Monday, 15 February 2010

Birding and Loving and Knitting, Oh My!

Yesterday we actually had a day that was warm enough to go out in shorts and sandals. We tried to go to one of our favourite birding spots - Sabal Palm Audubon Sanctuary - but it was closed. On closer investigation, we learned that due to a decrease in charitable contributions due to the economy and the fact that the 'wall' is to the north of it, thus cutting it off from the rest of the United States, people are less inclined to go there. It is very sad because it is home to many native species of plants and animals that reach the northernmost limit of their Mexican range here and do not occur elsewhere in the U.S.

Instead, we headed over the University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) to look at the birds in the resaca (oxbow lake). I love the architecture of the university.




We saw a very determined golden-fronted woodpecker.


This black-crowned night heron was well hidden in this tree bent over the water. 

A great kiskadee. 

The anhinga (pictured) is related to the cormorant and is sometimes called the 'snake bird'.

On the other side of the resaca, we saw another black-crowned night heron.

And up in a tree was this great blue heron. I had never seen one so high up in a tree before. 


Some flowers are in bloom. This some kind of white Siberian iris.


And there are clumps of bird of paradise here and there. 

After we got back home, we went for a walk on the beach. It is our first beach walk since we got here. The purple flag was up indicating "venemous sea life" on the beach. We encountered several jelly fish (man-o-war?) with a diameter of about 30cm washed up on the beach.

This sand castle had just been completed by the artist.



We witnessed a wedding taking place at one of the beach resort hotels. It was right at the part of the ceremony where the groomsmen were assembling with the groom.

Continuing on our walk, I noticed a young man writing "Te quieres casarme?" (Will you marry me) in the sand. His sweetie was facing the other way out to the Gulf. We walked away from them, continuing to look back to see the goings on. He then pulled a ring box out of his tote bag and told her to turn around. He didn't get down on one knee but we did see her throw her arms around his neck when he gave her the ring. We continued walking and looked back one last time before leaving the beach and they were still hugging. It was really nice to see. I'm sure she'll remember this Valentine's Day for the rest of her life.

Back at home, I resumed my Olympic knitting.
I was thrilled that Alexandre Bilodeau won a gold for Canada - our first in any of the Olympic games we've hosted. I was bummed out not to see the flag ceremony as, not surprisingly, NBC doesn't care about our gold medal ceremonies. I hope to find it on the CTV website or YouTube sometime when I have a half-decent wireless Internet signal.

I should have the first mitten finished during this evening's Olympic highlight viewing.

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