~Birds-Carolina Wren, House Finches

March, 2017

Some more birds from South Llano State Park.

OoO – A pair of Carolina Wrens were flying around our site. This one landed at the top of a tree and serrenated us.

Carolina Wren
Carolina Wren

OoO – I don’t often get the opportunity to capture, good, photos of House Finches. This male was beginning to show his breeding plumage.

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House Finch (male)
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House Finch (female)

 

~~~Happy Birding~~~

House Finch (male). Looking for a mate.

~Waco, Texas- 1 of 2

March, 2017

Waco looked interesting. We were close. Watching the HGTV show that takes place in Waco called Fixer Upper where Chip and Joanna Gaines find, restore and sell old homes needing love was a trigger for us wanting to visit Waco. Their entrepreneurial spirit and hard work has provided them with many successful businesses and our admiration.

We spent four nights in Waco, the weather wasn’t good. Cool temperatures, cloudy days and lots of rain made it difficult to get out and about. The last night we were there it was 39 degrees.

In spite of the rain and cool temperatures we managed a few fun trips around town. Of course we headed to The Magnolia Marketplace and The Silos. It was Saturday, the number of people there trying to get into both the store and the bakery were unbelievable and a deterrent. I wasn’t going to stand in lines of 100 plus people to walk around the store or get a cupcake.

Howard and I enjoyed the grounds and spent an hour enjoying and photographing the silos and crowd. Under cloudy skies it wasn’t the best climate for photos.

It is a unique place, fully family orientated and I admire their vision.

Howard and I standing by the Magnolia Market building. The weather was warm enough,for awhile, on this day for shorts sleeves.

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This is the entrance to the Magnolia Market.

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A view of The Silos. Notice a stage area in between them, a place for performances, to relax to watch the crowds and to eat a cupcake.

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The grounds of the Marketplace are setup to accommodate families with play areas, swings, games, balls, beanbags, canopies, tables, food trucks and more. Lots of families with kids having a wonderful time.

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A closeup view of one of The Silos

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The perimeter of the grounds are lined with food trucks selling all kinds of good eats.

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People lined up to enter the store. The line is about a block long.

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A block away there is another store called The Finder, which was fun and unique. On the side of the building was this mural.

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On Sunday we went to a place called The Spice Village, which is a collection of many types of business in an antique store layout. It was fun.

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On Monday we went back to The Magnolia Marketplace and there were even more people, lines several blocks long. We kept driving. Sic

We ate lunch at a place called Buzzard Billy’s. It was a cajun style restaurant. I had Red Beans and Rice and instead of sausage, I asked for a piece of catfish. It was blackened and the VERY best I have ever eaten! Howard enjoyed Crawfish Étouffée. After lunch we took a ride to view Lake Waco.

I learned today that Spring at the Silos will take place March 16-18th. It will consist of: Vendor Fair, Morning Yoga on the Lawn, Walking Grounds Tours, Local Fare, Shopping in The Market, Sweet Treats from The Bakery. Maybe this is why so many people are visiting this area!

Waco has been a great city to visit. Lots more to do and see, but can’t book additional nights.

 

 

~A bad shopping experience

March, 2017 – Waco, Texas

Sunday, we decided to stop at a grocery store to pick up a few items. When in Texas the place to shop is H.E.B. We truly enjoy shopping there. However, our decision on this day was a bad one!

Given it was a Sunday we thought it might be a little crowded. Were we ever wrong, it was mobbed. Never have there been so many people in a grocery store while we shopped. It was horrible, we couldn’t wait to get out of there. H.E.B. stores are huge, with nice big aisles. I’am talking – no room to walk down the aisles.

Fighting our way to checkout,  I told Howard, “Lets split the groceries between us so we can go through the express lane.” That turned out to be a great idea.

I asked the cashier, “Is it always this crowded in here?” She thought it was so crowded, because Baylor University was starting classes on Monday after spring break. That just couldn’t be, but no other reason comes to mind.

OoO – A little H.E.B. history: (I just learned what H.E.B. stands for.)

The story of H‑E‑B begins more than 100 years ago in a small, family‑owned store in the Texas Hill Country. Today H‑E‑B serves families all over Texas and Mexico in 155 communities, with more than 340 stores and over 76,000 employees.

1905

Our-Story

Florence Butt opens the C.C. Butt Grocery Store in Kerrville. She invests $60 in the business to get started.

 

1920s

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Florence’s youngest son, Howard E. Butt takes over the business. He expands the Butt Grocery Company with a new store in Del Rio and another in Laredo.

 

Today: Big, lovely stores across Texas

“Our commitment to excellence has made us one of the nation’s largest independently owned food retailers. Yet our success hasn’t changed our commitment to exceptional service, low prices, and friendly shopping.”

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If you are ever in Texas stop in at a HEB. Those of you who travel through Texas know all about HEB stores!

 

~Carolina Chickadee gathering nesting material

Photo taken in South Llano State Park

Junction, Texas-March, 2017

 

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Carolina Chickadee

Our Keeshond has lots of fur, so I try to brush her often. While camped at South Llano State Park a few days ago, I got our her brushes.

After I was finished brushing Skye, I placed several clumps of her fur in the surrounding trees near our RV site. It is almost spring and I noticed the birds were starting to gather materials for nest building. What better nest material than thick, soft doggie fur?

It didn’t take long for the birds to find Skye’s present. With amusement, I sat back and watched this Carolina Chickadee pull apart a ball of fur and fly off with it toward a distant tree. Perfect!

 

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Skye likes to share!

 

 

 

 

~A Change of Scenery

~

Easy and slow,

is the way, 

we want to go,

doing our best,

to relieve our stress

.~

Holding lovely memories,

in our hearts,

adding new ones,

as we enjoy,

what comes next.

~

Well, it has been eleven months since we have traveled in our RV. We arrived home at the end of March, 2016 and haven’t  been out on the road since. We elected to stay home with Kloudy, because of her illness and we have no regrets with that decision.

A week ago we decided a change of scenery was needed, so we hit the road. Our first night we stayed in Lamar, Colorado, second night we stayed at Amarillo Ranch,  in Amarillo, Texas, the third night, Lake Colorado City State Park, in Colorado City, Texas.

OoO Lake Colorado City State Park:

Site 46, Lake Colorado City State Park
Site 46 at Lake Colorado City State Park. Quiet, nice sites, not crowded, beautiful sunsets.
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A great place to spend a couple quiet nights. Lots of space between sites.

For four nights we stayed at South Llano State Park in Junction, Texas. This state park is a birders paradise and one of my favorites. The weather has been wonderful, not too cool and not too warm, and no rain! The park is still experiencing late winter, but if you look closely you can see spring trying hard to grab hold. Also, the male birds are dressed in breading plumage and chasing the ladies around. I wish it was April, because I believe we would have seen a lot more birds.

OoO South Llano State Park, Junction, Texas

Site 34, South Llano State Park
Site 33. Huge sites, plenty of birds and deer, lots of hiking trails.

We have seen twenty-five species of birds, including Wild Turkeys, which this park is known for. We enjoyed a few fun walks and a few trips into town to eat at some of the local restaurants. Junction has some excellent BBQ places. And, we met lots of wonderful, nice people. Why is it that we find the people down south so darn friendly?

OoO We are headed somewhere we have never stayed before. Waco, Texas here we come!

I want to walk around The Silos, eat at some of the food trucks located there, and of course eat a cupcake at Joanna’s Bakery. I have fallen in love with the Gaines family from Fixer Upper and thought, what the heck, lets go visit Waco.

Hoping to tour downtown Waco and find a few neat shops to browse. And, maybe tour a few antique stores, if I can convince Howard what fun that might be!

It is amazing how many people are staying in Waco, just to visit The Silos. We arrived today at Riverview RV Park, Waco, Texas, after trying several other parks (all full). A neighbor told us that he felt there were at least four hundred people at The Silos on Thursday! Wow!

Our ride here from South Llano State Park, at first was most enjoyable, traveling the back roads of Texas (which we love to do) on highways 377 and 29. Beautiful, rustic towns along the route, especially  Mason, with Bluebonnets blooming almost the entire way.

Highway 29, taken from a pull off.
Bluebonnets along the side of a Texas highway. Taken from a pull-off, when we stopped for a short break.

We wanted to get on I-35 at Georgetown, which we did without any trouble. But, further north driving through Tempe it was awful, lots of construction, which had traffic backed up for miles. There were two accidents within a mile of each other, one going south bound and one going north bound. Horrible!

OoO Anyway, I have several photos of the birds I saw at South Llano State Park, which I will be posting. It will be to get back to blogging, it has been awhile.

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Vermilion Flycatcher. Check out the new growth.

Has anyone been to Waco, Texas to visit The Silos?

 

 

~Her Journey Begins

 

For an adventurer at heart,

her journey begins,

free to explore,

and play among the stars.

When the time comes,

she will seek,

her special place,

and watch over us.

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October 8, 2004 – February 20, 2017

To our sweet, beautiful girl, it was our privilege to have you as a member of our pack. Love you forever and always. Only love so pure and deep can cause so much pain with loss.

Run, Kloudy.

Run, explore and play, cancer free.

Enjoying retirement: On The Road & At Home