Girls gone wild – or just crazy!

One of the more delightful aspects to RVing is running into like-minded folks; folks that share similar passions.  We first met Mona Liza and Steve a couple of years ago while camping at Cave Creek Regional Park just north of Phoenix, Arizona.Great Blue Heron

Mona Liza and I connected online via our blogs.  This was the first blogger meet up for both of us and we had a great time.  We’ve stayed in touch via our blogs and the occasional email ever since.

QuailI’m not sure if Mona Liza’s interest in birding began around the same time mine did, but I will say she and I were both enamored with the Gambel’s Quail during our stay at Cave Creek in Arizona.

Although our travels have taken us in different directions, we knew we’d meet again some day.  Therefore, it was exciting when we both realized we were going to be staying in Galveston at the same time this winter.

Reconnecting with fellow RVer’s is always fun and this encounter lead to several get togethers (spouses included).  Great Blue HeronBut the day Mona Liza and I were most looking forward to was a day of birding with our cameras and without our hubby’s.

We could go crazy snapping away without the obligatory comment from our husbands, “Don’t you have enough bird pictures?”  “NEVER … no such thing!”

While Mona Liza and Steve were staying at the Galveston Island State Park, Al and I were staying just three miles down the road at the Jamaica Beach RV Resort.

Galveston Texas

Mona Liza’s personal viewing platform.

girls gone wildSo these two bird crazy gone wild gals set off on a mission to photograph as many different birds as possible.

I picked Mona Liza up with the big dog (F-250 w/extended bed), leaving Al and Steve to fend for themselves.

ML enjoyed her own personal chauffeur (moi) and viewing platform.  She served as navigator using maps and information she and I picked up at the Galveston visitor center a few days earlier.

Galveston Texas

I’m all bundled up and ready to photograph some birds!

photographing birdsIt was a cold, blustery morning along the Texas Gulf Coast.  At 8:30 in the morning it was 38 degrees Fahrenheit with 20 mph winds, but these birders refused to let a little wind and cold deter them from their mission.Galveston Texas

We had a successful morning photographing lots of birds as well as sharing quite a few laughs along the way.  Occasionally our exuberance would get the better of us and we would see birds in the distance only to realize it was a fence post, street sign, or piece of garbage.  Hmm, wonder if more than one of us needs eye-glasses!Texas Gulf coast

Galveston TexasGalveston TexasMona Liza has an uncontrollable fascination with Roseate Spoonbills these days.  It’s hard for her to contain her excitement when she sees one of these pink beauties.

Case in point; we were strolling along a trail near some ponds when she grabbed my arm. She was practically jumping up and down and exclaims in a hushed tone with pointed finger, “There, there… do you see them?”  “No”, I calmly responded.

pink birds

this roseate spoonbill was photographed the next day after receiving a phone call from ML, “Come now. They’re here!”

“Look right out there”, she said with almost a tone of frustration, but sense of excitement all at the same time.  We kept our voices soft as not to startle any birds.Galveston Island

Galveston Island State Park“Those aren’t Roseate’s”, I exclaimed.  While ML says, “Yes, yes they are”, we simultaneously lifted our cameras to our faces and zoomed in our telephoto lenses for a closer look.  With slumped shoulders and a deflated tone she whispers, “Kayaks” followed by uncontrollable laughter from both of us.

The entire morning was filled with mixed sightings…. the blind leading the blind you could say.  We were equally mistaking foreign objects for birds.  “Now, that’s an unusual bird in the distance and a big one at that.  I wonder what it is”.  “I do believe they call that one a street sign”.Hawk

photographing birdsBut more times than not, we lucked out and it was indeed a bird.

The cold, the running around, and the laughter caused these girls gone wild to work up an appetite. We headed into downtown Galveston to find a place for lunch.  “Oh joy! I get to parallel park the BIG Dog”.

I find a spot along a side street and line myself up with the curb.  ML jumps out of the truck and starts providing hand signals to help me park.  I’m sure to the everyday on looker they might find our antics unusual, but for these seasoned RVer’s it’s just another day in the life.  I figured if she could direct Steve in parking a 40 foot motorhome, this 22 foot truck should be a piece of cake for her.  And a fine job of directing she did!Oil Rig

I’m almost parked when my phone goes off.  It’s Al.  He and Steve just finished touring the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum and were planning on grabbing a bite to eat.  Talk about perfect timing.  Since we were all downtown, we met at Brew’s Brothers Brew Pub for a tasty lunch.

The Strand

Steve, Mona Liza, Ingrid, Al

After lunch, the bird crazy duo headed out on a quest to find tree sculptures…..Egret

Finding Birds on the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail: Houston, Galveston, and the Upper Texas Coast (Gulf Coast Books, sponsored by Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi)

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67 thoughts on “Girls gone wild – or just crazy!

  1. Pingback: Warmth of Friendship | Live Laugh RV

  2. When I see you again, I m going to give you a big hug, this is a wonderful funny humorous tale of ladies gone wild with birds. Looking forwarded for more in Mustang Island.
    Your captures are really outstanding Ingrid especially the Great Egrett!
    My small cam got hosed in Phil and now needs a new one.

  3. What a fun time you gals had! It doesn’t matter what birds you saw only that you had a wonderful time locating and then photographing them! Wish I was there!

  4. What beautiful photos! When we lived in NH I took tons of wildlife photos, and you’re right, you can NEVER have enough of that kind of beauty! Now that we’re back in WA state these last few months it’s only been photos of deer and hawks that roam behind our property. Looking forward to the birds in spring. 🙂

    • Ah, two states I have never visited but hope to some day. Wildlife photography can be fun but frustrating all at the same time. Hope this spring brings lots of birds to your property 🙂

  5. Not much of a ‘REAL BIRDER’ (most of what I know about them I picked up at KFC or Popeye’s!!!) but I really like the challenge of getting a good picture. You do a great job of it.

    • Thanks for the chuckle Wayne. I wouldn’t call myself a birder but rather someone who just appreciates beautiful birds and likes taking photos of them. I’ve got another 2 months to give my camera a good working out on these feathered friends.

    • Ah, such is life, but we did indeed make the most of our time together regardless of the weather. I’m loving Galveston and am really glad we came 🙂

  6. Sorry we didn’t get a chance to connect but it looks like you and Mona Liza had a great time that day we saw the two of you heading out! Lovely images! We’ll catch up with you for real some time. 🙂

    • Thanks Peter and yes we’ll catch ya down the road some time. I’m looking forward to your take on San Benito and the surrounding area. We’re not sure where we’ll head in February. We’ve considered Port Isabel but if the coast has a cold winter, I think we’ll head to Yuma. Love choices 🙂

  7. Wow, great photos Ingrid. Galveston is one of the premier birding areas in this country. I’m glad you had such a good time, and really appreciated seeing your photos. 🙂

    • Thank you Jet. Next week we’ll head to Mustang Island followed by a month in Rockport/Fulton to reconnect with the whooping cranes and a lot more birds … I hope!

  8. I love reading about your adventures with ML… Guys really don’t understand about taking photos of favorite subjects. If I were alone, I would be taking even more wildflower and bird photos, not to mention old barns, churches, and so many other subjects I enjoy. I have thousands of bird and wildflower shots, but I still enjoy taking more and trying to identify them all. It’s a shame I didn’t start all this before my memory was shot!! Have fun with ML, Ingrid 😊

    • That’s why I go venturing off by myself a lot. I have a tendency to get distracted by a subject and want to stop and snap away for awhile leaving hubby bored. ML and I will get to meet up again in about a week. More fun times await 🙂

  9. Although not a birder myself, I sure do appreciate some pretty bird shots. Really lovely captures here!
    Nina

    • Thanks Nina. Well, I wouldn’t classify myself as a ‘real’ birder. I just appreciate the beauty of some of these unique birds found along the Gulf Coast. And there is a challenge capturing a decent shot of these quick guys. My delete button is getting a workout LOL!

  10. This was so much fun to read, Ingrid! What a wonderful time you and ML had on your adventure — I so much wanted to be there with you guys. I hope we can plan another time to meet up soon. Your bird photography is absolutely gorgeous and creative.

    • Thank you Laurel and you were missed. I’m hoping to have more luck in the birding department when we get to Rockport. I know where to look for the birds there and I’ll be introducing ML to some of my favorite spots 🙂

    • Yep, those quail are everywhere around Phoenix. I got lucky when I captured this shot at Cave Creek Regional Park a couple of years ago. I have so many quail photos that I stopped snapping them during recent visits.

  11. You two are like two peas in a pod…how perfect you met, got suited up with such cool gear, and hit the trails. Both of you have photography over the top and I thought my photography class was the berries. Now I want a sweeter lens. Off courselves the F stop still has me confused. I think you two should do a book!! Your material rocks it out of the park!!! Happy December!!

  12. Sounds like a great girlfriend day, one of the few things I do miss is girlfriend time, though being here with so many friends I imagine I’ll get some of that. Love the “spoonbill” story, great pics despite the unusual sightings.

    • I’m always game for a gals outing and since I’ll be just down the road from you starting on the 12th, let me know if you want to get together without the guys. Has your brother rubbed off on you yet and thus you’ve started playing with the camera more?

      • Sounds good, I haven’t played with the camera more but am game for anything, Dave seems to take over the camera so I just enjoy the scenery. See you in a few days, we’ll have to get the smoker going while you’re here, by the way how long are you here for.

  13. Stunning photos, Ingrid! And I had to laugh as well about mistaking various objects for birds (it’s this very thing that leads Betty and Walt to find a dead body while birdwatching in my novel, “Pea Body”). My hubby is always entertained while we drive through the country, me watching out the window and calling out — “I think it’s a bear! Oh… wait…. maybe it’s a tree stump.”

    • Thanks Ellen. While driving through New Mexico I can’t count how many times I’ve mistaken rocks for antelope. So I totally get the tree stump bear scenario. It’s quite humorous. Your book sounds very cute 🙂

  14. What a fun time together! Glad you guys were able to meet up again and go bird watching / photographing. I had a good chuckle at the “eyesight” issues and can relate! haha

    • ML and I always have a great time together and we’ll see each other again mid December on Mustang Island. I actually have a set of bifocals but hate them and thus opt for the blurred vision LOL.

  15. I’m so in love with this post. Great shots of these birds. It looks like they are fine with 38 F. 🙂 The first one is priceless (I tried to capture a flying egret two weeks ago, but I had no time to rest the SS). I love, love the last shot, ou captured the droplets, wow!!! So glad you and ML had a great time 🙂

    • Btw, I bought the book, also got the coffee pot you recommended earlier 🙂 🙂 Could you give me a direction or location to see birds there?

      • Thank you for using my Amazon link Amy…. appreciate and glad I could make some good recommendations. The first thing we did when we arrived in Galveston was stop at the visitor center. They have a little brochure on birding and where to go which is what Mona and I used, but we still had the most success in the state park….. Galveston Island State Park (bayside)

        • I certainly would visit there soon or next spring… Thank you for the wonderful information. I really appreciate your recommendations on your post, so very helpful. Thank you again, Ingrid!

    • Oh, thank you so much Amy. Those birds are not easy to capture. I’ve been playing around with different camera settings so there’s a lot of deleting going on around here LOL. We’ll be heading to Mustang Island and then Rockport for more birding in the next 2 months 🙂

  16. Wonderful to have good friends to share interest with. You have some fabulous captures and i am particularity;y loving the reflections of the birds. I was thinking that here right now there doesn’t seem to be a single bird species of any shape or form. Who can blame the poor frozen things. 🙂

  17. I really enjoy meeting fellow bloggers in person and I’m sure it’s great to meet with with them again as you end up in the same places.

  18. Glad you ladies had such a nice day:) Some men don’t understand there is never enough when it comes to photographing a favorite subject. I love the Roseate Spoonbills. You got a great photo. Nice that the men had an adventure as well!

    • Galveston has one of the most friendly and helpful visitor centers we’ve ever stopped at. The gals were a wealth of information on things to see and do in the area based on ones interests. I’ll be sharing one or two more posts on Galveston and then next week we move down the coast 🙂

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