Tuesday, February 8, 2011

February 2011 >>>> November 2010

Hello All!!! This update includes the last four months of the old fossils' travels... We are in the RGV (Rio Grande Valley) of S. Texas at our RV park in Rio Hondo. We spent a great couple of weeks around Thanksgiving with Casey, Angie and the boys in Artesia. Arrived here December 1st and plan to head up the coast in a few weeks. We have had great weather with sunshine and temps in the 80s. The exception was last week when the arctic front hit us with lows in the 20s along with sleet and freezing rain.

This past Sunday we attended the Kite Fest on South Padre Island with Karmen and Bob. When we first arrived there was very little wind, which is not so good for flying kites! After about a half hour the wind picked up and there were several individuals and groups who demonstrated the "art". They were all amazing, especially a group of six from the Portland, Oregon area. Their performance, set to music, was impressive - six kites in the air and no tangled strings!! Wow!! The blue skies, warm weather and good company made for a perfect day.

Okay, Dallas Cowboys fans, hands over your hearts for this one...A few weeks ago while driving through the city of Mission (about 40 miles to the west), we noticed the above street sign and had to stop for a photo. While walking around we discovered the mural painted on the side of a downtown building. Tom Landry was born in Mission where he played on the undefeated (his senior year) high school football team.

Shelby soaking up the sun on the South Padre Island beach.

A fishing boat passing through the ship channel near Isla Blanca County Park. The park, on the south end of SPI, is a good place to watch the boats, dolphins and pelicans. The sun streaming through the clouds made for a nice photo op.

The four of us (Bob, Karmen, Donnie and I) took a day trip to visit the King Ranch Museum in Kingsville, 100 miles to the north. We saw a film on the founding of the ranch, as well as lots of displays and impressive black and white photos of ranch life in the 1940s. The King Ranch, founded in 1853, is one of the world's largest covering 825,000 acres. After checking out the museum, we headed to the King Ranch Saddle Shop, filled with leather goods (smelled wonderful), clothing, and home furnishings. An interesting place to browse but I made sure to keep my wallet in my pocket...$$$$$$$$!! We finished off the day with lunch at Whataburger. Can't get any better than that!!

Below are just a few of the birds we've seen here in the valley. This place is definitely a birder's paradise. The first photo was taken at one of the birding centers, the rest were spotted along various county roads around here.

Tropical Parula

Vermillion Flycatcher

Osprey eating his/her catch

These alligators were in the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge just east of Rio Hondo where we are staying. The Refuge, on the western shore of the lower Laguna Madre, is home to lots of birds and wildlife. In addition to one of the largest (in excess of 15 feet) alligators we have ever seen, we also spotted two gigantic diamondback rattlesnakes. The largest of the two was over six feet. I'd post a photo but he was moving too fast for me to snap a good one. Glad we were in the Tracker when we saw him and not on foot!

Our first outing with our friends here at the RV park, Karmen and Bob, to the Festival of Lights in Hidalgo. We boarded a trolley that toured the town, complete with narration about the area and history. It was one of the best displays of Christmas lights we have ever seen, and we plan to make it an annual holiday tradition.

Below are pics of our grandsons taken during our fall visit to Artesia

Parker on his Preschool playground. Love that grin!

Rylee at the soccer field. Go Ry!

A little brotherly love...Aren't they the cutest??