My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Remembering 2015: Part I Recuperating and Playing

I started off the year still recuperating from three surgeries: two carpal tunnel and one rotator cuff. I stayed with my friend Natalie, who ferried me everywhere and put up with me.  What a Friend!   But I was able to start physical therapy in January, and was also able to go birding and camping, starting with our annual trip to Goose Island State Park for birding and paddling. This also included the trip on the Skimmer to see the whooping cranes.

(I linked each picture to the blog it came from.)

I couldn't paddle but I could enjoy hiking, taking pictures and hanging out with friends. Also kept up on my exercises, her still just working on regaining movement

By February I was again traveling to visit friends and had a great bike trip on the Tammany Trace, a Rails to Trails hike/bike trail in southeast Louisiana.

I also decided to repair my canoe, which desperately needed new gunnels and thwarts as well as a paint job. I stopped at a place that sold sinker cypress and hauled home a huge board.  I got it longer than needed, on the advice of my repair person, who wanted to be able to avoid any bad places in the wood.

I forgot my racks so had an interesting time hauling this 18' x 2" X 12" board
a few hundred miles back to Galveston, TX

I also enjoyed Mardi Gras, Galveston, Texas style, in late February, especially the parade of Barkus and Meoux.

 I didn't do much in the way of volunteering, but did have a really fun day helping out the Corpus Christi Master Naturalists in March.  I thought I would be hanging out with my hostess and friend, Winnie, while she talked about birds that had migrated to the Central Texas Coast, but I got my own station and a new friend, Randy, the rat snake, to help  me teach kids about snakes and turtles and their importance to the environment as well as the dangers they face in developed areas.

Randy was super cuddly - mostly because it was a WAY cold and rainy day 

In looking back, I see that I spent much of the down time looking for birds.  I even attended a the Galveston Featherfest and helped Natalie host a few of our friends who came up from Corpus Christi for it.

But I also did some hiking and camping, and visiting attractions across Texas, especially  in the Central and Lower Coasts, and the Hill Country.  Some of the time I stayed with my daughter and just did day trips.  I enjoyed revisiting the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where I loved to work at growing the plants for the two big native plant sale days, and a first time visit to Lyndon Bains Johnson's Texas White House.

Part of the new Family Garden at the Wildflower Center

Lyndon B. Johnson's Texas White House

View of the Pedernales River in Reimer Ranch, a wonderful hiking
and birding spot in the Texas Hill Country

The Pedernales Falls at Pedernales Falls State Park, another wonderful hiking and birding spot with two magnificent bird blinds

Vernal pools at Enchanted Rock where I spent and enchanting day
with butterflies and a ring-tailed cat

I also got to start paddling again and had several paddles with friends,  and birds, which made them three times special.

Paddle with friends on Sheldon Lake - contains ten islands of wading bird rookery

Happy Paddler with a new left arm and repaired canoe

Pat, a longtime friend, fellow camper and paddler, who organized this early morning trip

Then it was time to move on to my summer job with lots of adventures on the way.

I hope your are getting some time to slow down and enjoy this season with your friends and family.  I'm working at Pea Island Visitor Center and getting to share nature from the windows of the Visitor Center. I will also be doing three Christmas Bird Counts for my days off this week.