20140304

Back on the Road, heading toward the sunset... Mon, March 3rd


Leaving Louisiana Monday morning, heading west on their nerve-wracking, teeth-clenching, window-rattling portion of I-10, we may have gone from the frying pan straight into the fire.  At least there all we had to contend with was cloudy skies and an unkind north wind that wanted to push us into a different lane than the one we were in!  Hard on the driver; we change every couple of hours on days like this.  (More on driving into the fire tomorrow.  Tonite's internet connection is sketchy.)  Nevertheless, we departed for Winnie, Texas, and arrived a short five hours +/- later. We'd arranged with Judy of Travels with Emma to meet her for a tour of Anahuac NWR where she volunteers.  Anahuac is roughly 20-25 miles west of Beaumont.

By the time we met, sometime after 2 pm, the temp had dropped into the 40's.  Combined with that biting north wind, this wasn't walking-around weather, for sure.  Judy gamely drove me and Jimmy around a section of the NWR, inc 225-acre Shoveler Pond, but we passed on the boardwalk and overlook, opting to do our bird-watching from the heated car!  While the snow geese have flown the coop, so to speak, we spotted ducks, as well as herons, egrets, etc., a black-necked stilt, and 100,000 coots. (That might be an exaggeration, but then, again, it might not be!)  Plus, everybody's favorite:  Roseate Spoonbills. We were amazed at the refuge size -- 34,000 acres. Maybe next time we come back this way, we'll have more time and better weather conditions to explore more areas of this vast refuge.

Love the refuge emblem.  I bought a T-shirt that looks the same.

 A Where's Waldo game -- can you spot the alligator and the Blue-winged Teal? *   Seeing an alligator out on such a cool day surprised all of us.

 Closer-up of the teal.

 Egrets and Roseate Spoonbills (among friends), all hunkered on a man-made dike protected from the wind by the marsh grasses.  Gorgeous colors.

Back at the barn, Judy and Jimmy pose for posterity!

We enjoyed our visit.  Thanks, Judy, for getting out on a real jacket-weather day.  If/when we meet again, perhaps we'll break bread together, and try some more new delicacies. 

* Alligator is on the left at water's edge and the teal is in the water near photo center.

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