Saturday, June 12, 2010

For the Birds

Friday morning I decided to treat myself to a hike at Brazos Bend State Park. The family doesn't always share my enthusiasm for walking for miles in the summer heat so I went by myself.

Interpretation: Feeling blue? Walk or bike this way.
The trails were pretty empty. Just the way I like them.
It's the time of year when baby birds are everywhere. I got to see some fuzzy baby moor hens. Check out the "hair" on these guys. They're bald!!
A green heron let me get close while it was fishing. Very cool.
The birds were more active than any time I've ever been here. It was incredible.
Of course I got to see my standard fare of alligators.
A yellow crowned night heron caught a crawfish right in front of me. It must be crawfish season because the trail was littered with crawfish parts. Good day for birds. Bad day for crawfish.
Yellow crowned night heron.

Little Blue Heron.
Why did the moor hen cross the road?
White ibis with sky blue eyes.
Great white egret.
Pair of black bellied whistler ducks.
Doesn't this look like a great place to just sit and reflect or read a good book?
I walked 4.5 miles. Unfortunately I stepped on another rock in the exact same place where I have the stone bruise. I think I shed a tear it hurt so bad.
It was nice to get out and just listen to the sounds of nature and watch the birds. I'm thinking that I may need to do this at least once a week. It's a real mood lifter for me. Somehow the woods and wilds always erase my worries.
After getting home and cleaning up (I sweat so badly under my backpack that it was dripping from my shirt!), it was time to grab some quick lunch and pick up the kids' glasses and contacts. We opted for Freebird burritos. It's so good and I can get a low cal option.
Charlie has his first pair of glasses. He is no longer crying over the fact that he has to wear glasses. On the contrary, he was so excited to be able to see everything clearly. He said, "I didn't know I couldn't see until I got these glasses!" Poor kid.
Time for Rachel and I to feed the baby birds at TWRC. I wish you could see all of these babies. They are so cute. Some have such big personalities. The flickers (members of the woodpecker family) are adorable. They will climb all over you begging for food. So cute and curious.
Sorry I had to take the pics with my cell phone.
The baby birds change from day to day as people bring in new birds and other birds are released. Tonight they had a young cooper's hawk.
The grackle babies are not the cutest but they are so funny. And loud!
Baby doves require special care. They suck the food mixture from their mother's crop so they can't be fed like the other birds. You have to run a tube to their crop and pump the food in there. It's weird. Very pretty and quiet birds but dumb as a stump.
Tonight we had the 5pm-8pm shift and I got to work the incubators with the very tiny babies. It was heavenly. I cuddled each on e of them. This is one of my little guys. He's a baby mockingbird. And a good eater, as you can tell!
I've learned so much by volunteering here. And for 3 hours you don't sit down. It's pretty constant work. There's always something to be done but I love it.
OK. So this is also supposed to be a weight loss/foodie/exercise blog, right? I really haven't been cooking anything fancy or even new. I'm in a rut. But I'm going to try some new recipes out this week and post about them.
As far as weight loss, I'm letting it happen without obsessing on it. I really want to drop this weight but I hate watching over that scale in some sort of psycho weight loss vigil. It'll happen.
Exercise: Most of my exercise comes from walking and spending times outdoors. I want to rev it up with a strength training program I saw in Oxygen magazine. It only requires dumbbells which I like so much better than going to the gym. My gym is 30 minutes away. I probably won't get the same workout as I would at the gym but at least it's something I'd be more willing to do.
Running: I have a love/hate relationship with running. I hate running but I love the way I feel after I do. But this Texas heat is killing me. Well, that and my bruised foot. But I'm not giving up. I must train for my half marathon in November.
I'm having optimistic thoughts that I will be able to run Sunday afternoon but my foot is killing me. I'm limping around and that's no fun. We'll just have to wait and see. I may be hobbling around on the track. :D
Have a great weekend.


  1. Your bird pictures are just gorgeous - as I scrolled down, I kept thinking I had found my favorite, but more kept popping up! Sounds like that hike was exactly what you needed.

    Re Charlie and his glasses - I remember when I got my first pair, I realized that trees had leaves! Glad he's happy with them now.

    I was freaking out a little about training for the half until I looked at a 12 week program and counted backward from Nov. 20 - I don't have to start until the end of August! So this makes me feel better about having some slog runs in this heat/humidity. We have plenty of time to prepare, as long as we run SOME each week. We can do it!!!

  2. P.S. It's between the heron with the crawfish and the pair of black bellied whistler ducks.

  3. You take pics like someone from National Geographic!
    Awesome. Mind the foot!

  4. 人不能像動物一樣活著,而應該追求知識和美德..................................................

  5. The variety of bird species is amazing. But I have the "reflection bench."

    Hope you make the marathon. I bed you continue to lose during training.

  6. That's a great shot of the gator. I love gators. Gators and spoonbills are my fa swamp creatures.

  7. I may or may not have, but definitely did give you an award on my blog! Ch-ch-check it out if you want :)

  8. Your walk sounds and looks just wonderful! Amazing photos....

  9. Beautiful photos! I do have a running question for you - I am trying to "become" a runner but I have the hardest time with my chest starts to feel like it's on fire...does it get easier? Nothing like trying to become active at age 40! LOL!


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