Monday, January 7, 2013—Finally, Back to Normal

130107_E05With decent weather forecast for the day, we returned to to some semblance of “normal” here in the Valley.  After our morning walk, Kay pedaled to the woodshop to work on the combination walnut and cherry bowl.  She has done an extraordinary job, and it is going to be a beautiful piece.130107_E04

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

130107_E01Meanwhile, I rode to the Bentsen-Rio Grande State Park to see if the orioles had finally returned.  The park is closed on Monday, but still allows visitors. Just recently, park officials and volunteers resumed filling the feeders, with the end result of more birds, and sure enough, there were a couple of Altamira Orioles at first feeding station past the entrance, and a Clay-colored robin. 130107_E05At the pavilion, a Red-naped Sapsucker presented itself. This is a colorful small woodpecker, about the same size as a downy woodpecker.  This was a new “lister” for me.

Further into the park, at the Green Jay blind, there were a couple more Altamira Orioles, but they were too elusive to photograph. However, a Great Kiskadee and a Green Jay were kind enough to pose.

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130107_E11After lunch, I cycled to the National Butterfly Center.  The large butterflies were lethargic because of the cool weather, and there were fewer of them than in December, but the little ones were plentiful and flitted here and there very quickly. The visit rewarded me with a couple of “new” butterflies.130107_E24

Happy hour at the palapa include a big crowd as almost everyone in the circle attended, catching up on the latest news and gossip. 

After all the exercise, we had a bowl of vegetable beef soup and took it easy the rest of the evening.

Our photo album of this winter in Texas can be found at:  https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/fQOMLZ4LrEXLHjeUtTgaJjobmbYpOZwV1zh2FePDoEE?feat=directlink

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