Remember that when you leave this Earth, you can take with you nothing that you have received, only what you have given, a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage. -St. Francis of Assisi

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Last week: A few pictures

3,100 acre lake
@ Laguna Atascosa NWR
White Pelicans
(click on pics to enlarge)

Less than 24 hours after I arrived, I was working in the Visitor Center at LANWR.  No orientation, just learning on the job. They are really short on volunteers for the Visitors Center, a few couples are here, and a few guys doing maintenance. One couple will be arriving later this week, but most won't be here until January. 

There was a big birding festival in nearby Harlingen on Thurs, Fri, Sat and Sunday so that brought in a lot of visitors. They can't start the "tram tours" for the visitors until our tram driver shows up.

I have talked with a lot of people from all over the U.S. and from Switzerland, the U.K. and Canada.  It is very interesting listening to their stories and they ask me about my volunteering and then we start to talk about RV's. Some visitors travel in an RV, but many were here for the festival or they are Winter Texans/snowbirds with property here.

Last week, on my days off, I drove over to South Padre Island. This week I will explore around the trails - hiking and biking. Next week, on my days off, I will go back to SPI to celebrate Thanksgiving with Diane and Karl and Karl's family.

The visitors are always asking "Where are the alligators?". The alligator pond is dry, so I did not see any when I went for a bike ride on Wednesday morning. 

There is one that lives
 in an old ranching livestock trough near the V.C.
He's in there, you can see his eyes sticking out.

 Walking paths near the Visitors Center

not sure what bird this is
we put out citrus and seed for the birds
and there are several areas with small ponds

Green Jays are very popular around here
they are in this area year-round

my small camera has that irritating delay 
when you press the shutter
so I only got his feet as he flew away.

This Friday, the Refuge is hosting a Thanksgiving potluck luncheon, they are providing the turkey and ham. I will be here for this, but I will miss out on the Volunteers Thanksgiving dinner next week.

Seems I volunteered to make home made stuffing/dressing (even though I don't eat wheat).  I have made it dozens of times and will use our family recipe.  Since I don't have pots and pans and some of the ingredients, it will be a group effort.  One of the employees, that is a hunter, is supplying his homemade sausage, the refuge manager is bringing the bread and some baking dishes from home. I borrowed an onion and poultry seasoning from my neighbor. I have the celery, apple, potato, a can of broth and butter. Only thing that will be missing are the gizzards from the turkey, but I have left those out in the past.

I am off work Friday and will cook in the kitchen of the Volunteer Outpost on Friday morning.


  1. Sounds like you've jumped right in it with both feet and hit the ground running.

  2. How did your repairs go at CW? Nice you are with FAMILY at Thanksgiving.

  3. We've worked that Harlingen Bird Fest.... it's a good one to go to. Will you go? Like your photos of the green jay. Who's the manager at Laguna now?

  4. LOVE IT ... those scenes I've seen ... hah! a poet... oh, boy, Teri... you have described so much of what I like and did ... I'm still not going to hurry but I am definitely on my way .... think I'll bypass Big Bend... not sure yet... oh, wow the bird festival! man?

  5. I have that aggrevating camera delay too which has caused me to miss many great shots and utter lots of colorful language.

  6. Sounds like you're having fun already. The alligator in the tank makes me kind of sad. Those green jays are delightful. Surprised I didn't see them down there near San Benito.

  7. I have never seen a green jay before thanks for sharing. Enjoy your dinner.

  8. The green jay is beautiful - thanks for the photo! Poor alligator - it took me a minute to find him. Or his eye, which is all I could see. I always make the stuffing and gravy for holidays, old family recipes that everyone loves, but if I wasn't going to be there I wouldn't take the time. You should have volunteered for the rolls and butter! :)

  9. The alligator has grown up in the water trough. When he decides to get out and walk around, it is quite a sight to see him on the trails. The staff puts out ‘trail closed’ signs when he’s out and about.
    The World Birding Center on S. Padre is a fabulous place to visit.

  10. The alligator has grown up in the water trough. When he decides to get out and walk around, it is quite a sight to see him on the trails. The staff puts out ‘trail closed’ signs when he’s out and about.
    The World Birding Center on S. Padre is a fabulous place to visit.

  11. Have you thought about making a rice or cornbread dressing?
    I'm making Cajun cornbread dressing right now so I can get my portions wrapped and frozen for Thanksgiving on the Neches River for 8. We'll steam the foil packages and serve.
    Here is the link and there are many more out there.

  12. I forgot you would also have to make gluten-free cornbread.


Hi, I welcome your thoughts and comments.

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