's been some time since my last post . It seems every time Windows 10 does a major update they always manage to mess up everything I have on this machine . Google Photo stopped working and it took me 10 hours of very pain full and just plain getting peed of to make it all to start working again . I guess Micro soft wants me to buy a new system . Only it won't be their  product this time . Enough wining from me .  I hope  you enjoy what few pictures I could find 

Well we finally took some time to do some sight seeing . We went to Austin , the state capital to see the State House and of course the most awesome sight you can witness there . Millions of bats pouring out from under the Congress Street bridge . We sat there for almost two hours and watched as a small stream of bats turned into a stream of tens of thousands . I only posted this one shot as they are really fast and my old camera isn't  All those little blurs in the sky are bats .. We enjoyed the view from our blanket down below in the park.

We went to the Fort at Goliad  that General Fannin from the Texas Revolution did his last stand . Here he and his men were executed after he surrendered to the Mexican army. In this picture you can see all the Flags that have flown over this Mission over the years .

One of the early Texas flags from the revolution .

Another early Texas Revolution flags . Funny how some phrases can inspire people .

As with most fortress structures in the west . The early ones started out as Missions , built by the Spanish .

This Flag has a great story . The folks wanting Independence from Mexico stated that they would rather cut off their right arm than stay under the rule of the Mexico . So they flew this flag in defiance over the Fort .

Lauren standing on the Monument marking the mass grave of Fannin and all his men .

Very sad , when you see all the names of the 445 men who died here.

In the Refuge we have a pair of Crested CaraCaras who have now brought into our area a new little one .

Mom on her nest on one of the refuges solar water towers .

Here it's been summer for almost a month and there are young every where we go now . Lots of baby Gators .
All manor of Cactus and flowers are in bloom.

As and added bonus , we have Roseate Spoonbills are nesting in Shoveler Pond . The main object of most visitors here .

Lots of Ibis and Herons on the marshes . Here in East Texas it hasn't rained now in almost a month and things are really dry . a number of the marsh areas are now just dry, cracked mud .

Well I hope I can keep this Computer going for a little longer . I really miss sharing our pictures here . We re also lookin forward to our next adventure. We leave here in 17 days and move onto a new refuge for us and do a little sight seeing on the trip up north . New Jersey of all places . 

Friday, March 23, 2018

March is almost done

As we do our Salinity testing the amount of new born's are just amazing . With the temperatures in the high 70's , everything is just blooming and so green .All the trees are shooting out their leaves and yes, Allergy season is also in bloom.

Handsome man . Just watching and protecting his ladies .

As we travel the interior roads of the refuge the young ones just have to run with the truck . All kids are the same . If we stop they stop and look to see if we are going to move ahead .

So many birds in the Refuge that no matter where you look you see hundreds of them.

Getting all your Ducks in a row . So many Coots .

This Osprey has had enough of the Grackle . Just go away .

We were at McFaddin NWR picking up trash along the Inter coastal waterway and the wind was so wicked . It was 70 degrees and we were frozen.

Just taking in some sun.

So many shore birds . We looked hard to see any leg bands as we could have banded the Turns 3 years ago when we were at Pea Island NWR.

The Royal Turns with their Beautiful Head feathers are so neat to watch .

Bitching at us to move on and leave them alone . We did as we drove along the Gulf on the Refuges beach.

Our new bird feeder . The Raccoons finished off the old one with a savage jump up to it . 5 feet off the ground .

A Green Heron taking advantage of the beautiful weather .

A big old Yellow Eared Slider that I relocated off the main entrance road . It seems to some people that anything on the roadway is a fair target .

We took a little trip up into Hill Country with our friend to see if the Blue Bonnets were in bloom . We found a lot of flowers but we seemed to be about a week early . There were plenty of flowers to see but not as many as the last time we went there. Its amazing that all the road sides are just covered . The legacy of  Johnson administration with planting flowers on all of Texas's roads.

Just a few LongHorns on one of the many small Ranches in the College Station area.

Came across some of the Scottish cows we saw when we were in Scotland many years ago .

The young Scottish Cows are so cute , they look like Wookies .

And they come in different colors .

These next few shots show two Donkeys either loving one another up or they are biting the heck out of each other ,

Two look like one

Just extra legs .

I think I'll just bite you ear a little .

Blue Bonnets on the grounds of the Washington on the Brazos State Park. Where Texas signed it's Declaration of Independence .All the other Blue bonnet pictures are all along the road sides everywhere in Texas .

Just flowers no matter where you look.

Just pretty

Nice .
So we have been in Anahuac now seven weeks and the weather has finally turned , just lovely . Warm temperatures  and a cool breeze makes sitting out in the evening with the other Volunteers very pleasant . Our friends from England arrived two weeks ago and it makes our evening chats all the more interesting. Had to get used to the Yorkshire  accents again, but it came back quickly . We are a very diversified group this stay and it is always a lively session .          G

Saturday, March 3, 2018

March Alredy

Cormorants waiting for me to make a move . We are  doing Salinity testing  and they are always annoyed by our intrusion .

Willits feeding on one of the back area marshes where we go to do more testing . On our average test day we travel 97 miles inside the refuge to get at 92 test points .

There are just thousands of birds in the Refuge right now . Every where we go we stir up large groups of just beautiful birds of all kinds .

A Roseate Spoonbill just loving the warm days here . 77 today .

Snow Geese and Ibis , adult and juvenile take wing as we roll by .

Cute face on this little guy

More Roseate Spoonbills on Shoveler pond .

Caught this Blue Heron flying off as I walked into one of our check points in the main refuge

A White faced Ibis giving us the bird eye as we passed .

As the Turtles come up from the cold waters of the marsh we do spend a lot of time stopping and moving them off the road .

Just a little annoyed at me .

Caught this Hawk getting ready to make a nest along side of one of the access roads in the Refuge .Hope she keeps a lower profile later  on.

This is one of the harder spots we do for Salinity testing . a long walk through the cow poo out to the water control structure .

A couple of quick throws and the numbers are ready to be recorded .

The cows are all so nosey when I'm in their field . These are all free range cattle on the refuge .

A walk back through the poo and on to another area .

The fishing is good by the outlet and the Cormorants are lined up .

A Great tail Grackle fishing on the other side of the outlet and doing well .

This year we have a good number of Northern Crested CaraCara on the Refuge and one pair has taken a liking to one of the Solar water pumps for cattle .

Seems like a good spot ?

Didn't like that piece of grass in the nest .

This piece is so much better .

More birds as we move through the non public areas of the refuge .

And sometimes we just have to move very slow as these girls are in no hurry to let us pass .

Maybe e can get them in a row so as to slowly go by .

So many little ones every where that it's hard not to just love their little faces .

One of the really cool jobs we do is the Salinity testing to make sure that the Marsh is healthy . The salinity is important as the shrimp and crabs and many fish species cannot breed unless there is the perfect mix of both.