Monthly Archives: January 2015

Saturday morning

I have come down with a cold.  First cold I have had in a long time.  It stated with a sort of tickle in my throat and proceeded to a dry cough.  So far I am not overly congested, although I think there is a slight sinus infection.  Each day (and I am only into Day 3 of this) it is has been getting progressively worse.  I am hoping it peaks soon and I can return to normal.

This morning I awoke early as usual.  I lay in bed with my mini iPad and earphones and listened to a YouTube video of Billy Joe Shaver and Willie Nelson singing on the David Letterman show.  These guys are a couple of my favourite “outlaws”. 

Then I turned in to “Echoes” on WCMU.  John Diliberto, the host of “Echoes”, mentioned the passing of Edwin Froese on January 20th, the creator of Tangerine Dream.  His music was literally “out of this world”.  His album, Phaedra, came out in 1974.  I bought it and a whole new world of space music landed in my psychic and remains to this day.  I have not listened to the album for quite some time.  But today seemed like the perfect day for it.  The entire album is on YouTube, all 37 min 50 seconds of it.  So I lay in bed with my ear plugs and listened to the whole thing.  Magical.  Here is another link for anyone interested in reading a little more about Tangerine Dream.

That cup of morning coffee I just drank seemed to help my throat.  But I won’t be wandering too far from the trailer today.  Don’t want to pass this on to anyone.

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Posted by on January 31, 2015 in Uncategorized


while BBQ’ing the chicken

Shortly before dark this evening, while I was minding the BBQ, two RED-CROWNED PARROTS flew over the park squawking like crazy.

As most of my readers know, I keep various bird lists.  My “life list” is basically a “north of the Mexican border” list, as I have never birded in Mexico or traveled to any Central or South American countries.  My life list only has birds that I have seen.  “Heard only” doesn’t count on my list.  And this year I have been hearing a Barn Owl screeching periodically when I am in the dog park with Abby before sun-up and late at night.  I desperately want to put a check mark beside Barn Owl, but I really need to see one first.  I know it is around.  And I am looking.  Hopefully, one of these days it will appear.

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Posted by on January 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


Early start to the day

VERY foggy and dampish out there.  Abby and I have been for a walk already.  Now I will stay inside until this fog lifts.

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Posted by on January 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


the rest of the day

This afternoon I went to choir practice (each Monday and Thursday afternoon).  And then we went to the Mexican Fiesta here in the park.  They have a Mexican Fiesta Day each year here at the park.  There was about 400 people.  8 to a table.  For $10 each we got a typical Mexican meal.  An excellent Mari Ache (sp?) Band wandered around the room playing to each table while we ate.  Two (very weak, but delicious) Margaritas came with the meal. When everyone had finished their meal, dancers came out and put on a show for about 45 minutes.  It was a very entertaining evening.

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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


sitting outside early this morning

This morning broke with a clear, blue sky.  A bit crisp, but I just felt like sitting outside to drink my coffee.  Curve-billed Thrashers don’t waste any time, stepping onto the feeder for a quick bite.  The mockingbirds follow soon after.

I have gotten into the habit of putting my hummingbird feeder out first thing in the morning and then taking it down and putting it away in the shed once the bees show up.  I don’t want to encourage the bees to stick around and perhaps set up a home around the trailer.

As I sit here, it is interesting to watch a thrasher perch on the neighbor’s water line connection across the road and bend down to grab a drink as there is a small leak there and water droplets provide a sort of drinking fountain.

It is 8 am now and the park is beginning to wake up.  A few people have walked past on their way to the rec centre and the morning yoga and stretch session.  Cindy, lives in the trailer across the road, came out, got on her bike and road off.  The sounds of traffic over on the highway have increased and will continue to do so as the day unfolds.

30 or so Bronzed Cowbirds have come out of the tree behind the trailer and are feeding on the grass in right across the street, 25 feet away.  There is a single Brown-headed Cowbird in their midst.




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Posted by on January 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


Cleaning up

Spent the morning raking leaves around the trailer.  Earlier, while taking Abby for a walk, I saw a flock of Snow Geese (about 45 birds) fly over the park.

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Posted by on January 25, 2015 in Uncategorized


quite the day

I was up at 5 am to take Abby for her walk before I left for a day of back roads birding.  I picked up Diana Miller at 6 am and headed over to the Stripes Gas Station in Coombs to meet up with 7 other people from the Arroyo Audubon group at 6:30 am.  From there we drove to Ed Couch, Texas, to meet up with another birding group (another 7 or 8 people).

We started to drive the back roads caravan style.  The general direction was north and west of Harlingen.  In the afternoon, temps increased the point where we started to see butterflies.

Queen Butterfly

Queen Butterfly

We stopped at a pond near Delta Lake.  There were lots of ducks here, mostly Gadwall, but also Mottled Duck, Green-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Redhead, a Ruddy Duck and a LONG-TAILED DUCK (quite a good bird in the Valley).  There was also a Least Bittern calling, but remained hidden.  Nearby we also had White-tailed Hawk and White-tailed Kite.

We stopped at several more ponds, small lakes and grassland/pasture land.  Western Meadowlarks were seen everywhere.  We went back to McCook and saw the Mountain Plovers again.  Crested Caracara were seen in good numbers.  Northern Harriers, Harris’ Hawks and Red-tailed Hawks were seen in several areas.  Eared Grebes, egrets and herons were easily seen.  At one pond there were about 100 Tree Swallows.  In another spot there were approx. 75 Sandhill Cranes.  A brilliant, male Vermillion Flycatcher put quite a show.  There was quite a few warblers flitting around near the ponds.  While searching for Sprague’s Pipits (we dipped on this), we were treated to a field full of Pyrroloxia.  Kingbirds can be found quite easily.

Couch's/Tropical Kingbird

Couch’s/Tropical Kingbird

Someone in the group received a message about a GRAY-CROWNED YELLOWTHROAT at Estero Llano Grande State Park.  So off we went.  Had a bite of lunch that Diana made once we got to Estero.  And then we started to search for the warbler.  There was quite a group looking for it.  It had been seen shortly before we arrived.  We waited for about an hours and it finally popped up, giving everyone grippling views.  This LIFER wasn’t even on my radar list.  In fact, I had not even heard of this bird before.

After leaving Estero, we headed back to the park.  On the way, we had great looks at a Ringed Kiingfisher.  We also saw several Belted Kingfishers, but dipped on Green Kingfisher.

Ringed Kingfisher

Ringed Kingfisher

Bed sure is going to feel good tonight.

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Posted by on January 25, 2015 in Uncategorized