Wildlife Prairie Park

Good morning. Happy Saturday. We have another busy day planned. We will be leaving here before 9am, so I’ve got to get my move on.

Day 132. We had a change of plans yesterday. I thought we were going to the Peoria Riverfront Museum but because it was going to be such a nice day, we decided to go to the Wildlife Prairie Park, which isn’t very far from our campground. The 480 acre park is a great place to see animals out in the open. They also take in birds, reptiles and animals that, for various reasons, can no longer live in the wild and need the protected environment of the nature center. You can read about each of the animals history and the reason for their adoption on the plaque attached to their enclosure.

The park does rely heavily on volunteers and donations to keep it open. You can help out by sponsoring an animal, bird or reptile. Our son Scott sponsors the Great Horned Owls. Both of the owls are no longer able to survive in the wild and need the care and protection the park is able to give them.

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We have been to the park a few times before. It is always a fun experience. If you go at the right time, you can take in one of the free programs they offer. Those are always fun. I have learned so much each time I go to one of them.

There is a train that you can ride around the park.  It is another way to see the park and is fun for the kids. There is so much to see and do in the park that you could spend the entire day there. They also have a nice gift shop. The proceeds from your gift shop purchases go back into maintaining the park.

It was a perfect day to walk around and get some exercise in a very interesting and fun environment with family. Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Missouri Wildlife

Good morning. Today we are heading a little further north to another Missouri state park. We have explored and seen all that there is here during this time of year. It’s time to move on and explore another area.

Day 123. As Clyde was taking Patty Pepper out for her first thing in morning walk he noticed three deer right in our backyard. He quietly called me on my phone to alert me to his findings and I was able to get a few pictures of them from our motorhome window. They weren’t very big and seemed as curious about us as we were about them.

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Later in the day I was able to get a couple of pictures of the two birds I had seen yesterday.

We have enjoyed our stay here, in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains.

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Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

2nd Time Around

Good morning everyone.  Another beautiful day on the horizon. Can you ever have too many in a row? I don’t think so. Just keep them coming. I’ll take as many as I can get. I love having the windows open with the fresh air flowing through.

Day 91.  As planned, we went to the grand opening to the new building of the Turtle Rescue Center on South Padre Island. We wanted to get there early so that we could go to the Bird and Nature Center afterward. The place was packed. It is nice to see so many people interested in sea turtles. The new parking lot is huge, so finding a spot to park was easy, but the line to get in was long. We waited in line about 20 minutes, which wasn’t too bad. The weather was perfect; not to hot or cold with a light breeze. Last week when we went, there was no fee to get in. They only asked for a donation. With the new building, an entrance fee was initiated. They have a summer and winter fee schedule. For us seniors it was $5 each, $6 in the summer. That’s ok with us. The money goes to a good cause and the fee wasn’t so high as to deter us from going.

When we finally got into the rescue center a presentation in the new amphitheater was about to begin, so we headed there. The amphitheater is a huge covered area that overlooks the bay. There was a large unpacked box with the new projection screen sitting there waiting to be opened and installed. The man who gave the talk was a very good speaker and very knowledgeable. He didn’t have the props he normally would have, but was still able to keep our attention and convey to us the history and the need to protect the endangered Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles. Even though we had gone the week before and listened to that presentation we learned even more this time.

When the presentation was over, we wandered around a bit looking in the different tanks. The place was so filled with people it was hard to get a good look. I really don’t enjoy being that packed in and prefer to go at an off time when it isn’t so crowded.

We decided not to go to the Bird and Nature Center, as we figured the crowds would be going there also, as they are right next door to each other. We will go again another day when it isn’t so busy. We will have a more relaxing and enjoyable time.

Back home I was anxious to see if I could figure out how to do the next step on the beaded bracelet I am making. I did and I finished the beading. All it needs now is the clasp, which I need to buy. I have more seed beads, so I decided to start another bracelet in a different color. I will still need to buy the other types of beads needed to finish it, but while I wait to go to the bead store again I can work on the base, now that I know what I am doing.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a good day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

 

Time for Ice Cream

Good Morning. It looks like we are going to have another nice day with a high nearing 80 and partly sunny.  I’ll take that. I’m not sure what we are going to do today, but we will definitely get outside.

Day 89. It was such a nice day yesterday, I walked almost 2 miles. Don’t you just feel so much better when you are out in the fresh air and get some exercise. This beautiful view doesn’t hurt either. As we walked around by the water, we saw the birds sitting in the sand on the beach and others perched on top of posts. We watched other people enjoying the nice weather too. Some were walking the beach or fishing. Others were sitting in their lounge chairs reading or relaxing as they watched the waves hit the shore. And, there were a few people gathered together just enjoying the company of other campers. Everyone was doing the same thing we were, enjoying the beautiful day.

We took a short drive into Port Isabel to Walmart for a few supplies. On the way home Clyde suggested we stop for ice cream. He has been hankering for some since we started on our journey and I keep saying no, it’s not warm enough to enjoy it. Well, he finally wore me down and I said yes. It’s not that I don’t like ice cream, ice cream is a weakness of mine and he knows it.

We decided to stop at this fun looking tourist souvenir store that said ice cream instead of going to dairy queen, which we can get anywhere and isn’t really true ice cream. This store was huge. They had all kinds of souvenirs but mostly shells and items made from shells. The post cards were the cheapest we’ve seen anywhere and they had a large selection to choose from. He took that as a sign to get some more to send out. The ice cream was good and a nice treat. We may have to stop there again before we head north.

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Enjoying our lifestyle. Enjoy your day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’

Good morning.  It looks like we are going to have another bright sunny day.  It won’t be as warm as yesterday.  I’m not sure we will even reach 60 today, but at least the sun will be out and hopefully the wind will stay at bay.

Day 71.  Remember the lyrics of the song in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical Oklahoma, “Oh, what a beautiful mornin’, Oh, what a beautiful day, I’ve got a beautiful feelin’, Everything’s goin’ my way”.  Well, that was yesterday for sure.  What a gorgeous day we had. The sun was out, the wind was light and the temperature was around 70.  What more could we ask for.

The beautiful weather brought everyone and their brother out and about too, which made walking with our unfriendly pug, Patty Pepper, difficult.  She is a barker.  Funny thing is we got her because we thought this breed of dogs were not barkers.  She never socialized with other dogs, except those in our family, when she was younger (our fault).  So now when we have her out all she wants to do is bark at other dogs and everything else around her.  She is getting worse with old age.  We have tried just about everything; bark collars, squirt guns, a stern voice, etc. Nothing seems to work.  I’m thinking she needs blinders like you put on a horse. Maybe if she couldn’t see anything she wouldn’t bark. How they would stay attached to her tiny head would be interesting though.  Just a thought.  We really would like to be able to stop and talk to the other campers, but she is making that impossible.

Our walk in the morning was uneventful.  With so many people out walking around the wildlife stayed away.  We did see a couple of turtles on the log, but that’s about it.

Nice weather and weekends make the perfect time for families to go camping with their children. We enjoyed watching the children play.  We have some great climbing trees here in this park which the kids took full advantage of.

And, as it was Sunday, those same families had to return home for school and work.  The park emptied out quickly by lunch.  It was the perfect time to take another walk.  The wildlife was back.

As we walked by the area where we had seen the turtles a number of times before, I was surprised to see so many all at once.  On one log was a loner who looked like he was hugging the log.  On another log, we observed 4 at one time.  The 4th looked like he was barely holding on.  He finely gave up and went for a swim.  That’s when I noticed the other turtles swimming too. Look closely at the picture and you will see not only the turtles on the log, but 3 in the water.  We decided to name this area of the lake “Turtle Cove”.

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Painted Turtle – Tree Hugger

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4 Painted Turtles

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6 Painted Turtles – (3 in the water)

We also came across an armadillo carcass. We wondered what animal would be its enemy.  So I looked it up.  I found out that automobiles are their biggest threat.  Next are hunters, dogs and coyotes. I can’t imagine what a hunter would want with one. By process of elimination we must have coyotes in the area, although we haven’t heard any.

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Armadillo Carcass

We weren’t ready to head back home just yet.  It was too nice of a day.  So we found a picnic table by the water to sit and relax and just enjoy the sun and sights.  We watched the boaters, ducks, birds and a Great Blue Heron. We also watched the planes go overhead.

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England is not the only place you can see the prehistoric monument Stonehenge. We spotted a miniature version of one in our park.

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We are loving this lifestyle.  Enjoy your day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Bird, Coots, Turtles and an Armadillo

Good Morning.  Wow, I can’t believe we are hovering around 50 this morning.  Nice.  The temperature is forecast to be in the mid 60’s today with no sun and rain early this evening.  It will be a good day to get my meals planned for the next few days and grocery shopping done.  I prefer going on a week day anyway to avoid the weekend crowds.  Why fight them if you don’t have to.

Day 68.  As I was getting ready for the day, I noticed a bird perched on top of the tree outside my bedroom window.  Of course I had to grab my camera a get a picture.  I have no idea what kind it is and would really appreciate some help identifying it.

We waited until after lunch to take our walk around the park.  This was the warmest time of the day and the sun was shining brightly.  Being by the water the breeze can be quite chilly so I automatically put on my windbreaker.  You can always take a coat off if you get too warm.   In the same turn, you can be uncomfortable the entire time you are out if you get chilled and you leave your jacket at home. I’m glad I wore my jacket.  The wind was a bit strong and even though the sun was out, it was cool.

The nice weather brought more people outside than on our previous walks.  We even saw a couple of kids which has been unusual this winter.  One thing we noticed about this park is how well it is maintained.  We see park employees working everywhere cleaning and repairing the sites and picnic areas.  With so many people out and about we weren’t seeing any wildlife.  I thought this was going to end up being a nice walk only without getting any good photos to share.  How wrong I was.

We were almost back home walking along the bank of the water when I noticed more American Coots.  They are the cutest little ducks.  I started to snap some shots of them when I noticed three turtles sunning themselves on a log.  How cool.  What a find.  I believe they are Painted Turtles, if not please let me know. Don’t forget, you can click on each of the photos to get a better look.

As we walked a little further we decided to extend our walk and go just outside our campsite area.  This took us by an area that was fenced off with barbed wire and signs that said keep out.  That’s when I noticed out of the corner of my eye something moving.  I couldn’t tell what it was but I was determined to get a picture of it anyway.  I can always delete it if it turned out to be a piece of paper or something.  I was ready this time with my lens cap off and camera still turned on I got two pictures before it disappeared down a hole.  It turned out I got a picture of an armadillo.  My very first armadillo sighting.  What a good day; bird, coots, turtles and an armadillo.

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Armadillo

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Armadillo #2

The shots below were taken at dusk from inside the front window of our motorhome.  What a beautiful view we have.

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American Coots-View from inside Winnie

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American Coots – View from inside Winnie #2

Loving the full-time lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Exploring the Park

Good morning.  It got kind of cool last night.  The furnace kicked on.  It is 28 now, but it is supposed to be the nicest day yet; sunny and almost 70.  It will be a good day to dump the black and grey tanks and fill up our potable water tank.  After that, who knows.

Day 67.  We decided to drive around and see the other areas to this large park.  We took Patty Pepper with us thinking we would get out and walk around, but we didn’t find a good spot to do that.

The first thing we did see was a bald eagle perched on top of a tree.  I didn’t even get a chance to get my lens cap off my camera and it flew away.  I was so disappointed.  We are not sure if he heard the car window going down or us talking or the car motor or what.  That was our first ever bald eagle sighting and I didn’t get to capture it to share.  Lesson learned; always have window down and camera ready.  Easier said than done.

I did take quite a few pictures, some better than others.  Below you can see the boat launch and one of the breakwall areas.

My day wouldn’t be complete without seeing more wildlife.  We saw another Great Blue Heron and many birds in a tree, (no clue what kind).

Until next time,

Kathryn