Texas in the springtime is incredibly beautiful. The wildflower displays are not to be believed. (Thank you, Lady Bird!) I had freed myself from conference responsibilities, and spent a delightful day with Sandi and Lindsey (that's SandiBox and SoccerChik, for you letterboxers). What a delightful duo!
We spent the bulk of our day at Memorial Park, where the letterboxes are so plentiful, you can literally stumble over them along side the trail. (Note to self: you've got to learn to stop stumbling along the trail.)
I had told Sandi and Lindsey that I wanted to get up close with nature, and like good Southern hostesses, they made their guest incredibly happy. Sandi spotted this Yellow Crowned Night Heron, and shouted out, "Bird! Bird!" It reminds me of the first time I saw a Roseate Spoonbill. Robb and I were driving on the highway in Texas, and I certainly did not have time to say, "Oh looky over yonder Robb. There's a Roseate Spoonbill on the right side of the road." All I had time to do was holler, "PINK!" Robb still teases me about this.
This is what serious birders (of which I am not one) call a "Life Bird." It was the first time I had ever seen this astonishing creature. Isn't he handsome, in his breeding plumage? What lady Night Heron could resist him?
The smaller animals were no less impressive. This, I believe, is a Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle, although this identification could be faulty. It seems to me that this beetle is sporting eight spots, and besides, there aren't supposed to be any of these bugs along the Gulf Coast.
I'm sorry I've not written more about this wonderful day. I'm still exhausted from my trip, but I wanted to share some of the pictures, and thank Sandi and Lindsey for their kindness. Sandi wrote a much more detailed account of this awesome day on her blog.