Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sun, Turtles, Birds & FRIENDS

Georgie & Tom enjoying the warm Texas weather. You need to click here to see how Tom has changed since he got a haircut on January 20th when the new president was sworn in. He had vowed not to get it cut as long as Bush was in office.
Birds along the gulf coast.
You can see that this turtle is missing a flipper.
Look closely and you can see a green jay and a chachalaca.
A heron wading near the Laguna Madre Trail.
Nanc, Tom & Georgie basking in the setting sun.
Texas Sunset
Jim, Nanc, Joe, Jin, Tom & Georgie enjoying an evening out.

Once again we had a personal mail delivery from our friends Tom & Georgie who drove to South Texas and spent a great week with us. We had a wonderful time going to the beach, dining out, watching the sunsets and catching up on everything going on back in Wash, PA.

One day we visited the Sea Turtles on South Padre Island, a nonprofit rescue center started by Ila Loetscher in 1977. The center rescues ill and injured turtles and works to nurse them back to health. Turtles that have lost only one flipper can be released back into the gulf but those that are severely injured, often missing more than one flipper, are sent to other zoos and aquariums or kept at the center to help educate the public on the plight of the gulf turtles, all of which are endangered or threatened. Many of the injuries are caused by the turtles being caught in fishing lines or fishing nets while other injuries are the result of predators. They were even experimenting on a prosthetic flipper to help a turtle which had only one. The center allows up close views of turtles from young small hawksbills to large nearly full grown leatherbacks weighing up to 300 pounds.

We also took Tom & Georgie birding on the Laguna Madre Trail on Padre Island and to the Sabal Palm Audubon Center in Brownsville. Sabal Palm has some of the only protected palm forest remaining along the Rio Grande. The area is an excellent habitat for birds and other animals with trails that take you through the forest and along the river and lake and offers great opportunities to view many species. We saw a variety of ducks and wading birds, chachalacas, green jays and a kingfisher. The jays and chachalacas are native only to the Rio Grande Valley in the US.

We took advantage of the warm weather by walking on the beach collecting shells and watching the wildlife. We watched beautiful sunsets across Laguna Madre Bay while enjoying our favorite beverage at a couple of local pubs. We also got to play euchre several times which we used to play regularly with the gang back in Wash, PA. On another evening we had dinner with our realtor and his wife, Joe and Jin Koval, who just happened to be here vacationing. They have been coming to Padre Island for years and are the ones who recommended we try it for the winter. We are really glad they did as we have enjoyed it very much and plan to return.

No comments: