Saturday, January 19, 2013

No Whoopers For Me

We've spent so much time on the boat in the past two months huddling inside on cold cloudy days and windy nights… we almost didn't know what to do with a sunny forecast!  We quickly figured it out!  

The Aransas Wildlife Refuge offers a glimpse into the world of the Whooping Crane.  We've never had the pleasure of spotting one of these huge birds and thought that maybe, today… would be our lucky day.  We took the Beater (little red Miata) out for a spin with the sunshine on our heads!

The Caracara
We joined a small group of "Snow Birds" on a complementary nature tour.  Larry, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable about the (few) birds we saw.  

Learning about the Carpenter Ant
He told of the different communities in the wild and pointed out some of the plants and trees that I had seen all my life without knowing their names.  

Pointing out the Wild Bay Leaves
The people were all very nice and I enjoyed hearing their comments from a "foreigner's" viewpoint.  They were gaga over the Mockingbirds!  (State Bird of Texas).  

The facility was very simple with a newly rebuilt tower with zigzagging ramp going up, up, up.  From the top, we could see for miles and spent quite a while spotting wild pigs and many birds with the binoculars.  

The last time Bruce and I were here, the wind was so cold and brisk it nearly took our faces off.  This day was quite nice.  

Bee on a Wild Thistle
Unfortunately, we saw no Whoopers…  One of these days, we're going to get lucky but not today.  But, the drive was sublime and we enjoyed getting out and doing something different.  There is always something different to see when Mother Nature extends her warm welcome, if you just take the time to look.

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