Feathers, a Wild Child, and Gas...?

Lucky us to hook up with Judy on Wed 1/25 for a tour at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane NWR, which we'd set up the week before thru our blogs and phone calls. Jimmy and I were on our way from our Daphne condo to my sister's place in Baton Rouge. As many times as we've driven past that I-10 exit, we'd never stopped - and the NWR is only about 50 miles from where we live! (Why don't people visit their own backyard treasures?)

Lucky us that the bad weather held off till nightfall, so we could enjoy a terrific 3-hour tour of the sandhill crane savannah habitat AND see about 30 of these majestic, large birds. We learned a bunch of things, too. For instance: We didn't know these birds were a non-migratory subspecies - they live in Mississippi their whole lives (no jokes allowed here). Judy is a volunteer at this NWR and a very good tour guide with lots of info for fellow birders/nature lovers like us. And she steered me to a great website for "everything birds." Thanx, Judy!

Judy in the Visitors Center, and Jimmy with Judy's "wild child" - Emma.

These "youths" seemed to pose for us. Here's the bald eagle parked on its huge nest high in a pine tree.

When we got to my sister's in Baton Rouge, we didn't take many pictures, except some shots of gazillions of American Goldfinch at her feeders and pecking the seeds she throws on the ground. They're not very colorful in winter; it's only in summer they sport their brilliant black and yellow feathers (esp the males... sigh). After the terrible-looking band of storms blew thru Wednesday night (all sorts of colors on the radar!), dozens of robins bob-bobbed along on the ground in her yard the next morning, aiming north I suppose.

Six of us friends and family ate and had a good time at PF Chang's again (Baton Rouge) on Thurs eve. Forgot the camera, par for the course, but we know we were there!

Next to a home on wheels, what could be better than a Prius? Since we're retired, drive a motor home, and usually aren't in a hurry any more, we're kinda used to driving a bit slower than the posted speed limit. We run the risk of being run over on I-10, but no matter! This trip we left the "Big Gulp" in Daphne and drove our Prius to Baton Rouge (approx 200 miles each way) with the cruise set on 65. We returned home today sporting an average of 53.5 mpg! Impressive, wouldn't you say? YES! (For sure, having a "tail wind" helps.) I mentioned to Jimmy earlier that it would be really fine if we could get even half that amount -- or what the heck, why not all? -- on our 27' Vista!   Maybe someday....


Don't much care about watching football...

so, I'll play on the computer for a while. Thought I'd add a few New Year's Day photos. My sister and her husband, and my brother, Rob, were here for dinner, after which we hiked down the hill to the bay [Mobile Bay] waters. We enjoyed mild weather on the first day of 2012, tho by sunset a chill wind chased us back up to the warm condo. Everyone had a fine holiday, ate well - some of us too well - and Nannie & Bubba returned to Baton Rouge on the 3rd. Rob lives across the bay. We had a grand time.

L-R: me, Jimmy, Bubba & Nannie, Rob. Near sunset, brown pelicans settle on pilings for a long winter's nap.

I think the fiery sunset thru the palms looks just as good as it does over the water. Maybe better.

Nannie gave us a 1000-piece cat picture puzzle, which we promptly dumped out onto the coffee table. Notice the outside edges do not form a rectangle! Well, we worked on that dang thing and on it and on it and on it till our fingers cramped, our insides felt permanently squished and our eyes were crossed. Then they left town. No fair leaving an unfinished puzzle! Lucky for us the next day friends from Tallahassee came to stay, and after playing train dominoes for hours, we four gravitated (drawn to it like magnets) to the coffee table with its loose puzzle pieces... and finished the dang thing at 1 am. Hardest puzzle I've ever done. (Gonna give it away now!)

Nothing will do but the next day a new puzzle - from our Tallahassee friends - hits the coffee table... another corker: This one a 500-piece repetitive stamp page puzzle. Looked easy. Same stamps on each (different colored) page. Eieeahhhhh! Hammered the last piece of this puzzle in on Sunday morning (8th). Then we let our friends return home. T'was more fun breaking it apart and stuffing it back in its bag. This, too I will happily give away!

Through with picture puzzles for the YEAR!!!