Thursday, March 29, 2012

On The Road with Don and Gail #3

We are here in Corpus Christi, TX., well, actually Mustang Island which is considered part of Corpus Christi. The weather here has been wonderful, temp. in the 80’s with a light wind. It’s great for beach walking, bike riding, and driving on the beach. We spent several days in the San Antino area and re visited the Alamo, enjoyed the Riverwalk and the boat ride. Such a fun place with so much history!


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We saw a lot of the countryside around the area north and west of San Antonio: Pipe Creek, Bandera (cute), and Utopia, Hondo and Bourne (pronounced Bernie). Bourne is just an adorable place with all it’s old buildings still in use today. Lots of shopping!

Here on Mustang Island a lot of nothing except flat sea grasslands and dunes on the gulf side with long sandy beaches. Padre Island lies just south and several small islands lie in the Intracoastal waterway, all of which must be used to get from Corpus to Mustang. Lots of birdlife and fishing due to all the water and wetlands. It’s neat. Our beach wasn’t pretty due to a big wind storm the week before we arrived. Tons of Sargasso seaweed which is so very different from any we’ve ever seen in the West. Lots of junk and interesting things to find from many different places in US, Mexico, Caribbean, South America, and who knows where. Had a great time collecting ‘sea beans’ which are really nuts, many types of little coconuts, seeds and pits. Some are very unusual.

Yesterday we went to the USS Lexington which is here in Corpus Christi and now a museum. It was so very interesting.



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“Now hear this! This is the Captain speaking…..”


Next, we head for Houston to visit relations and enjoy the sights. Hoping everyone is doing well….

Mom and Dad (a.k.a. Don and Gail)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Birthday Wine Tasting

Just got back from taking Terrie on her birthday surprise - Wine Touring in Woodinville from Seattle Wine Tours.

I rented a car/driver which picked us up and took us over to Woodinville to visit all the wineries. This way, I could enjoy in the wine tasting as well. :)

We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day too!



We hit up the following wineries...

Novelty Hill / Januik

Novelty Hill and Januik are in the same tasting room location and had a really good Sauvignon Blanc.

JM Cellars - This is a newer winery which neither of us had been to and has absolutely great wines. We bought one of each of the wines they were tasting, it was so good!

Ch√Ęteau St. Michelle - We had been here a number of times but they always have some good wines.

And Terrie remembered a wine cellar called Woodinville Wine Cellars which she had been
Woodinville Wine Cellars. They had a great Sauvignon Blanc as well.

After wine tasting, we stopped at The Purple Cafe for lunch.

All in all, we had a great time and a wonderful day!


-Posted from the piece of junk, pain in the rear Google Blogger iPhone app (Don't use it unless you have great patience, technical knowledge, and a really short posting - shorter than this post).

Location:Woodinville, WA

Friday, March 9, 2012

Bobcat Update

I went back up the river Tuesday March 6th, we had some snow last night in town so I knew there would be fresh snow at my set, I couldn't resist. Fresh snow is like looking into a crystal ball not so much for the future aspect but more of a exact time line of the past. On the drive in I pick up a pair coyote tracks about 3/4 of a mile from where the kill is and there hunting the road corridor by the way there tracks are working. Coyotes register in a straight line meaning there is no off set in their tracks like domestic dogs or bobcats or anything else for that matter.

A couple of examples I poached off the web :)



So it’s pretty obvious what there going to smell when they get down the road a ways, sure enough there tracks go left just were I figured they would but to my surprise no coyote pictures just tracks everywhere but in front of the camera or what the bobcat considers to be it’s personal space. The slideshow of pictures below shows it happening. The bobcat definitely defended it’s kill. The coyote tracks came in from the left circled around to the right then back around to the left, just exactly what the cat is showing in the sequence. You can see about half way through it charges out and then proceeds to give the evil eye to the receding coyotes. Sure wish I had the camera set to video with sound. Shoulda woulda coulda.

The lighting issues are from my slave flash, it’s a cheepo and doesn't quite keep up with my camera. A little tweaking is in order.

This cat is definitely a badass (sorry mom) it takes down a full sized doe, tries to scare me off and defends it from two coyotes ! From the time stamps on the photos the coyotes left at 9:45 the cat relaxed at it’s kill for about 15 minutes then leaves when it hears me walking in. I always wave my hand in front of the camera to get a timeline, we missed each other by 2 minutes, barley!

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But wait ! About 40 yards away through the reprod (second or third or forth… timber plant) I hear a Stellars Jay scolding something !! What are the chances it’s scolding something other than a bobcat? Time to sit down and hide, I’m sitting off to the side watching through the holes here and there in the brush along the path that the jay is traveling and sure enough a flash of fur ! I gave it a while but no more appearances, it must of known something was up. After hoping to see the cat up close I circled the area to find it’s tracks, they’ll tell me what it was doing and how close it was. Sure enough it was in the brush directly behind it’s kill but wouldn’t show, then backtracked all the way around to my right 180 deg. and belly crawled up under a hemlock tree to peek out checking to see if the coast was clear but still no show. Man these things are sneaky, all the while never being more than 70’ away and at the hemlock tree about 30’ from me and I never even saw it. Of course I looked over my shoulder a few times on the way out, and yeah I had my shotgun with me.

Here are some of the better pictures so far.

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Typical cat….nothing to do and all day to do it.

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Feel free to use any of these pictures or request copies of the originals. The grouse will be drumming soon and are fun to set up for, plus I have a camera set at a local cougar crossing. I’ll keep posting.

Dave

Britt's Birthday Present

I had to post this picture of the TV remote Britt received for his Birthday.




I suppose if all else fails, he could tape it to the wall and throw rocks at it or shoot it with a BB-Gun to change the channels!

Happy 51st Birthday Britt!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Life is good when you have food...A bobcat with a fresh kill


OK here we go! My first Blog entry. The first one on my own anyway.

I had a stoke of good luck last Thursday morning while driving in to check my cameras, I noticed a dead deer just off the side of the road and sense it is a fairly active logging road I first thought that it was hit by a car but upon closer inspection and reading tracks in the light snow that deer had been killed by a bobcat! The tracks told the story, the cat was in the ditch on the opposite side of the road, the deer tracks came out of the brush in a normal walking gait but once at the ditch it lept pronk. From there on the shoulder of the road the cat must of been on the deer because the of the sign was only from the deer and quite erratic at that, after about 25' of chaos the deer lay dead.

This picture shows how the cat left it's kill partially covered. How it looked when I found it.photo.JPG1
Without the snow I would of assumed a cougar had killed it. Well what to do now? That's easy, Put a camera on it right? Well it’s right on the side of the road and I didn't have one with me but I am going in to check a couple so I'll just bring one out  and set it up later but first things first. I stashed the deer behind some brush to get it off the side of the road. A couple of hours later after checking my cameras and bringing one out I return to the kill and find that the cat has been back and feeding!  Assuming that I have scared it off it's kill and it is probably close by I'm being cautious. After a few minutes of looking around I'm thinking the coast is clear (yeah right, bobcats are hard to see when they're moving and practically disappear when they stop) bending over to put a couple of loops of cord on the deer's hind legs to move it further from the road I hear this low guttural growl coming from the brush about 25 yards away! WHOA!! That's directed at me! Time to finish up this set but first I'll get my shotgun from the car. Well I got everything setup without getting attacked, and returned March 4th to change out cards and batteries, 700+ pictures in 72 hrs!  I Should of extended the camera delay a bit but what the heck digital images are free. Most have fog on the lens because I forgot my rainx wipes but still very happy with the results. This cat is quite adamant about covering up his kill which is probably because he is tired of me moving it.

This is a picture of my set up when I left last Sunday. My camera foreground left, notice how well the deer is covered.
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This is the culprit, To put this into perspective Bobcats weigh in between 20 and 30 lbs. This cat  is probably in the high twenties not counting all the venison in his stomach the deer is a mature doe that I guessed to weigh around 85 to 90 lbs.

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These two show the cat lounging with it’s kill, life is good when you have food!

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There’s more to this story, Stay tuned for more! (yeah that was old Paul Harvey line) oh and sorry for all the false posts, Dean had to help after all. Dave

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Travel Update with Don& Gail #2

We are in Fort Davis, TX now enjoying the sun and the warmth.

A few week back while still in Gila Bend, AZ. at the RV park we were staying, we were treated to a wonderful dinner by chef Michael Joseph Patrick formerly chief of the Taj Mahal Hotel in India & a French restaurant in New York City. He made all of the salad dressings and the main dish was beef bourguignon. He is retired and lives outside of Tucson, AZ.


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While camping outside of Bouse, AZ. I went with friends and watched the Parker off road race and was it dusty.

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We have been on many rides in the desert and finding many interesting things. Like the Ocotillo in bloom, and several old mines some of which are just a large hole in the ground that goes down a long way.

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We spent about 10 days at Lake Alamo State Park and enjoyed many of the local residents, especially the coyote's singing and the wild burro’s singing.  The first day we heard a sound that we had never heard  before. It sounded like a large bird and it was very close, but we couldn’t see it. The next morning and evening there it was again, the same sound. We looked & looked but could see nothing.  We finally spotted it right next to our bedroom in the tree: a roadrunner in her nest.

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While at Lake Alamo, Gordon & Shirley (Don’s brother & sis), joined us for a couple of days and then we traveled together to Tombstone & Bisbee, AZ., where we enjoyed a tour of the old mine and the streets of Tombstone.

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This must be the Earp’s & Doc Holiday going to the OK Corral.

We also visited Fairbanks, AZ. where the weather is a lot warmer than that other Fairbanks we all know about.

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This is now a ghost town but was a railroad town in the 1800s supplying various mining towns.


It’s been great weather in the Davis Mountains of west Texas and wonderful bird watching.  Of course, the javalina that roam the state park can be a bit of a nuisance and a challenge. They are absolutely NOT afraid of humans! On Monday we are off to San Antonio for awhile.

We think of you all so often.  Love, Mom & Dad aka Don & Gail