We went exploring back on the mainland, which means we took the ferry off the island. But his time it was just the car and without the apprehension of loading the motor home on to the boat. We had a few things on our agenda and one was possibly to drop in on a couple sets of bloggers we follow who we knew were camped in this area. Our first visit was with the Cruzin2some – Dawn and Denise --http://cruzin2some.blogspot.com/. They belong to our Class of 2011 – people who began full timing in 2011. They were also among the first people to sign up for our blog. We were so glad we made this stop. It was great to meet them. They told us a better place to go birding than where we were headed. And they also told us about a local festival we could take in that night which we did.
This coastal area of Texas tends to have lots of marsh land and back bays of water. Not only is this wintering ground for many people from the heartland, but it is also the wintering ground for many different types of migratory birds. The star of the bird show is the only flock of wild whooping cranes remaining in the world. Theses birds are the tallest in North America. They have come back from the brink of extinction. At one time there were 15,000 in North America, but in the 1940’s their number dropped to as low as 21 birds. Today there are around 250, but that still leaves them as an endangered species. Their Summer nesting ground is in a very remote area of north central Canada, a journey of 2,600 miles from their wintering grounds here in Texas. We were able to snap a picture of an adult pair as well as a younger pair that hadn’t yet turned fully white.
In the same area as the cranes is a famous local natural attraction – The Big Tree. This tree is a coastal oak. It is over 1,000 years old. It’s base is over 11 feet in diameter.
Along the way we also took in three garage sales. We were having garage sale withdrawal. We hadn’t been to one in some weeks. And Gary did score a couple of treasures. One was a crock pot cook book for 25 cents. You can always find a few good recipes in any old cookbook and this one appears to be no exception. There is a cheese soup recipe Gary will be trying soon. Gary’s other buy will have to remain a secret until an upcoming blog post – oh, the suspense of it.
And our last stop was at “Lamardi Gras”. There is a small unincorporated community in the area named Lamar. Every year in support of their volunteer fired department, they host a two-day celebration of Mardi Gras, which in their case becomes Lamardi Gras. We stopped in and shared some orders of Jambalaya, Gumbo, and Red Beans and Rice. We didn’t stay long, but did hear the start of the band and looked through the tents of the craft vendors. The Cajun food hit the spot.
By this time it was dark and more than a bit too late to try to drop in on our other pair of bloggers.