Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tomball German Festival

Every year, on the very last weekend in March, festival-goers break out their Lederhosen and Dirndls “Go German” for the area’s largest festival celebrating the heritage of the original German families that settled this area beginning in about 1840.
This was the first German festival I have attended and I thoroughly enjoyed it
Lots of people dressed up.

.Tomball German Festival 4
So good polka music

Tomball German Festival 5

Lots of vendors

Tomball german festival 2

Tomball German Festival 7

The event of the day was these Highschool kids from their German class doing some traditional German dancing.

Tomball german festival 3

Tomball German Festival 9

Tomball German Festival 8

Pretty old car.

Tomball German Festival

Books I've read.

One of my favorites this year so far.





Sunday, March 30, 2014

A short birding field trip

I’m volunteering at Kleb Woods Nature center two days a week. I’m scanning invoices into the computer from 1914. It is interesting the things that people bought back then.
After volunteering one day I went with a group of people that had came to Fred’s birding class to see if we could find some Golden Plovers.
We drove out to route 529 and around that area.
The rice fields were so pretty

Waller Texas
A Crested Cara Cara watching a hawk
Crested Cara Cara Waller TX
A Hawk with a snake!
Hawk with snake Waller Texas

Dowitcher Waller TX
A Logger Head Shrike, also know as the Butcher Bird because he impales his prey on thorns to eat it.
Loggerhead Shrike Waller TX 3

Loggerhead Shrike Waller TX 2

Loggerhead Shrike Waller TX

The best find of the day, these Sandhill Cranes. My first good look at these beautiful birds.
Sandhill Cranes Herbert Road Waller Texas

Sandhill Cranes Herbert Road Waller TX
The Sand hill Cranes had started their migration back north and I was afraid I had missed seeing them this year, so I was thrilled when we saw these from the road.
Funny story…
We were pulled over the side of the road with our hazard lights on watching the Sand hill Cranes when a state trooper came up to the window to ask if we were alright. After we explained to him we were bird watching, he proceeded to ask us about a bird he had seen. I love when that happens. A non birder finds out you are a birder and immediately starts describing a bird they have seen and wants you to identify it. One person at a time, we will make bird lovers of you all.

Not a bird but I do love old farm equipment.

A plane in someone’s yard, you never know what you will see while out for a drive.

A Sun Dog
Books I’ve read









Monday, March 24, 2014

My love for Miche

A few years ago I discovered Miche purses and it was like a wish come true for me.  Miche is a purse that has a base bag that you change shells.  What that means is never having to change the inside contents of your purse, just the outside.

Miche Bags has created a line of unique, affordable and stylish bags that make it easy to transfer your belongings from bag to bag.  So easy, in fact, it only takes second to do.  The Miche bags are actually two pieces, a base and a shell. The base holds all your belongings and you simply transfer it to the shell you want to use each day.

The Shells can be purchased separately from the Base Bag or with a Base Bag at special bundle pricing, and attach to the Base Bag using safe and durable earth magnets.
Living in a fifth wheel RV means that room is at a minimum.  I just don’t have the room to have all the purses that I would love to have, and I’m one of those girls that loves to have a purse for every pair of shoes, so Miche saved me.

The company was founded by Michelle Romero and Annette Cavanes.  They saw a need for an interchangeable purse and in what I like to call a light bulb moment, the Miche was born.
The naming of the company comes from Michelle's nickname, Miche (pronounced MEE-chee), which her mother-in-law calls her.

The Miche comes in four sizes :Petite, Classic, Demi, and Prima.  I have the Mini, the Classic, and the Prima.

The Mini. A small purse perfect for an evening out when you don't want to carry a big bag.

I have numerous shells because that’s the whole point of Miche, right?  I can change the look of my purse anytime, for going to the store, to going out to dinner.

The Classic with different shells




One of the neatest things I discovered though was that I could turn my Prima bag into a camera bag.  I just ordered a camera insert which fit perfectly into my Miche bag, and now I can carry my camera and change the look of my camera bag whenever I want.

I have a Canon Rebel with several lenses.  Everything is protected in my Miche bag, and it looks terrific too!

I love and believe in Miche products so much that it is the number one gift I have given to friends and family.
Miche isn't just about purses and shells though.  They also offer purse charms and jewelry.

Check Miche out on Facebook and here: http://www.micheonline.com/

I received one of the above mentioned products free of charge to facilitate my review, however, all opinions are my own.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge

Friday morning I got up at 3:30 AM and drove to Kleb Woods Nature Center to catch a bus with other birders to go to the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge.
The Attwater Prairie Chicken is on the endangered list because of a decrease in population.
Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge (APCNWR), located approximately 60 miles west of Houston, Texas, is one of the largest remnants of coastal prairie habitat remaining in southeast Texas and home to one of the last populations of the critically endangered Attwater’s prairie chicken.  The refuge is one of a handful of national wildlife refuges managed specifically for an endangered species. http://attwater.org/refuge/

There were about 30 of us on the bus and we got to the refuge at 7:00 AM.

The ground fog was lying low and the sunrise had turned everything this lovely pink hue.

Attwater Prarie Chicken Preserve

We saw a hen not too long after entering the refuge.

Atwater Prarie Chicken

Our guide let us get off the bus so we could view the males displaying.  They inflate their yellow air sacs and emit a strange, booming sound across the plain, a sound that has a haunting quality that is hard to forget.
I could see the males great through the birding scope, but I couldn’t get a good shot of them with my camera.

Atwater Prarie Chickens

Amidst all the beauty was some sadness. This Jack Rabbit had gotten tangled in the barbed wire fencing.


He was pretty beat up, but after the Fish and Wildlife fellow got him untangled, he sat him down over the fence and that Jack Rabbit took off!

I took this photo of Fred. Andy titled it “Dance of the Sweeping Savannah”

Dance of the Sweeping Savannah Fred Collins

When Fred wants to flush a bird, say a Savannah Sparrow, he gets everyone to line up and walk in a straight line across the field.

Fred and his minions.

The trip to Attwater was amazing.  A lot of people on the bus trip got the Prairie Chicken as a life bird, including me.

We left Attwater and did some birding by bus, which was fun. I think every other hawk we saw Andy said was a Northern Harrier.

We went to Palacios for lunch.  Most of the bus went to a seafood restaurant but the rest of us went Mexican.  I am so glad we did, because I got to see my first Great Horned Owl.
There was a city park right next to the restaurant.  After lunch we went looking around, and Fred spotted the owl.  It flew off before any of us, except Fred, got a good look at it, but we saw where it landed and we took off after it.
It landed in this palm tree, can you see it?

Look to the right and up.

The owl sat in the palm tree for awhile, until the Blue Jays and Grackles ran him off.
He flew back to the original tree and we followed him, where I got this terrific picture of him.
Great Horned Owl  Palacios Texas

While we were looking at the owl, Fred had found a Western Scrub Jay flying in amidst some Blue Jays.  Western Scrub Jays are not common for this area, so it caused lots of excitement.
Now try and picture this….
A group of about 30 people all with cameras, binoculars and birding scopes, standing on the sidewalk looking at a tree beside a house.
I have to wonder, if those people were home, what could they have been thinking?
I didn't get a photo of the Western Scrub Jay, but I did get a look at it through some binoculars someone loaned me.
This photo was taken by Bea Ann, you can see the differences in the Western Scrub Jay and the Blue Jay

I also got the American White Pelican for a life bird.

White Pelican Palacios TX

Also, for my life list, I got the American Pipit,  the Sprague’s Pipit, and the Spotted Sandpiper, but no photos.

All in all it was a great trip!

Books I’ve been reading