Saturday, August 9, 2014

Reptile Open House at Jesse Jones Park


Jesse Jones State Park had a Reptile open house on Saturday and I decided that even though my knee was hurting so bad I could just barely hobble around, that it would be better to get out of the house for awhile instead of just sitting there focusing on the pain.
The Reptile Open House features the largest pythons to the smallest frogs,with displays of live reptiles and amphibians from around the world.
I was glad I went.
The ranger was very informative about the snakes there at the center.
Texas is home to the following venomous snakes: the Copperhead, Cottonmouth, Rattlesnake, Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, Timber Rattlesnake, Mojave Rattlesnake, Blacktail Rattlesnake, Western Rattlesnake, Massasauga, Pygmy Rattlesnake, and Harlequin Coral Snake.
Texas is also home to hundreds of other snakes, some of which mimic their venomous cousins. The Texas bull snake does a very realistic job of imitating a rattler -- even down to the rattling sound! A milksnake and a coral snake look alarmingly alike -- same colors but in different orders. Learn to tell the difference.
http://www.texaspoison.com/snakes.asp
This is Lucky. She was found with her head almost chopped off. A ranger sewed her up and she is now a permanent resident at the park.

Lucky Jesse Jones Park

Lucky Jesse Jones Park2

A few people were brave enough to hold Lucky.

Lucky Jesse Jones Park 4

Lucky weighs 40 pounds and is 10 feet long, quite the handful for this little girl.

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A corn snake, beautiful colors.
Corn Snake Jesse Jones Park 5

Corn Snake Jesse Jones Park 4
Corn Snake Jesse Jones Park 2

Corn Snake Jesse Jones Park

A rattler
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This little guy was outside and posed for me nicely.

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A little flora and fauna.

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Jesse Jones Park_FotoSketcher

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Rollover Pass


Isn’t that an interesting name? Rollover Pass (also known as Rollover Fish Pass) earned its name from the practice of smugglers who, from the days of Spanish rule through prohibition, avoided the Galveston customs station by rolling barrels of import or export merchandise (i.e., whiskey and rum) over the narrowest part of the peninsula.

Rollover Pass is a strait 200 feet wide, five feet deep, and more than 1,600 feet long across Bolivar Peninsula.

The Kleb Woods birding group went there to look at some shore birds.

Blue Heron Rollover Pass 2

Kleb Woods Beach Trip Ruddy Turnstone

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Willet doing a perfect runway pose.
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I’m rereading the game of Thrones series. Il ove the show and up until book four the series has followed the books pretty faithfully.
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Sunday, July 20, 2014

COCKRELL BUTTERFLY CENTER

Phil took me to the Houston Natural Science museum and to the Cockerell Butterfly Center, which I loved!
You walk in an enclosed solarium which is filled with tropical plants and over 60 species of the world’s largest and most colorful butterflies.
Cockrell Butterfly Center 17

Cockrell Butterfly Center 14 copy

Cockrell Butterfly Center 11 copy


Cockrell Butterfly Center 8

Cockrell Butterfly Center2

Cockrell Butterfly Center

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Cockrell Butterfly Center 32

Cockrell Butterfly Center 30

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Cockrell Butterfly Center 23

I read some great books lately. Sue and I read books together and talk about them, our own little two person book club.

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Friday, June 27, 2014

Spring Fallout Part Two


The Kleb Woods Senior bus trip made another trip to see what birds we could see during spring fallout. This trip we went to Anahauac and High Island.
Both places are great birding spots for spring migrations.

I love the legs on this Little Green Heron and the colors of the feathers are so lovely.
Green Heron Anahuac

This Purple Gallinule is another unusual and lovely bird.

Purple Ganullie Anahauc
A White Faced Ibis taking a stroll
White-faced Ibis Anahuac
Young Rail
anahuac rail

We were all fascinated with these Wilson's Phalaropes. They sit and spin in circles while they feed.


Wilsons Phalarope Anahuac

Rosette Spoonbills nesting at the Rookery at High Island

High Island 9

High Island 8

Snowy Egrets nesting

High Island 7

High Island 4

High Island 3

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Spring Fallout

The Kleb Woods senior birding bus trip had three bus trips April and May to see the spring migrants coming through on their way north.
During the spring migration period, from early March to mid May, conditions occasionally exist where strong, turbulent north winds and rain trigger a phenomenon called a "fallout."  This usually happens when a strong, fast-moving cold front crosses the Texas coast and moves into the Gulf of Mexico during the middle of the day.  The wind and rain slows the migrating birds down causing them to rapidly use up their stored energy reserves. Thousands of extremely tired migrants are forced to seek shelter and food as soon as they reach the coast.
http://www.houstonaudubon.org/default.aspx/menuitemid/366/menugroup/high+island.htm
I was excited to be able to go because I’ve never had the opportunity before now to see some of these birds.  I got several on my life list from these two trips.
Quintana Neotropical Bird Sanctuary is located in Quintana, Texas.  It is a small bird sanctuary, but one that is used heavily by migrants as an oasis.

Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager Quintana

Orchard Oriole

Orchard Oriole Quintana

Indigo Bunting

Indigo Bunting Female Quintana

Some people were disappointed because of the lack of birds, but I’m always happy to see any birds.
Galveston
After leaving Quintana we drove down to Galveston to look around the coastline.
Fred, our fearless leader, has a knack for spotting birds from a moving bus.  I have no clue how he does it.
We all got off the bus and heard this Marsh Wren singing. It took a while for us to find the bird amongst the reeds.
Wrens have such beautiful songs.

Marsh Wren



Marsh Wren Galveston


This Clapper Rail was stalking crabs.

Clapper Rail Galveston Texas


Fish Crows are slightly smaller than American Crows and difficult to distinguish between the two, yet Fred again identified them from a moving bus.  The man amazes me.
Fish Crows have the neatest call.
http://www.birds.cornell.edu/crows/ficr1.wav

Fish Crow
Our next stop was Sabine Woods bird sanctuary on the Upper Texas Coast south of Beaumont, Texas.  This special property is a well-known haven for migrating birds.

I love the attitude of this Gray Catbird.

Gray Catbird Sabine Woods Attitude

Gray Catbird Sabine Woods paint

Female Summer Tanager

Summer Tanager Female Sabine Woods

Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager Sabine Woods

Female Blue Grosbeak

Female Blue Grosbeak

Gray Cheeked Thrush

Gray Cheeked Warbler

Books I’ve been reading.

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