All the blue spots are Indigo Buntings and a Painted Bunting sits in the middle of the photo.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak male surrounded by Indigo Bumtings.
I am so grateful to have had such wonderful birding experiences this past winter.
We also want to say what a happy time we had in Rio Hondo, Texas. The people were so friendly and kind and the food outstanding. We enjoyed the rural area surrounding the campground and the small amount of traffic we encountered most days. We ventured out of the campground each day and were able to hike and bird in many places. It was a good winter home for us, although we missed our friends at Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge.
We had come from Texas, through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana, to the birding festival at Magee Marsh, near Toledo Ohio. The weather was very rainy and cold so there wasn't much bird activity yet. We do like Maumee Bay State Park for camping so it was fun.
From there it was on to a visit with my brother Joe and partner Nancy and family in Harrisburg Pa, where we also enjoyed time with our family friend Hoppy. We had a sweet visit with my Uncle Frank who lost his wife of over seventy years recently. My brother also fixed a windshield wiper arm for me that was wind damaged in Ohio ...with many thanks.
Then it was on to Douglassville, PA and a visit with my sister Dotty, husband Forry and my Mom. It was so good to see her again. We sure missed the weeks we would spend with her and Chick over Christmas. Happily, all her children, their partners and part of the grandchildren and great grandchildren were able to come for a Mothers Day party. She still looks wonderful to us. (96 next month!). Her cats Hansel and Gretel are on the bed behind her. 😍
It was fun to also do some birding at their house and to find 33 species including a Black-billed Cuckoo. Dotty spoils us rotten!
Our next venture, was to drive to Stockton New Jersey, to my other sister Sherry and her partner Jim's beautiful house We really get spoiled with all these special family stops and here we always finds lots of Bluebirds and Tree Swallows. This visit we enjoyed some homemade Blueberry pancakes and fish caught by Jim.
It now was time to head north again and to start visit with our children. New Hampshire is the first stop in New England with Carrie, Jay, Sari and Lyla, and the dog, three cats and seven chickens.
This is what we found when we landed in the driveway. Bo came to greet us!
One of Carrie's flower beds looked very sweet too.
We get to see basketball with Lyla and soccer with Sari. Usually Carrie has a project which is always fun to do together, and we get to have special meals together with the whole family.
Our big travel goal each spring is to return to Maine by June 1. This year we had even more motivation than usual. We had two grandchildren graduating from high school this year and we were/are so happy for them both. We wish them a bright future! Phillips daughter Azure graduated from Sumner...
...And Torrey graduated from John Bapst on Bangor. She plans to go to University of Maine, Orono, in the fall. She told us the date last fall, and got tickets so we would be sure to attend. We heard Senator Angus King give the keynote address to the graduates, "Ten Things I Wish Someone Told Me at 18 Years Old" . (PS. Great exercise to try to make a list like this for yourself)
After a really nice visit with Katrina and the family, we headed to see Phillip in Winter Harbor and to catch up with him. It is so nice to talk with our children and to learn more about their lives. Phillip has four dogs who make it quite an adventure to visit. We enjoyed several lobsters he brought in for us to enjoy.
One final note: We love Acadia National Park and made it a point to have a visit there as well. We hiked Gorham Mountain one day, and took a hike around Aunt Betty's Pond on the carriage trails another.
Our final stop was a visit with our friends Joan and Lucille in Hancock. They have been wonderful friends over the years and always help us out with a plug-in for a few days. Last Thursday we headed to a favorite summer camping Campobello Island and Herring Cove Provincial Parc. We are sitting there right now waiting out the weather and a flu bug that got Latona.
I have been thinking about our children and I want to say how grateful Latona and I are for them. It is wonderful to see the extent of their faith and the relationship they each have with God. We love you!
My hope is to post a bit sooner next time. We are camping for two weeks in New Brunswick and will have much to share.