Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Owl Prowl and Cattle Drive - Fri. and Sat., Feb. 6-7, 2015

It sounded like a good idea at the time: a night-time Owl Prowl at Mitchell Lake Audubon Center (MLAC) in San Antonio. After work on Friday evening, I headed down to MLAC for their special event. Sure we would be making S'mores with marshmallows, graham cracker, candy sclera, candy corn, and chocolate chips, kids crafts would be available, Sea World would be there with live owl talks, and then we would go on a hike "in the full moon" to look and listen for owls.

The reality of the Owl Prowl event was that it was over-crowded. Luckily I got there early enough to snag a seat. Quite a few were left standing because they didn't expect so many people. I estimate 80 people were there. The kids were having a blast dissecting owl pellets and doing crafts. The S'mores were cute (as they were made to look like owl faces) but not cooked. It was also quite cold and we were outside in a covered (but not walled) pavilion.

The most interesting part of the two-hour event were the two live owls, an Eastern screech owl and a barred owl, that Sea World wildlife instructors brought. Each of the ladies talked about the owl they were holding. We learned what they do and don't eat, how they sound, and what their place is in the environment. Very cool. I forgot my camera and my phone, so no photos. Pout.

When it was time for the hike "in the full moon," there was no full moon. You see, the full moon showed up in the early morning hours, not at 7:30 p.m. We took flashlights and lanterns out into the preserve to look and listen for owls. Everyone was told not to shine their flashlights in the trees because it would traumatize the owls if they were nesting. Guess what? Adults and kids were shining their flashlights into the trees. In listening for the owls, all we heard was noise pollution: people's barking dogs, cars on the road, honking cars. Our tour leader, the "bird nerd" Jason, did some owl calls to try to get them to respond. All we could hear were dogs in far-off neighborhoods. Oh, well. He did give us good tips if we want to look for owls on our own. He said it helps to have some kind of light in the background so the trees are silhouetted. In our case tonight, we had the lights of San Antonio off in the distance. Still, we did not see any owls.

I headed home with info about owls in my head and was feeling might cold. Maybe next time we'll find owls.

On Saturday morning I worked until 10 am, then joined some other people in our RV park to see the Western Heritage Parade and Cattle Drive in downtown San Antonio. We rode the bus downtown, walked to Houston Street where the parade would be held, and waited. Again it was cold, and windy. We had on heavy winter coats and gloves.

For the seventh year in a row, the Western Heritage Parade and Cattle Drive kicks off the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo. Domesticated longhorn cattle walk down Houston Street, followed by the parade which includes horseback riders, a band, bagpipers, Shetland ponies, sheepherders and their dogs, cavalry riders, Buffalo Soldiers, and wagons. It was quite fun to see all the longhorn cattle and cowboys on horseback driving them down the street.

Check out those longhorns
Those are some long horns on the cattle!
People ride longhorns??
They sure do!
This longhorn was feisty.
Dogs herding the sheep down the street
U.S. Border Patrol
Alamo City Community Marching Band

Percheron putting on a show for the crowd
Lovely ladies on horseback

Buffalo Soldiers
Shetland pony brigade
Love the little wagons
Las Monas Performing Company

Cavalry from Foot Hood
From Blanco, TX, Buggy Museum
From Blanco, Texas, Buggy Museum
Whiskey Wagon

Beautiful mules
After the parade, we headed back to the resort and I returned to work. As soon as we got back, the sun came out and the day became beautiful.

Saturday evening we had movie night at Travelers World RV Resort and watched "Man of La Mancha," a classic musical with Peter O'Toole and Sophia Loren. It had been years since I had seen the movie. Really a good one.

Tomorrow we're off to Port Aransas, Texas, to see Faye and Dave. We'll do a 5k Volksmarch and have lunch. Then we're driving over to Rockport to look for whooping cranes. It's supposed to be a warm day at the Gulf! Looking forward to it.

Travel Bug out.


  1. Did they have pooper scoopers following the parade??? Or was the mess left for the cars to distribute after the road was reopened??? :-)

  2. What a super experience! Those longhorns look a bit like weapons.

    1. The experience was fun and unique...not something you see everywhere. Those longhorns do look like weapons, it's a good thing they were bred to be docile.

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  4. you guys are busy, busy, busy. . .and sometimes, even when an adventure is a bust, you learn something. . .

    If you like the cattle drive in SA, then you would really enjoy the one at the Stockyards in Fort Worth. . .very, very well done also. . .fun days. . .

  5. Always did enjoy a good rodeo parade. I just could never understand how bagpipers fit into the cowboy genre.
    Enjoy your trip to Port A. and hoep you get some great photos of them Whooping Cranes.

  6. I've been wanting to do an Owl Prowl for awhile, trick is to find one here in a Wisconsin state park on a night where it's cold enough to keep most of the kids home, right? I'll have to check the events calendar again now that spring is approaching...kind of.


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