Valentine’s Day … a day for love. Love is in the air here along the Texas Gulf Coast and it hasn’t eluded me. I have a new love in my life whom I find totally irresistible and adorable. Oh, not to worry, I haven’t replaced Al …. yet 😆
First, I’ve been thoroughly entertained by observing the Great Blue Herons in the neighborhood. They have been hard at work building their nests.
And while it seems the Great Blue Herons have already partnered up, some of the other shore birds are still in the courting stage.
AND now for the latest love in my life ……
I am in love with this little brahma calf. Isn’t he the cutest? So adorable and irresistible. Think Al will notice the elephant brahma in the room.
This is one time, Al is grateful we don’t own acreage. Unfortunately, I’ll be saying goodbye to Bammi the Brahma soon. I have high hopes for this little stud muffin – a world where he never hears the word hamburger.
Wishing you all a very Happy Valentines Day … a day filled with love and joy. My romantic husband has already surprised me with my favorite chocolates, a single red rose, and will be taking me out to lunch – a lovely seafood lunch. I’ll pass on the hamburger, thank you!
It was another early morning around the RV. Once again, Al and his buddy were heading to the marina by 6:15 a.m. While I sat in bed enjoying my first cup of coffee, I contemplated how energetic I felt. I determined, not very!
While sipping my second cup of coffee, I read emails and glanced out the RV window checking for cloud conditions. It looked like another morning of ho-hum skies, eliminating any urgency to leave the comforts of the RV post-haste for a photo-op.
Finally around 8:30, I hopped in the truck and headed on over to one of my favorite areas to walk. I figured I might as well get in some exercise since the day won’t be about photography. But this gal never goes anywhere without her trusty camera slung around her neck. One never knows when a rare photo-op might present itself!
There’s a relatively new housing development being built not too far away from our RV park near Rockport, Texas.
This former home builder still likes being around new construction and enjoys checking out the latest trends in the housing industry. I even enjoy the smell of lumber! I know, weird 😏
Anyway, I love getting in daily strolls in this gated community. Most of the homeowners are only here occasionally … maybe on weekends or holidays. The houses are used primarily as second homes. Thus, I usually have the “boardwalk” (their label, not mine) to myself.
I parked the truck in my regular spot and took the path to the walkway. As I started down the boardwalk, I immediately gasped in awe and glee. The little ponds in the marshes were loaded with shorebirds. Thank goodness, I brought my camera. It was a gloomy, overcast morning and my camera seemed to have difficulty focusing. Perhaps, it was camera shake due to my excitement.
Vision versus reality
I was elated to have stumbled upon so many shorebirds. I did my best not to startle them, but the slightest movement on my part seemed to send them flying off to the next pond.
I slowly followed in their direction and my camera continued to work in overdrive.
Well over an hour later, it was time for me to leave. Oh, how I wanted to stay longer, but my teeth were floating from the coffee ingested earlier. As I approached the truck, I dug around in my bag for the keys. I couldn’t seem to find them. I entered the code on the keyless entry pad on the driver’s side door of the truck and began searching the vehicle floor, ignition, passenger seat and still no keys. It is so not like me to misplace my keys.
I began to wonder if the keys had somehow fallen out of my bag while I was retrieving a new camera battery. After all, there was a lot of excitement going on and while I dug in the bag for the battery, I kept my eyes on the birds and not my bag. My keys could have easily fallen out of the bag.
So it was back to the boardwalk to retrace my steps. Still no keys. Eek! I’m frazzled and really need to pee but the last time I used the construction porta-potty, I attracted a lot of attention from the workers … something I was hoping to avoid this go around. Plus, I was in no mood for jovial sparring.
“Check the truck again, Ingrid“, I said to myself. I tried punching in the code on the keypad but had a total space out. “Oh my gosh, I can’t remember the code!” 😱 Just then, one of the landscapers yelled something out to me. In a daze, I asked, “I’m sorry, what?” He repeats,
“Did you get some nice shots?” “Oh, yeah“, I responded, still frazzled.
All I could think about was losing allthe keys on my key chain. The truck key was one thing, but the other keys, holy sh*t, not easily replaced!!!
As I responded to the landscaper, something to the left of him caught my eye. Ah-hah! There was a lone construction porta-potty in the distance and after a quick visit, I was once again able to think clearly.
I still couldn’t remember the keyless entry code on the truck though. Talk about a total brain space. 🙄
Oh well, I shrugged and thought to myself … guess I’ll just have to walk back to the RV Park and get Al’s keys which he always leaves behind while boating. I thought about calling my friend and neighbor in the RV park, but I forgot to take my cell phone with me … grrr .. talk about a comedy of errors. So calling her wasn’t an option.
Well, I needed the exercise anyway considering I got sidetracked earlier by all those birds.
So it was off to the RV Park on foot. Along the way, I discovered the roosting grounds for Great Blue Herons and a delightful pond. Once again, I was sidetracked and found myself meandering through a grove of twisted oak trees all the while my brain kept saying, “Focus Ingrid focus … tend to business“.
I couldn’t help but get sidetracked, but soon logic took over and I was once again on my way to the RV Park.
But then …. the unique sound of the Black-Bellied Whistling Ducks stopped me in my tracks. These squeaky guys always make me smile and I can’t resist looking up to the skies when I hear them to catch a glimpse of their beautiful coloring. Little did I know, I was in for a treat. As I stood still trying to blend into the trunk of an oak tree, I watched them circle. Hundreds of whistling ducks landed not far from me. Then to top it off, a deer emerged from the brush.
Alas, after being sidetracked a couple of times, I finally made it to the RV to retrieve Al’s keys. I stuck my cell phone in my bag (just in case) and briskly returned to the truck. Well…. maybe briskly is an overstatement since there was a slight detour back through the oak trees and the heron nesting grounds. But I swear, it was brief 😉
By the time I returned back to the RV with the truck, Al was home. He and his buddy had a great morning out on the water. He had worked up an appetite and wanted to know, “What’s for lunch?” Twenty minutes later, we were sitting at the local restaurant dive up the road indulging in an awesome shrimp po-boy sandwich arguing over the code to the truck keypad. It seems I confused Al, as well as myself.
To wrap up the day... I had one of the most exciting bird photography mornings ever along with a very cool location discovery. My close proximity to the shorebirds is what lent to the thrill.
I lost my keys and later found my keys on the backseat floor. Don’t ask 😆
I ended up walking about four miles that day. I took hundreds of blurry photos. Therefore, I thought I had broken my camera. Oops! Can we say “user error”? Maybe! Ah-ah, camera fixed.
I confused my husband regarding the keyless entry code on the truck, but not to worry. The code was recalled in the wee morning hours the next day… I believe someone waking someone exclaiming, “I REMEMBER THE CODE” was involved.
Lost my keys. Found my keys. Walked four miles. Broke my camera. Fixed my camera. Communed with hundreds of birds. Confused my husband. Husband remains confused (living with me thirty plus years, confusion justified lol). What an exciting day. Ah, rarely a dull moment in the life of a full-time RVer. Love it!
Is there anything prettier than a desert sunset? Or how about the beautiful fall colors in the Rocky Mountains? And then there’s the dawning of a new day as the sunrises over the Gulf of Mexico.
I love fantastic scenery, and all these various places are pretty special in their own unique way. I’m grateful I don’t have to choose a favorite, at least for the time being. With my little house on wheels, I get to change up the scenery as often or as little as I like.
As I was watching the sunrise over the Gulf of Mexico this morning, I began wondering, “Could I live here”? Sure, I’m living here for two months, but could I live here longer? You know, own a sticks and bricks house here!
Al and I know that some day, we’d like to find a home base. That doesn’t mean we’d stop RVing or stop traveling …. it just means, we’d have a place to return to and regroup.
Our original plan all along was to move into the RV full-time for a year or two until we found “that place”, that special somewhere. And here we are, four years later and no closer to finding that place. In reality, I’m not sure we’ve looked very hard 😉 This mobile lifestyle can be addicting. It allows us the opportunity to enjoy a multitude of diverse landscapes. We get to enjoy it all.
I love visiting the Texas Gulf Coast, but I already know come the end of February I will be ready to move on. I’ll want to see some mountains, some red rocks, and of course see my children.
Thus, the Texas Gulf Coast will remain a favorite place to visit, but not a place I’d want to live full-time.
Perhaps if one of my children were to move to Texas … perhaps then, I’d change my mind.
So what do I like about the Texas Gulf Coast? First and foremost is the wildlife, as in the birds. I love the shore birds and can watch and observe them for hours and quite often do.
Birds are definitely a challenge to photograph. When I do manage to snap that special shot, I get super excited. That excitement is usually short lived once the photo is uploaded onto the computer. Disappointment is followed by the desire to get back out into the field and see if I can do a better job and capture a clear image.
No two days are the same. I can never count on the birds being in the same spot. I know, how rude of them not to leave breadcrumbs for me!
I spend most every morning in search of photographic opportunities. It’s the perfect excuse for me to get out of the RV and get in some exercise …. walk or ride my bicycle. I do have to drive to some places though. There’s no beach near our RV park.
When the birds are being illusive near camp, I’ll hop in the truck and go in search. I have some favorite areas I like to scope out. When all else fails, I’ll walk the beach looking for seashells. There’s always an interesting discovery to be made, or at the very least, a photo-op.
This is my first year strolling the Rockport Beach. It’s a fee use area if you choose to drive in toward the picnic area and pavilions. I’ve been parking near the blue crab or marina and walking along the waters edge. It’s a lovely beach and a great way to get in those exercise steps.
If you’d like a bit more information on the area, you can always check out some of my posts from previous years or feel free to contact me.
Here’s a post I did about camping options along the Texas Gulf Coast.
Since this is a snowbirders haven, we always manage to connect with fellow full-time RVer’s. Here’s a post on one such rendezvous.
There’s also a bunch of museums and aquariums in the area worth visiting. Here’s the post about us visiting an aircraft carrier. (all colored text is linked)
More bird photos forthcoming …. you’ve been warned!
This is our fourth winter RVing along the Texas Gulf Coast, and it has not disappointed. The weather has been enjoyable this year with no mention of a polar vortex, thank goodness. With that said, I’m taking full advantage of getting out of the RV everyday to commune with my feathered friends.
I don’t consider myself a birder, but merely, someone who admires birds, especially shore birds. My fascination with these birds was piqued during that very first visit to the Gulf of Mexico. I’ve always enjoyed wildlife photography, but bird photography was a new game. It challenged me then, and continues to challenge me now.
I always look forward to our return trips to Texas to observe and photograph the exquisite and graceful whooping crane, an endangered species who’s numbers were in the teens back in the 1940’s and are now in the 500+ range. Habitat and poaching still threaten these magnificent birds, but efforts are being made by various organizations to help these cranes.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention this beautiful pink beauty … the roseate spoonbill. Her deep pink is truly stunning. Actually, it’s the male of the species that sports the deepest of the hue. This is one dude who knows how to wear pink well!
However, I find the egret embodies a certain grace and elegance. Her snowy white plumage, long black legs, and bright yellow feet have me comparing her to a princess. He or she? In the case of the egret, both sexes are bright white and thus difficult to decipher.
Tri-colored Herons feel equally as regal and exude a unique level of gracefulness. Their grayish blue coloring with patches of deep purple is truly stunning.
Ah, then there are the pelicans … oh those pelicans. What can I say about these whimsical creatures?
When in-flight they exhibit a grace comparable to the whooping crane, but when they plunge into the water fishing for dinner, well let’s just say, the sight is anything but graceful and is downright comical.
I’m still trying to capture a video of a pelican diving for fish, but am always in the midst of laughing and fail to point the camera in the right direction. I’ll keep working on that!
Overall, I find pelicans to be rather entertaining and full of character and when they aren’t flying, they exhibit absolutely no grace what so ever.
I’ve got another month hanging along the Texas Gulf Coast with my feathered friends. I hope to capture more photographs of these amazing shore birds, and in the process, work on getting in my exercise steps 😎