Saturday, January 31, 2015

South Padre Kite Festival

We were really happy to hear that the South Padre Kite Festival had been reinstated.  We missed it last season.  It is really quite popular so we couldn't believe they would just let the festival die.  

Our bus took a bunch of Winter Ranchers to the festival.  We drove down separately today as we had plans for this evening but we ran into a bunch of Winter Ranchers while we were there. Some who came on the bus and others who also drove over.


A group from Winter Ranch

We ran into this group of Winter Ranchers as we were looking for a place to sit and watch the kite flying.  Most of them are from Iowa.

It was a bit nippy today and got windier as the day progressed.

Then we ran into Sandy and Chuck


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Two Triple Flyers



Wilbur and Mike

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Superman

Pat and Chuck

Then we ran into Pat and Chuck.  We liked the view they had of the kite flying so we parked right next to them.

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Single Quad


Lots of Novelty Kites in the Sky Today

 End of Line Team

The End of the Line Team came out to give us a demonstration on how they orchestrate their team flying.  It is remarkable to watch!


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Four Sports - Team Flying


Pat and Chuck

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Single Sport Kite

Large turning wheel

Don and Sylvia and Linda and RW 





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Fireball







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Single Sport Kite

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God Bless the USA

We stayed until most people had left and it was getting pretty nippy.  We headed straight home because we were heading out to check out a band tonight with several other Winter Ranchers.  

We went over to Country Sunshine RV Park in Weslaco to check out Dixon and Company.  The band had been recommended by several people.  None of us were very impressed with them.  The whole first segment of the dance, they played the same beat and didn't really change much all night.  It was pretty clear that they wouldn't work for the dancers at Winter Ranch.  We've been visiting several parks and their bands and we have found one band that we are going to try to book.  We have enough good rock and roll bands now but we need a couple new country bands. 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Card-Making Class at Winter Ranch

After the morning meeting today I went to the card-making class.  This was my first one for this year.  It has been one busy season so far.  We made five cards todayl


 Vera, Gail  and our Instructor, Jean

 Showing off the second of five of the cards we made

 Jean giving us instructions

Barb and I showing off another 
couples of the cards we made today

Monday, January 26, 2015

Isla Blanca County Park on South Padre Island

Our next stop for the day was the Isla Blanca County State Park on South Padre Island.  There is a small charge for entering the park but it is worth it. 



El Cristo de los Pescadores 
Christ of the Fisherman Monument

The monument was erected in 1999 as a tribute to all those who have lost their lives at sea.  The base of the statue has an inscription in spanish and english: "Father! Receive the souls of these brave fishermen who have sailed through this pass and never returned." Plaques inserted into the statue's base provide the names of all the fisherman who never returned.
statue is a tribute to all those who lost their lives at sea near there. - See more at: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/41334#sthash.szFmGKQS.dpuf
statue is a tribute to all those who lost their lives at sea near there. - See more at: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/41334#sthash.szFmGKQS.dpuf
statue is a tribute to all those who lost their lives at sea near there. - See more at: http://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/41334#sthash.szFmGKQS.dpuf


Canvasbacks

Canvasback

Lots of fisherman out here today

A beautiful day to lounge on the beach

There is over one mile of clean, white beach 
along the Gulf of Mexico at Isla Blanca State Park

A couple of surfboarders heading out


Large ship behind the breakers

We stayed around the island until the sun started to set and then we headed back home.  It was a wonderful day!

South Padre Island Birding Center


After lunch we headed over to the South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center which is adjacent to the Laguna Madre.  As we walked in we were already greeted by a Great Egret.







The Birding Center

The Great Egret getting a drink

The Great Egret

Loggerhead Shrike


American Coot

American Coots
 
Great Blue Heron


Tri-colored Heron




Great Blue Heron hoping the fisherman 
catches something he can have!

Reddish Egret

Wonderful skies today with perfect reflections!


What a perfect day!



Reddish Egret

Semipalmated Sandpiper



Black Skimmer



Sanderling



Black-crowned Night Heron

Black-crowned Night Heron and a Great Egret

Black-crowned Night Heron  

A little old alligator

A better look at the alligator

The water was low and clear so you could 
see the fish plainly - so could the birds!

Turtles basking in the sun

Common Moorhen

Moorhens

Tri-colored Heron


Ready for flight



Our surroundings

Mexican Mallard Intergrade

White Ibis


Mottled Duck




Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron - he is pretty colorful

Monarch Butterfly

A view from the top level of the Birding Center


All the birds people have identified at the Birding Center

We stopped in the Birding Center to get some water which they didn't have and hit the restrooms.  Then we decided to take the boardwalks next to the South Padre Island Convention Center.  These boardwalks are older and there isn't as much traffic but the main reason we decided to go is that I saw a Roseate Spoonbill take flight in that area so we had to go find them.


The area looks much the same

There's a spoonbill in there!

And we found them!  -  The Roseate Spoonbill

Gotta love the reflections today!

Northern Pintails

Roseate Spoonbills

Great Blue Heron taking off

Love the sky and water today!



A Great Blue Heron and a White Ibis

We decided from here that we would head over to Isla Blanca County Park on the South end of the island.