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.
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.
I’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). But 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.
So 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.
It 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.
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!
Mona 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.
“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.
“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”.
But 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!
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.
After lunch, the bird crazy duo headed out on a quest to find tree sculptures…..
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)