Sunday, April 9, 2017

Spring migration started this week in LRGV!

The birds waited for Spring Break to be over here on South Padre Island. The college kids are gone but the birds have started to arrive. Some familiar old friends are here now like the Black-throated Green Warbler and the Northern Parula.

And the brilliant Cardinal.

The Black and White Warbler

 And one of my favorites, the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher.


                                                     Indigo Bunting
           Yellow-breasted Chat
Eastern Kingbird

Buff-bellied Hummingbird

Summer Tanager

Orchard Oriole

Poor picture - but a life bird for me, Blue Grosbeak

And another life bird...the Varied Bunting.

The migration is on for the small songbirds on their way to their breeding grounds north of here, following the major flyways.

But the birds that are residents here are pairing up and nesting. A Kiskadee has a nest on top,of an electric pole. We saw both parents going in and out of the nest.

                                    Pair of Caracaras

Nesting Green Heron

Pairing  of White-winged Doves

We are just on the front edge of the migration, and have a few weeks to visit the special sights where the birds come in for a well-earned rest, drink and food. They are inspiring little creatures, so full of courage and song! Would that my life could be so courageous and focused.

The happy parallel for me is that I have found my life partner and we can go to our "wintering grounds" and now are being filled with the energy to travel north.  We can anticipate seeing many of these little beloved creatures at the Warbler Festival in Ohio in May. I am filled with gratitude for her and to her sharing my love for the birds. 💕💕💕💕💕


The Cactus are Blooming

This will be a post that will share with you pictures of the plants that have been blooming for the past few weeks and have stunned us with the glory around us.  It is impossible to realize that the Prickly Pear plants ( we would call them cactus) that had looked so brown/black, rotting and dead in some cases are now producing such beautiful blooms. I am speechless and excited to see the earth come to life with such beautiful flowers everywhere we go. We have mixed in some other wild flowers and included a few butterflies as well.

Prickly Pear

Peach and Pink Blooms

Coral bloom

Orange bloom 

Beautiful yellow

Gorgeous Orange

Air plant


Coral Bean

Butterfly on a Lantana bloom

Southern White butterfly

Special flower sightinghs on these cactus plants.


Retama trees are blooming everywhere.

White Prickly Poppy

Monarch on some blooming grasses

Century plants also called Agave.

       My first photo collage of the flowers!     

I could only wish these photos were clearer and could share the gorgeous beauty they are displaying. I am sending them to share the joy they have given us. We are keeping our eyes on the beauty of the earth!  Spring is everywhere!


What's Been Happening!

It is amazing to realize that it has almost been a month since I posted. I must be getting lazy!
Here are a few items to share some of our activities over the past few weeks.  

I will also post several other blogs today, one featuring the plants and one the birds we have seen.

One special thing that happened was visits from dear friends, Jim and Tonya, and recently, Wayne and Ginny. Both couples stayed in the campground with us and explored some of the special sights in the area like Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. 

I mentioned the special onion of this area in a former blog. They are called the 1015 Onion referring to the day they are planted. We loved watching the fields filled with the young plants, seeing them grow, 

and finally capturing some pics of the harvest. The onions are in the burlap bags!

So of course, Latona and I visited the Texas Onion Festival. We had been fascinated with this special species of onion that grows only in the Rio Grand Valley. 

It was a fun experience and we had a chance to try one of the deep fried onions, and to buy a few onions for ourselves.

This festival was complete with a Miss Texas Onion contest, food booths, fun activities, and a live music concert.

On another day out, we visited Roma Bluffs, one of the nine World Birding Centers.  It was a beautiful day and we hiked on the bluffs above the Rio Grand River.

One of the special things we learned in this historical area was about the "Calvary of Christ". These seven priests were traveling ministers during the period from the mid-1800's on. These men traveled through the Rio Grand Valley building chapels and churches. The church in Roma, 

On a trip to visit Laguna  Atascosa NWR we were fortunate to see a Texas Horn Toad. What a study in natural mimicry! It was a special sighting. Can you find it?

A few days ago, we experienced a Texas-sized hail storm.  We are now waiting for the estimate to fix the dents made by the baseball-sized solid ice balls. We were fortunate that we only have a few small dents but some people lost their windshields and had much more damage than we had. For fifteen minutes we felt like we were in a war zone!

Now we are finishing our time here in Texas. It is amazing to realize how fast these months have gone! We have two weeks until we start our journey north. Spring has come to the Rio Grand Valley and it has made us excited to start on own migration north, just like the birds. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️