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♥ Hootin' Anni's Day Trippin' ♥

Updated: 2018-01-19T23:23:47.354-06:00


The Shape of Things to Come...


Are you like me? Do you look at clouds and see something in the formation? Does a cluster of leaves, way off in the distance, on a high tree branch resemble an animal/bird? The coffee shop specialties with design cream/froth; do they look like a fleur de lis to you? If so, I am not alone then!!A few weeks back, when I was trekking Malaquite Beach at Padre Island National Seashore [federal park], I was nearing my 10K step total, and decided it was time to turn around to get back in the car and return home. As I watched for any other birds out along the shoreline, I too was looking at my feet at times to search for sea beans and/or shells. Whole shells; not the many broken ones seen all over the shifting sand. Then, of course, being a bit 'bird brained' I spotted a small piece of driftwood that the more I looked at it, the more I could 'see' resemblance of a hummingbird!!!I put the piece of wood in the car's trunk and headed out of the parking lot from the visitor's center ...I finally get home, and took the piece of wood out of the trunk and placed it on Bud's work bench to dry out..Now, this is something I have NEVER done before.  Bud has many times and I have most all his pieces from his childhood days of whittling up to his last piece he did - - a coyote sun worshiper, that he carved and I painted and dressed in Native American garb...When the wood I brought home was good and dry, I asked Bud for one of his carving knives, and slowly started whittling away - yes, I know!...I'm not supposed to carve toward me, but I did anyway!!! The only things missing were my spittoon, rocking chair, and covered porch...Before I go any further, yes...there ARE tropical hummingbirds with CURVED bills...the Purple Throated Carib hummingbirds [and green throated also]I started with the beak and made it thin and pointed....if it broke off then no loss - I could just toss it and not have wasted a whole lotta time on the body ...getting close to finishing it, I realized the wings were quite a bit out of proportion, so I went in search for more driftwood on Luby Beach this time...found a perfect piece...all that needed to be done was a bit of sanding.  And then, I cut and added a 2nd thin piece for the 'other' less visible wing.  While walking that same beach, on the other side of the channel, I found a piece I could use for the base... ...I mounted it on the base, varnished it and it's now titled "BEAN" as in Carib BEAN [sea...where they are found]Luckily, I didn't BREAK anything as I carved....KNOCK WOOD!!!![...]

More photos of park...


On Interstate 69 heading into the town where Lion's Park is, crossing the Mission River... Part was much prettier this time walking...the ponds were cleaned out, the paths were once again walkable without avoiding large fallen tree debris, the sky was beautiful, the leaves were golden!! If you missed PART I of the walk in the Park, click HERE[...]

The Day of the Buzzard...


At Lions-Shelly Park one morning, I was a bit alarmed at all the hundreds [literally] of vultures! They were perched in EVERY tree, soaring silently in the sky, walking the park grounds! With every step I took, they were watching me. Perhaps I shoulda showered before I decided to walk the paths ... maybe I was part of their menu ... on a chilly day, they could dine on a WARM meal!!Anyway, this time, the park was near clean. The little town of Refugio, tough as it is, has worked diligently to make the paths walkable. I spent a couple of hours there...this will be a two part album of photos. Part II coming soon.Photos of the same park before the hurricane damage clean up....HERE[...]

Mobile VS. Desktop Viewing...


I can't recall which blog I read this from, but it was regarding what you see on a blog viewing it from a desktop vs. any mobile device. And, how they appear different [without any template theme on the mobile device versus viewing on a desktop WITH the template theme visible].

Well, there are two options. One for the visitor:

If, when you're on a mobile device such a smartphone and see only a white background on blogger blogs, you can scroll all the way down the page and find "View Web Version". Click on it and the page will reopen with the template theme and colors the blog administrator designed.

Then, for the blog administrator:

You can edit your blog preferences by following these two simple steps [in Blogger]:

Once you are logged into your blogger admin, on the sidebar, click Theme...then, your Live on Blog and Mobile will show just to the right of the listing...Under the "Mobile" click on the gear cog icon.


The new window will open and Click the Radio Button 'No. Show desktop theme on mobile devices"


A new "Hoodie"!


During the Christmas break, while waiting for others to wake up, being alone and trying to remain quiet for the late sleepers, I took out my sketch pad...


...and after the first outlining, I decided to try my hand at doing a colored pencil sketch instead of the lead pencils I usually use. The most recent sketch is of a male Hooded Merganser. On my bird photography blog, I'd Rather B Birdin', I recently posted photos of real life mergansers if you'd like to see them HERE.


Oh Oh! An Accident, Waiting to Happen?


On a beautiful, but windy, morning I left early to drive to the island to check out the hurricane Harvey clean-up progress in the 'hard hit' area of Port Aransas. My special birding spots are still in disarray, but I see some improvements here and there. The park road into the Charlie's Pasture, along the ship channel, is still closed to traffic. The mountain of debris outside the village is now just a mole-hill and soon will no longer be there - soon, just a memory of days gone by.I drove to the beach and walked some even tho the wind was nippy coming off the frigid Gulf. As I neared the ship channel and jetty I watched for the cargo ships anchored out on the water, waiting for the pilot boats to reach them to allow a channel pilot to guide them through. The air was very clear and as I looked across the channel toward Aransas Pass [another little town across from Port Aransas] and could see the damage to the Lydia Ann Lighthouse roofing,. Nearby, a brown pelican was warming in the early sunshine... Paying closer attention now, I heard a strange sound...a gurgling sound from what I figured was water...and it seemed to be coming from just under my feet...Off to my right I found the sound source. The ship channel water was washing UNDER the jetty, on to the beach area! That's not good!!!!! So, after the startled reaction, I sat on a large boulder and recorded the sound and water rushing through.... allow="encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" gesture="media" height="315" src="" width="560">[...]

Under the Mighty Oak...


Went to West Guth Park along Up River Road [alongside Interstate 37] to check for Long Billed Curlews that frequent this area in the winter. Upon arrival and finding a place to park the car so I could get out and walk the grounds, I didn't find any curlews, so I utilized the camera on scenery... ...After climbing the hills and sidewalks I came upon the park's duck pond. Under a mighty Live Oak Tree a number of Fox squirrels were busy dining on the acorns that covered the ground. I always get a kick out of watching these and their busy routine while feeding. So cute... Squirrel: I realized I am what I eat.....Nuts.After walking around a couple of hours, I decided to return home. Still, I thought to myself as I slowly made it through the park to the exit..."No curlews today...wonder where they are?" Just as I neared the park gate, a flock of long billed curlews flew in and landed on the grassy knoll!! I took photos for my other blog, then left.[...]

...You Are HERE [x]


Yesterday, the first day we had some sunshine, and I was elated. I couldn't wait to get outdoors and walking. I drove to Calallen Texas [a suburb of Corpus] to walk around the park and river.I knew I had come to the right spot since 'they' say "X MARKS THE SPOT"!!!Walking along the golf course boundary I spotted two white tailed deer watching the golfers......finally spotting me with my camera, they fled the scene... ...from the hawk watch platform, the view of the valley and ponds....a forest of Spanish Moss covered trees...a fence post along the field... [...]

December Day Trippin'


I bought a laptop! Now, it's getting used to a new-fangled keyboard, etc. Bud and I disconnected our cable altogether, and I'm now using a whole new way of connecting to the internet. After over 20 years of desktop computers, this will take teaching an old dog new tricks. For one thing the 'ctrl' button is not in the same area as a desktop keyboard, and I have no mouse [which I don't want], and only the touchpad - - but I continue, for now, reaching for the mouse and it's not there. Not to mention the delete key is misplaced!! lolHere are more photos from last week during the Christmas break:Adult LlamaLlama calfErik at the PondsA flock of Sandhill Cranes at Chapman RanchFungiHorns cut!!  Sad...Above the fence front of the tree outcropping...Sandhill Cranes...zooming in on the Cranes![...]

...but the fire inside's delightful!!!


1] If pro is the opposite of con, what would then be the opposite of progress?2] Whoever said "nothing is impossible" clearly never tried slamming a revolving door.3] Being British means driving your German car to an Irish pub to have a Belgian beer, then grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way home where you rest on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV.4] It's funny how many people get mad when a sentence doesn't end as they carrot juice.5] I heard the Secret Service had to change their commands. They can't say "Get down!" anymore when the President is under attack. Now it's "Donald! Duck!"6] Vegans believe meat eaters and butchers are gross. But those who sell you fruits and vegetables are grocer.- - -The week of Christmas and after, the weather certainly didn't cooperate for us and our company. It was cold, gray, and drizzling all but one day! That meant not much getting outdoors to show the area in any clarity. We did go to a couple of movies, the newly released Darkest Hour [about Winston Churchill] was excellent, and I trust surely it will be nominated for best picture...maybe best actor and direction...and perhaps best set. It was outstanding. Gary Oldman wore a fat suit in this movie, looking quite strikingly like Sir Winston Churchill. I recommend this movie to anyone!!! For me, truly, a FIVE STAR rating out of five.Then, because of the movie mentioned above, Darketst Hour, we thought we'd 'follow up' on the subject therein and see the highly acclaimed WWII movie, Dunkirk. IMDB critics gave it an 8.5 rating out of ten. Nope, nope, nope!! To me it was a flop!! Terrible all the way through. The music, the story how it flipped around from the battle on sea, land, and aboard ships/ fighter planes and going from night to day. I would give it a minus ten.As I mentioned: The weather outside was frightful... ...and this coming week, believe it or not, there is one day predicted with a low of 28°!! I think I'll move back to Colorado [jk]HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!!![...]

2017 - 12 Months in Pictures...


We have company for the holidays arriving here around noon on the 20th, so I will not be online much, if at all, during the visiting. I will take this time to share one photo taken each month during the year 2017.   Most of the year was a good one...there were trials to overcome and yet, good, happy days.  2017 will go down in my own personal history...I survived a hurricane coming into our city at a category 5 when it made landfall, luckily, for us in Corpus we got the 'back side' of the coulda been a lot worse!!! I survived a 2nd snowstorm since we've lived here in south Texas, and so much more.  Right now tho, instead of going into any more detail, I will share from my photo cache from each month [I save the photos by month so I know what time of year to return to places of interest]:   A year in review....JANUARY:  Yucca along the Nature Trail at Padre Island National Seashore Park FEBRUARY:  Bougainvillea along Sand Dollar Drive near Packery Channel ParkMARCH:  Paradise Pond at Port Aransas TexasAPRIL  Opposum at Blucher Park in Corpus ChristiMAY  Tri Colored Heron at Leonabelle Turnbull Nature CenterJUNE:  Texas Sage Blooming at parkJULY:  Black Angus Cattle Grazing Near Navigation HighwayAUGUST:  Many Black Bellied Whistling Ducks and One Egret Flour Bluff TexasSEPTEMBER  A Massive Downed Tree from Hurricane Harvey's Wrath [city park]OCTOBER  Pink Turk's Cap [Hybrid...they're naturally RED!!!] Oso Bay WetlandsNOVEMBER:  Cactus Blossom outdoors Botanical Gardens DECEMBER:  The Gulf...before the snowfall.  Mustang IslandI wish you all a very merry holiday season; that your Christmas is joyous and your New Year Celebration is happy!!  God Bless....I'll return soon...{I don't really know when}  I started blogging on Christmas Day 2007...this upcoming year will be my 11th year to keep blogging...I look forward to 2018[...]



Life size Nativity in town...Sunday morning before the football games were televised, I had to get to the store to buy some groceries for snacking and dinner that night. The sun was out, the sky was clear, and before we headed to the store, we drove to a home in town that was shown on the local news. The owner of the home has annually created a Christmas yard display...adding to it every year. I admit, we were there many years ago, and when we found the house this year, IT WAS INCREDIBLE!! Let me describe it a bit first. In his yard, he builds his own stable, using natural-found things with the likes of palm fronds, spanish moss, driftwood and stone. EVERYTHING he creates is life-sized! - - -  On the opposite side of town there is a large neighborhood that is called Candy Cane Lane [not just one street, but several] that is decorated with lights!!!! More of our tree with lights glowing on the decorations - angels, icicles, ornaments and snowflakes... Ann, at Ann's Snap Edit Scrap showed us a project she tried with Dollar Tree purchases; making gnomes. I thought they were so cute, I had to try it. Altho, I had no beard items, I improvised and used what I had on hand...cotton balls for the beard. [...]

Whispers of the Forest....


Oftentimes when I do drive up to the area of Pollywog Ponds, the trails that go off into the woodsy areas, off of the main path, the high grasses and dense growth along the paths keeps me from taking those extra routes ... for many reasons. Wet knee-high grass, venomous snakes [copperheads, coral, and water moccasins], spider webs woven across the path from tree to tree, and wood ticks that are hidden in the grass!! So, when the paths ARE mowed by the city crews, I take advantage of it all, and walk through the medieval forest of calm and solitude. Sometimes, when I'm in there, alone, I let my imagination run wild... a knight in shining armor astride a black Andalusian, watching me in the thicket as his steed's breath creates a foggy mist; he follows me through the shadows! I listen to all sounds around me...sometimes I stop to search for critters...other times, just enjoy being alone in the woods!!!Several days ago the trails were mowed down...This day, I was equipped with mosquito repellent!!  Off, I went.  I ventured through and walked the off trails through the woods where the paths were carpeted with fallen leaves and the sounds of silence beckoned me to enter, enter the days of yore on an adventure of the forest primeval... The last photo, back out in the open, I look behind me where I had just walked...the open world again, and the interstate traffic beyond tells me my adventure is over.My book of imagination closes....[...]



The sun punches through in a white shining ballTo the sound of a single unseen seagull's call...Morning Joe MurphyDuring the late autumn and early winter around these parts of South Texas, "patchy fog" is a given if you're out in the early morning hours. Sometimes, it can be so thick that visibility is near nil!!! I was out driving in those conditions the other day [before the cold front moved in and snow fell] to head out for my walk along Pollywog Ponds. When I left home, it was clear. By the time I got on the freeway there were spots of thick fog build-up drifting low on the ground. It was pretty. Then, I'd find myself driving in the clear with patches of blue sky above. Once I got to the area for my walk, I was hoping the fog would be hanging low on the ponds and river bank. This is what I encountered: The smaller the first photo there is an American Coot on the water [dark spot] and in the second image there are a couple of ducks [look for the disturbed water at left center] Looking from one pond through the trees to the fog lying low along the other pond in the background.  And, looking through the trees along the river bank [Nueces River] The Nueces River [both images] there is a motor boat in the 2nd image Clearing skies above the larger pond and the river in the other photo. Patchy fog looking over the ponds to the fields.Another post coming soon...the Forest Medieval [...]

SNOW in South Texas!


rainfall the day beforeIt all started with near flooding rains...then, Yes! A little after midnight on Friday Morning [December 8, 2017] the white stuff began falling from the sky just as the weatherman predicted! It was wet and heavy. But after a few days of mild temps prior to the storm, the ground was still warm enough for the snow to not stick around at the beginning....but it soon dropped to near freezing and the snow began to accumulate. In all total most parts of the area - from the coast to several miles inland, it was tallied anywhere from 3 to 4 1/2 inches!!! The streets were okay, but I made sure before I went out driving that it was ABOVE FREEZING to get some photos of this historic event.The last time it snowed in Corpus Christi was the year 2004. the bougainvillea  and lantana covered in snowfall - the patio back yard pelican statue and yellow snow capped hibiscusthis is our home...I was up out of bed, dressed in my layers of clothing, at 1 a.m.....traipsing outdoors taking photos with my cell phone!!  For most of the early morning hours, it continued to snow.  I left around 8 in the morning to drive to the nearest city park to take more photos...I admit it was pretty....growing up in Colorado where the snow stayed on the ground from September to April in the foothills of the Rockies, I was enjoying it all.  Then, by the time I reached home again from the photo shoot...I had enough.  I wanted the sun to come out and warm up again!!!  By 4 in the afternoon, it was clearing out, most of it melted away.  I can wait another 13 years for more...not all that excited about it any more.I TOOK DOZENS OF HISTORIC PHOTOS and made a special blog for them.  If you'd like to see more of the neighborhood at 1 a.m. and again later, click here.  If you'd like to see the snow on the pond in the here.NOTE:  the two blog posts linked above are heavy with photos!!! [...]

My 2nd Quilt...This time...Christmas Themed.


A few weeks ago, I asked if you could guess what I was going to do with these material pieces.  Long ago, I made my first ever machine stitched quilt for Halloween.  And, at that time, I swore I'd never do another.  This quilting is truly an art I'm not 'cut out to do' and it is something I would  call work!!  I have found out over the years, I can no longer stitch a straight line [and I used to make my own clothes often!].  Well, I weakened a bit, and decided to give it another go...:...a couple of visitors guessed correctly. I had plans of taking the Santa Panel and make a small quilted throw for the living room couch.  It's been cold and rainy with no outdoor activities possible, so I sewed - - - As I worked on cutting and sewing squares to the panel, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to be on the back side. I chose to make a panel of evergreen and pine cones print, and draw a Santa Boot Pattern on a piece of paper and cut out pieces in black [for the boot shape] white [for the fur trim], and use some scrap pieces for holly [green] and berries [red]... After 'quilting' around Santa, the cardinal, and the holly, to finish, I then framed the blocks of Christmas print with red, green and white, and quilted those. The finished size is 70"x96". About the dimensions of a crocheted/knitted afghan......thoughts of an Easter Panel crossed my mind!  NAH!!!  I think I'll end this madness before I need Prozac.[...]

Everywhere You Go...


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around Hootin' Anni's place!!! ...and by the week's end, there is a cold front moving into our area....predicted lows will be in the 30 degree range with rain. Ummmmm, maybe spitting snow? With those temps, snow is possible. Just a pipe dream probably. It DID snow here on Christmas Eve 2004....We'll see.[...]

There Should Be a Book for Congress..."How To Run a Country for Dummies"!!!!!


So, as I normally do, I check my texts from the night before during my breakfast. Then, I skim through the news. I was startled, and eventually laughing at this article:
    Posted: Nov 29, 2017 12:06 PM CST 
    Updated: Nov 30, 2017 7:28 AM CST 
    By MATTHEW DALY Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) - A key House committee on Wednesday approved a Republican bill to expand gun owners' rights - the first gun legislation since mass shootings in Las Vegas and Texas killed more than 80 people. On a party-line vote, the Judiciary Committee backed a bill that would allow gun owners with a state-issued concealed carry permit to carry a handgun in any state that allows concealed weapons. Republicans said the reciprocity measure would allow gun owners to travel freely between states without worrying about conflicting state laws or civil suits. The bill was approved 19-11 and now goes to the House more

You may be asking "Why is Anni laughing at this article?"
Well, I'll tellya. But first, I hafta ask "Have any of the Congressmen/Congresswomen ever READ our country's Constitution?"
Again, why?
Ummmmmm, it seems that there is this "law" which has been around for centuries already!!!! And it's stated in the Bill of Rights!!!! To be exact: Article IV Sections I and II.
    Section 2: Rights of state citizens; rights of extradition ... the right of a citizen of one State to pass through, or to reside in any other State, for purposes of trade, agriculture, professional pursuits, or otherwise; to claim the benefits of the writ of habeas corpus; to institute and maintain actions of any kind in the courts of the State; to take, hold and dispose of property, either real or more

In simple terms, each and every citizen has a right to be protected if your state allows carrying a concealed weapon, and the said citizen carries the weapon across the state line into another state which doesn't have such a law....just remember: Article IV Section I and II - you are of legal right to transport any and all personal property into another state. And this law has been around since 1791 when it was ratified. So, I laugh..."Why are those dummies in Washington wasting tax payers' money on the hours and time to rewrite a law/bill that already exists?"

Bill of Rights image courtesy of Google images

What's My Line?


:::applause::: Mystery Bird, enter, and sign in! One question each, from the panel of four:Q: Where are you from?Mystery Bird: I usually live in Old Mexico and farther South into Central and South America.Q: How often do you travel to Texas?Mystery Bird: I've been expanding my horizons since 1970s and ventured, only occasionally, into Southwestern USA; traveling to parts of Arizona and sometimes into the Rio Grande Valley of the great state of Texas.Q: Do you have a special song in your repertoire?Mystery Bird: A rattling whistle on the wing!Q: Since you're a rare visitor to our country, where do you stay?Mystery Bird: I love being near water. And some think I'm reclusive since I perch higher than my American cousins; in the trees.ADDENDUM:  Mystery Bird Revealed HERESeveral days ago, I got a message telling me that a rare bird for South Texas was seen at a nearby park. Tho it was the day after it was seen, I took a drive to the park in hopes I'd find it still in our area. I drove to Labonte Park along Interstate 37 just before the Houston Texas interchange of Interstate 69 corridor. The park is on the Nueces river where there is a spillway dam which halts the salt water from the river's fresh water.Along the way, as I walked the park's grounds, there were many birds. Mostly seagulls, sparrows, and grackles. I was greeted by several crested caracaras [Mexico's national eagle to the Mexican citizens], a solitary spotted sandpiper, and a couple of great blue herons. But, even tho the grackles are considered a nuisance bird like a pigeon, I have a new-found appreciation for them! You see, if it weren't for dozens of grackles high up in a tree, I wouldn't have found the MYSTERY BIRD!!! Spotted Sandpiper along the spillway banks, and a bridge that leads to nowhere! The spillway was dry, so I climbed over the steel barricade and stepped out on the dry dam in hopes of having a better viewing vantage point.  The first photo from the dam, is looking in the direction of San Antonio [fresh water], the second photo is looking toward the Gulf of Mexico [salt water].  Labonte Park is on the right bank of the fresh water photo. During the park's 1/2 mile walk one-way, I encountered many many crested caracaras.  Two were perched in a tree on the other side of the river.  A great blue heron stopped to check for fish along the dry spillway dam.And finally a bit of search saga....while the grackles were making their usual loud ruckus in a large oak tree, I stopped to see if I could count them.  The total was unfeasible since they moved around and the tree was 'black' with birds!  I'd estimate 30-50 grackles.  BUT!!  This is when I saw the elusive bird I was in search of....there it was, among the dense greenery, perched, silent.  I snapped four photos even tho it was mostly silhouetted...the photos would be my bird count record/proof of seeing it.  I then, hoping to get a better viewing of the mystery bird from the spillway side of the tree...I reached the dam;   it had flown away.  I just viewed the landscape and took a few more photos of the river... WAIT...don't leave yet, the story gets better!!!!!The mystery bird returned, and perched on a rock outcropping in the river!  Not more than 20 feet or so from where I stood.  It came to ME!!  And the snapping finger was put into fast mode; the shutter button was put to good use.  I took large numbers of photos of this beauty!!!  And did she ever put on a show for me, posing!!!!!  I was thr[...]

Part II


...continued from previous post:After watching the deer for a while, and once it left the area, I checked out the 2nd gazebo seeing nothing that swims or moves, so I returned to Packery Channel Park and left in the car to drive to the waterway to walk toward the Gulf and the beach. The morning was perfect. The temperature was mild, the winds were calm, the fish were jumping, and the quiet made for a pleasant walk. The sand dunes had a golden glow, the sky was clear and blue.  The sea oats were swaying in the gentle breeze and the wildflowers had early morning dew kissing the petals...The hour was early. And like me, the day-break risers, fishermen were out in droves!! Some along the jetty, some taking their boats out to sea. A gentleman on one side of the jetty was netting live bait while on the other side a gentleman had just reeled in a catfish only to throw it back in the water ... Getting to the end of the jetty that juts out into the Gulf, I stopped and enjoyed the salt air, the cool drift of air from the water's surface, and watched everything surrounding me. With the loose sand, a car was abandoned after getting stuck. I see this so often it has become a bit comical. Logic would tell me to not even try to drive through this soft sand...the weight of the vehicle will sink!! Looks like the front end was partially torn off in the attempt to pull it out. My goodness...another car, ruined from idiocy!! A dolphin at the channel breaking point came up for air but once to not be seen again.  I spotted a few sea turtles, many gulls, terns. sandpipers, and brown pelicans.  They were all busy hunting for breakfast. The surf, tho very low, was breaking against the jetty's boulders...the sun was getting higher in the sky. It was time to turn back to where I parked and get home to begin decorating the Christmas tree while the New Orleans Saints played their scheduled game. Besides, a cup of egg nog was waiting for me at home!!![...]

Sunrise Stroll...


I had plans to begin decorating for Christmas, but I wanted to get out and do my walking before the day began with my 'work' at home. I left shortly before sunrise and got to the causeway just as the sun began to break from the clouds on the horizon. I pulled over before climbing the bridge that drops down on Padre Island, and took some photos... Once I got through the first traffic light on the park highway, I veered off to my first stop: Packery Channel Park. As I entered the first section of the park and boardwalk along the Live Oak Motte, the eastern sky was becoming white hot...As I walked on the northern boardwalk the birds musta all been still asleep, roosting wherever they go at night. A few, a mockingbird, a myrtle warbler, and a pair of american kestrels soaring above me were seen. On the distant horizon I spotted an egret and a couple of brown pelicans along the bay's shore. Returning the way I had come to the end of the viewing deck, I turned to walk past the oak motte [seen in photo #6] to traipse up the incline to the southeast to reach the Audubon Sanctuary about a city block away from the park. Here, there are two covered observation platforms; the one seen in my photo looks out to the open field where migrant birds usually congregate during the Spring and Fall migration. A stop-over for seeds and wild berries. The 2nd platform looks out onto a small pond where ducks and egrets gather. Also, walking the incline to the first overlook, there is another oak motte to the right. As I the trees, I heard a loud rustling and startling noise. With a bit of fear overtaking me, I stopped dead in my tracks!!! What was making that noise? Bobcat?   Bobcats have been seen here before.  What?  Whatever it was, it was gone now.  So, I continued up the boardwalk.  At the covered gazebo, the mystery critter was on the other side, looking straight at me... be continued[...]

Sights but No Sound...


During Thanksgiving day, and waiting for the Dallas Cowboys game to begin, I took some time to sit in the sun out on the patio after the big meal. When I opened the door to step on to the patio, a squirrel was sittin' on top of the dog-eared fence slats; also enjoying the warm sun. He stared at me as I slowly backed into the house for my cellphone that was laying on the table 'cause I rarely take my phone out in the yard for fear of dropping it.  I tried ever so quietly to get outdoors again without it scurrying away. Well, he moved as I stepped out the door, but didn't leave. Instead he played what would probably be hide and seek - - squirrel style!!  See his nose on the last photo to the left [between the slats?]  He was watching me!!!! Then, I take this road home very often. And I have had to stop at the traffic light almost as often. While I sat and waited for the light to change, I checked my text messages. Then, I looked to my left. Thing is, as I said, I've been here more times than I have digits on my fingers and toes...but I've never taken the time to read the side of the building at the corner/intersection! Lordy!!! Here's what I read:OMG, indeed! How did I ever miss this? lolIf you ever go out to the thesaurus website you know that they give you other words -synonyms, right? Well, when I took an early morning walk on Black Friday, hoping that most people were out shopping in their frantic style. I had the trail to myself for the most part. Once I climbed uphill to the observation platform that faces to the bay water, I searched for birds. One particular area was very active. Spoonbills, Ibis, herons, osprey, and sandpipers were all congregated in a 'hotspot' for feeding! Then, along came a beautiful white bird. And it was being quite territorial. Made me think of the bigheaded bullies in the school hallway that continually picked on the minor students. Well, after 'developing' my photos in paintshop software, I had to laugh at one particular photo...Thesaurus tells me:bigheadedadj egotisticarrogant, conceited, egotistic, persnickety, snooty, vain, stuck up, pompous and more. But I think I hafta add EGRET even tho the term 'bigheaded' isn't quite fitting!!  Then again, POMPadour maybe pompous IS bigheaded.  I get myself into a big tizzy sometimes.[...]

Tomorrow is Yesterday's Today


As Scarlet in Gone With the Wind stated, I'll think about that tomorrow!  And the song lyrics, Oh Let's Forget About Tomorrow, for Tomorrow Never Comes....It's been a stress filled week for me and Bud...First, my nephew of 53 had a heart attack at work.  He's okay now, had a stent placed in one clogged artery.  That's way too young.  Then, I had an appointment with my cardiologist.  The staff always reminds me to get there 15 minutes early to check in, pay the co-pay and WAIT.  I got in the examining room and waited for the doctor, and waited and waited.  OVER two hours!!!  By the time I got home I had been gone for nearly 3 hours.  To ease my stress, I demanded my check at the cashier/reception desk, and told them "I may not work outside the home any more, but MY time is just as valuable as the doctor's time."  I left without seeing him, and I'm glad I did.  Thing is I am now debating whether to seek a new cardiologist?  More stress!!!!!A Tension breaker?  Kinda Sorta.  Read on:Remember the jigsaw puzzle of Alice in Wonderland's Tea Party we started working on a few weeks ago? Well, we had the outer pieces collected and finished the outline to begin working on the center pieces to complete it. Before the 2nd day was over, we threw it out!!! It was a mess. First off, the puzzle pieces were cut identically! Second, the puzzle cutter musta had the saw that was too big for the cardboard 'cause the pieces would NOT stay together...loose as a goose comes to mind. Each time we'd add a piece the puzzle frame would fall apart. We considered taping the outer rim, but just gave up.  Axing it was the best move. Then, while at the HEB super center [Texas-owned store], I bought another! A 21 inch by 21 inch Sugar Skull.  It helped release some heavy feelings during the time we worked on it.  It took us a week to finish and it's so artsy, I want to frame it and use it for our mantle during Halloween/Day of the Dead!The artist, Theeanya McCardle, has many works plus some great whimsical [animals, birds, abstract, and more] adult coloring books. Check it out sometime with the link I provided._ _ _More Stress!Our fence contractor and his hired help finally put the finishing 'touches' on our new 7 foot privacy fence...meaning the gate and hardware! This was a huge stress magnate! You see, we signed the work order in early September...knowing that nearly half of the city's residents lost their fences due to the hurricane in August, we'd be on a waiting list and we knew about the lumber shortage to boot. We were willing to wait our turn. By mid October, the men showed up and removed the old fencing and hauled only a PARTIAL load...leaving all the other debris sitting on our lawn [killing the grass by the day], and it was way too heavy for us to lift it up and get it all off the ground.  It was strewn everywhere.. Then, they came back, leaving the rest of the debris lying around, but put in all the fence posts. Of course, then there is a waiting time for the cement and posts to cure and dry. About a week later, they started putting on the wooden slats and surprisingly, quit after about an hour.Three weeks later, still no more work was done until I called [after both Bud and I called and left dozens of messages].  My last call on Friday of last week, I voiced my intentions...with a threat of filing a formal complaint with the BBB, the Troub[...]

Laugh and the World Laughs With You...


Before I get to my hike from a few weeks ago, I'd like to post these thoughts...1]  ...duh, y'think?2]  ...they went that'a way! No...they went that'a way!! 3]  ...can you see 'em now?[hint: fish and turtle! Bird is obvious!!] 4]  ...Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls - Step right up, step right up. Watch the amazing, the daring, never before seen FEET of Sandy the Piper's broad jump.Lastly5]  ...this one made no SCENTS!- - -Now then, my hike:It was a new, but all too short trail head. The trail is called Bear Creek. I saw no bears, nor creeks except for stagnant water in a drainage ditch. But the walkway was nice, level, clean and lots of curves to keep the momentum up and distance markers here and there to the end, where there is a turn-around to reverse your direction and return to the beginning: NOTE: This will be my last blog post until after Thanksgiving. May all who celebrate the season, be sure you have a safe, wonderful time with family, friends and good food. I will take the time here to tell you all how thankful I am of YOU, and America. Be blessed until next time!!!~Love, Anni[...]

Rainy Days and Thursday....


I had to get some thread for the sewing machine for an upcoming holiday project. While there at the store, near the check-out stand, I saw these and couldn't resist buying one! An upcoming holiday project? you ask...Here are the pieces parts. Can you guess?And, speaking of pieces parts. During the cold, wet, rainy days of Coastal winter,  the two of us can be found working on a yearly thing...According to the local weather, South Texas is once again in the La Nina frame of weather patterns. Which means, we're gonna have another warm winter. In other words, not many cold days before the summer temps are upon us again. I sure hope they're mistaken!!!!! Anyway, I was out walking along the Sunset Lakes Trail, and on this particular day, El Nino came into play!! Wet, heavy rains. Altho, as I watched the cloud cover boiling above me, and decided to head back to the car before I got drenched, I made it just in time. A micro-burst saturated the area in a heavy downpour. In fact, all the way home as i drove on the freeway...rain! The turtles didn't seem to care about the weather, one way or another... camera was getting wet! Time to lock up and get home where it's dry. [Not was raining heavily at home too!]  Our area of town rec'd about 1 1/2 inches of rain, where the one news station is reported to have rec'd about THREE inches of rain from this front, while the downtown, airport, and islands didn't get ANY rain.[...]