Unexpected Pleasant Surprise

Good morning. It looks like another rainy couple of days in our forecast. Oh well, I guess it’s better than snow.

We had an unexpected pleasant surprise Monday night. Our son Scott had to go to Miami for work and stopped here on his way back north. He was able to stay with us all day Tuesday. He left to head back home just before lunch yesterday.

We were able to show him around the area. We walked the trail to the eagle’s nest and then went over to the pier for a nice walk. We had not been to the pier yet this year, but we did walk it last year while we were here.

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It was a cool, but pleasant day. We saw lots of pelicans by the pier. One fisherman was feeding them some of his catch. I don’t believe he was supposed to do that, but it was interesting watching the birds fight for a bite. On the other side of the pier, a coot was diving for his dinner. He was quite successful.

We also saw a cormorant perched on the top of a pillar. It is always fun to watch and see the wildlife.

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Pelicans

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Pelicans

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American Coot catching fish

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Cormorant

Loving our lifestyle.
Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

Eastern Screech Owl

Good morning. Yesterday was another wet rainy day. Today should be a bit better. No sun, but thankfully the rain has moved out for a few days.

In-between the rain drops yesterday, we went up to the nature center to see a presentation about the Eastern Screech Owl. Her name is Archimedes. She has resided in the nature center for many years. As she only has one eye she is unable to survive in the wild. She lost her eye while hunting for a mouse. She wasn’t paying attention to what else was around and was hit by a car. The doctors were able to save her life, but not her eye.

Screech owls, unlike other owls, have perpendicular ears. Meaning they cannot tell immediately which direction a sound is coming from because a sound will hit both ears at the same time (like humans). With other types of owls their ears are at an angle so sounds that are coming from below are heard by the lower ear first and sounds that are coming from up high are heard from the higher ear first. This makes it quicker and easier for them to know where to look for both animals who prey on them and animals they prey on. Screech owls are also much smaller in size than other types of owls. They are sometimes mistaken for a baby Great Horned Owl.

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Eastern Screech Owl

I finished my first pine needle basket yesterday. It’s not perfect, but I am really happy with how it turned out. I still need to seal it with some shellac. Others have used bees-wax, varnish or Mod Podge to seal and protect their baskets. I’m not sure what is best or which I will use. I do know that bees-wax is very expensive but is natural and a highly recommended sealant.

I now know that each basket uses quite a few pine needles. Which means more walks on the trails looking for nice long clean pine needles. I also now know that each basket takes some time to create. With each stitch I take I need to add another pine needle. It is a time-consuming process, but very relaxing. I guess that’s why I enjoy doing needlework.

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1st Pine Needle Basket – 5″w x 2 1/2″h

I won’t be able to start on another basket until I purchase some waxed thread or artificial sinew. But that’s not a problem. It will give me time to collect, clean and prepare more pine needles.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a nice day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Eagles

Good morning. It got cold enough last night to leave frost on our car windows. Looking forward to another sunny but cold day with a high of only 55º.

Yesterday wasn’t much warmer but we braved the cold and took a guided nature walk to see an eagle’s nest in the park. We were told this is the female’s third mate. Her other two mates died. We were also happy to hear that she just laid eggs a couple of days ago, so they are busy protecting their nest. With it being a clear sunny day the nest was easily visible with my camera and binoculars. This is our first eagle sighting in a natural setting.

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In the afternoon we went to the nature center for a presentation on snakes. I’m not a reptile enthusiast, but it was very interesting and we learned some very valuable information. Now if I could only retain what I was told it would be great. I do have to say that those who have given the presentations are very knowledgeable. Their time in the field and education is very evident.

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We also managed to fit in a trip to the laundromat. Always a fun time (not), but it needs to be done. We were very tired and ready relax by the time we got home.

Today is my pine needle basket class. Can’t wait. Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

Barred Owl

Good morning. After a few cold days it looks like today will be a nice day to be outside. Our high here in Gulf Shores, Alabama is going to be around 70º. We plan on getting some outside work done along with leisure activities.

Yesterday was a busy day. In the morning we went to the nature center where they had a presentation on the barred owl. This beautiful gal, named Sherlock, ran into barbed wire and was injured. She no longer has the ability to fly quietly (which is necessary to capture its prey) or well and now has a permanent home at the nature center.

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After visiting the nature center we moved to our other site. We weren’t due to move until Saturday, but with rain in the forecast for this weekend and the site vacant now, we decided it was a good day to switch over. This is the site we will be on until we leave here January 1st. We are now on site #281 which is on Gator and is at the end of a loop. From here I can see the water (always a plus) and we are in a more remote area which hopefully will help keep Patty Pepper a little calmer.

We then did our necessary grocery shopping. I said it was a busy day.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

Decisions Decisions

Good morning family and friends. Oh my it got cold last night. The temperature is only 34° now, but at least it is supposed to warm up to 61°; which is warmer than it was yesterday.

Tomorrow is a travel day. Our original plan was to spend the next two weeks in a Corps of Engineering campground along the Georgia/Florida line. We have had to change those plans. One month ago hurricane Michael decimated much of the Florida panhandle and surrounding areas. The East Bank corps of engineering park on Lake Seminole was one of the areas that suffered damage and is still closed for repairs.

So what are our choices and where do we go. We could stay here another 6 days, but that would mean we would need to leave on Thanksgiving day. No thank you. We have reservations for the month of December at Gulf Shores state park in Alabama. We were there last year and really liked it. Looking at our options heading that way were slim and none. The parks were either damaged from the hurricane and closed, or they were full or too expensive for our budget.

Fortunately we were able to get a site at Gulf Shores state park. It is not the same site we have for the month of December, which means we will have to move in 2 weeks. But, that’s fine. At least we were able to get in. They have a long waiting list. It is a very popular park.

Gulf Shores is about 265 miles from here. For us that is about a 5 1/2 hour drive. The park is also in a different time zone. We are in the eastern and the park is in the central time zone (1 hour behind us).

Mapquest has us going north along I-10. I would like to take the scenic drive along the ocean, but I am a bit leery. I am not sure the roads are all clear from hurricane Michael. For us, driving a motorhome pulling a car is not as easy as just going through an area in a car. We cannot back up. If we get stuck some place we have to unhook the car to turn around. What to do. Decisions decisions.

Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Movie Day

Good morning. As predicted we had an overcast gloomy day with lots of rain. It was a great day to stay in and watch old movies. We do not pay for cable or satellite TV and our antenna channels come in spotty here. It is frustrating to start watching something and have the program fade in and out continually looking for reception.

A good alternative is DVD’s. Thanks to my sister and niece who were cleaning out their stashes while we were visiting them during the summer, we became the grateful recipients of a very large bag of old DVD’s.

We are not movie goers. We wait for the movies to come to TV or DVD. That means there are many movies we have never seen. On the other hand, we do (or I do) have a tendency to not remember movies I have seen. I can watch a movie almost to its entirety until I remember I may have seen it before. So this very large bag of movies we were gifted with was perfect for us. Thanks again Barb and Tina.

For those of you curious as to what we watched, we viewed 3 movies. #1-Friday Night Lights, #2-Crash, and #3-Good Will Hunting. None of which we had seen before. We’ve also been enjoying a movie in the evenings. It’s been a nice change of pace for us.

On our walk yesterday between the rain I didn’t find anything new and exciting to share with you. But, Clyde did find a tiny lizard that blended in with the twigs just outside our motorhome. I believe it is an Ornate Tree Lizard.

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I was also able to take a picture of a bird through the motorhome window. I think it is the Northern Mockingbird which is the state bird of Florida.

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Loving our lifestyle.

Until next time,

Kathryn

P.S. As I am sitting here I see 3 deer right in front of our motorhome. How cool is that.😊

 

Bald Point

Good morning. Waking up here in the Ochlockonee State Park is so peaceful with the wildlife outside my front window. The deer are frequent and the squirrels are numerous. You see many grey squirrels with a few white squirrels scattered in. They are entertaining to watch, chasing each other up, down and around the trees.

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This is a small park with only 30 sites. Each site is separated by vegetation, which helps give you more privacy and space. The park recently updated the electric and now offers 50 amps; always a plus for us. We are in site #7 which is deep enough for our unit. Some sites are short and wide, perfect for smaller units and tents. They have both sites to reserve and 1st come sites. The park is a favorite for fishermen and has a boat launch.

Yesterday we took a ride in the opposite direction along the coast to Panacea. We crossed over the Ochlockonee Bay bridge. The picture below shows the unusual (at least to us)water swirls. We thought it was interesting.

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We also drove over to Bald Point State Park and walked to the shore. There we spotted a horseshoe crab. We have no idea if it was dead or alive. We did not want to disturb it.

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We are enjoying our stay here. Loving our lifestyle .

Until next time.

Kathryn