Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.
Octagonal Bank of New Zealand banker's desk carved from Australian red cedar, Dunedin, circa 1883.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

For the Birds - Tues., Nov. 12

Not working for four days in a row has given me new energy. Three days in a row, I have been walking. Today, I revisited Mitchell Lake Audubon Wetlands a few minutes from our RV park for a 5K (3.1 mi) walk.

I had a late start to my day because I didn't go to bed until late, then the cats woke me up at 4:00 a.m. Long story short, I finally slept until 1:00 p.m. The Audubon wetlands close at 4:00 p.m. I hustled over there by 2:30 p.m. and I had 1-1/2 hours to walk, take photos and leave.

Each time I go to the wetlands, I strive to find different birds, i.e., ones that might be passing through or ones I haven't seen before. Today, I felt lucky to see two new birds for my list: the Northern shrike and the ruddy duck.

A definite cold front is passing through south central Texas. The wind was chilly, but it was a sunny day. I had on a T-shirt, fleece sweater and jeans. The temperature was wonderful for walking. Tonight, however, the temperature is supposed to drop to 34 degrees and there will be a wind chill making it feel even colder. The propane furnace will be running tonight!

Anyway, back to the walk. I enjoy walking in nature so much. The more I do it, the more content I am in my life. Beautiful and interesting scenes keep me going back.

Mitchell Lake Audubon's "office" and gift store.
Take a close look at the bird house below. Does it remind you of the office building above? Pretty cool bird house.
Audubon bird house.
A small bit of fall color: seed pods.
Looks like an invasion of UFOs.
Bird blind
Bird Pond.
Northern shrike - note the hooked upper beak.
Mourning dove.
Least grebe.
I want to hang out here!
American pelicans.
Northern shoveler
American avocet
Great egrets
As I walked (or ran) along, flurries of fritillaries flew up from the bushes beside the trail. In the photo below, I found four fritillaries, one open and three closed. Can you see them?

American avocet eating.
Ruddy ducks - I've never seen these before.
Northern shrike.
Because I love taking photos, I knew 1-1/2 hours wouldn't be enough for my 3.1 mile walk in order to make it back to my car by closing time. Every time I stopped to take photos, I ran for a couple of minutes to make up time. If you know how much I hate running, you will then know that I love taking photos that much more.

I made it back to my car at 3:59 p.m. At home, I had checked the location and time of "Gravity 3D." It started at 4:30 p.m. and I knew I could make it there in time. I hopped in the car and had freeway all the way to the theater. Just before I got out of the car, I was going to grab my credit card so I wouldn't have to fish for it at the ticket window. Epic fail. I forgot to put my credit card or cash in my fanny pack before I went walking. So, no movie today.

Tomorrow, I plan to walk in the morning, see my hairdresser at 1:00 p.m., and meet Bob to set up an account at a Texas credit union. U.S. Bank, where we have banked for years, is not in Texas.

Update: Jim and Peri whose 5th wheel was totaled by the flooding in San Marcos, Texas, now have a new-to-them 5th wheel and are all moved in. That was really quick. They found a used 5th wheel (in almost new condition) in Marble Falls, Texas. Congratulations, Peri and Jim!

Travel Bug out.


  1. Loved your walk through the wetlands..... reminded me of my walk through the Wildlife Refuge on Sunday in search of Trumpeter Swans. I recently saw Pelicans here also...Great bird pics!!

  2. We saw Gravity in 3D just last week at the Zion Imax theatre. Intense!

  3. I saw our first flock of white pelicans just the other day- they are moving south.

  4. We saw Gravity in 3D before we left Wisconsin. Although it got lots of hype and many people liked it, we were both disappointed. We didn't think it was all that good and not that much 3D to make it worth the extra money. Hope you like it better than we did.


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