Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Iwo Jima Monument February 23, 2010

Today is the sixty-fifth anniversary of the flag raising on Iwo Jima island during World War II. This memorial is on the grounds of the Marine Military Academy in Harlingen. It is the plaster working model for the original bronze sculpture at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.
Posting this photo is our way of honoring the brave men and women of the U.S. military past and present. Their service and sacrifice can never be taken for granted.

World Birding Center in Mission TX

A fountain in the city of Mission.

We spent yesterday at the World Birding Center at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park near Mission. The park offers a tram ride that covers a three mile loop. There were several birders there either riding bikes or hiking. We chose to ride the tram and hike a few of the trails off the loop. Donnie handled the photography, while I had my binoculars and trusty bird book in hand.

We saw several Great Kiskadees at two different bird blinds. We learned that the Kiskadee inhabits two places, south Texas and Burmuda.
There were a lot more birds here than Resaca de la Palma State Park, the birding center we visited near Brownsville last winter.

Found in Texas only, Green Jays, cousins of the blue jay, were very abundant in the park. This is the first time we have seen them here in the valley.

The Altamira Oriole is another bird found only in the southern tip of Texas. The park attracts the birds by setting up feeders with lots of fresh orange halves attached.

Rio Hondo TX

Donnie on the bridge west of Rio Hondo (near Harlingen). We have yet to see this drawbridge in operation, but we haven't given up yet.

Our RV site at Twin Palms RV Resort. The spaces are pretty small, but this one has a little more room as it is facing one of the park streets. Most of the people here are Winter Texans from the Midwest.

South Padre Island

The bridge that crosses Laguna Madre joining Port Isabel and South Padre Island. It is funny to see the signs on the bridge warning you to watch for low flying pelicans!

We enjoyed walking the beach even though it was pretty crowded. This photo was taken the three day weekend of Presidents' Day. We drove around the island, had seafood (fried crawfish!!) at our favorite restaurant, Daddy's, and just enjoyed the day. It was amazing to see all the building, commercial and residential, going on all over the island. Hard to tell the economy is shaky down here.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Brownsville TX Zoo

We spent one day last week at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville. The weather was perfect and we had the place almost all to ourselves. The following photos are for our grandsons, Rylee and Parker. We wanted to show the boys what Grandma and PaPa saw at the zoo.

This was the cutest baby orangutan. He was very entertaining and came right up to the viewing window to check us out. Think he had as much fun watching us as we did watching him.

One of the spectacled bears enjoying the sunshine.

This was one noisy lion that roared the whole time we were watching him. Think he was complaining because his lunch was late?

This guy sure was enjoying sunbathing. He was one of several stretched out with his face turned up soaking up the rays.

Grandma thought these giraffes were so pretty. Can you see the baby in the back of the group?

PaPa wrestling a crocodile in the Australia/New Zeland area of the zoo.