Travels

2016 to Present

Laura Osteen - Travels

I am now on a different journey with my life and with my website.

Being a volunteer and naturalist are experiences I can never replace or forget. It is because of these experiences that I have a new understanding and appreciation for our natural world. Being retired and getting an RV (recreational vehicle) has also opened up new opportunities and freedoms to explore more than ever before.

Here are a few of the places we have been the past two years. More to come!

Fall & Winter 2016 - California to Florida

We decided to begin our retirement as full-time RVers by spending four months at one of our very favorite vacation spots, Florida. We loaded food and necessities - and actually our whole life - and headed out, hoping that our lovely new home would make it without any "issues". Fortunately we were well prepared and everything was in good shape. However the weather and wind were sometimes a challenge. This was our first time towing a car. That went well. We didn't hit any gas pumps when stopping to refuel, thank goodness! Texas appeared to have no speed limit, as folks were passing us as if we were standing still.

We stayed at some really nice RV parks in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The "we" includes me, my partner, our two dogs and one cat! We "humans" participated as vendors at the Rio Grande Birding Festival in Texas. Met some really great people, sold some nature photo lens cloths, and ended up extending our stay by two weeks. During that time we visited the following places:

1. Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge

This is one of the first refuges we visited. Shirlene claimed she could see more from the car than walking around. Great place, a must see if you are in the area.

     

2. Edinburg (Texas) Scenic Wetlands and World Birding Area

What a great place. I wish I had more time to visit. Saw lots of butterflies, dragonflies and birds; Monarchs, Blue Metalmark, Cloudless Sulpher and White Pelicans, just to name a few.

     

3. South Padre Birding Center

We both really enjoyed this area. We walked the raised walkway and immediately saw at least 10 species of birds: Tri-colored Herons, Reddish Egrets, Wood Storks, Spoonbills, and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, right off the bat. We also saw Southern White butterflies and, of course, Wally Gator. This is worth a second or third visit.

           

4. Sea Turtle Rescue Center

Although, it was under construction and hoping to grow, this place was amazing. They care for all Sea Turtles, and even make special prostheses for those in need.

     

5. Hugh Ramsey Nature Park

I walked the area by myself and ended up meeting some members of Arroyo Colorado Audubon. They invited me back to do a nature walk, and although it rained most of the walk, it was very enjoyable. We saw the Buffbellied Hummingbird, a female Northern Cardinal, Belted kingfisher, Monarch Butterfly, and an Armadillo.

     

6. Sightings

Laura Osteen - Travel Journal Some first sightings on this part of our trip were the Plain Chachalaca, the Green Jay, Buffbellied and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, and the Pearl Crescent butterfly.

Next Time -- some more of our little side trips, and a lesson in driving in the wind and rain.

More travel notes coming soon ... watch this space!

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