A visit from a Turkey Vulture

Our eagle eyed son shouted “Dad, come here, there’s a big bird on the top of the pole!” He was so right. A Turkey Vulture had in fact landed on the very tall utility pole in the yard next door.

That is a six foot wingspan! This big bird only weighs 3-4 pounds.

The Turkey Vulture eats carrion and plays a large role in cleaning up the ecosystem. It can soar for hours, riding the thermals in the sky. (Here is a video link of ours with soaring vultures) It was raining today, and this vulture was spreading his wings to dry and shaking off moisture as well. Vultures also spread their wings first thing in the mornings to warm up and energize for the day. We seem to have a wonderful perch, and this is the first time we have seen a vulture land here.

Gonna have some “maters” in a bit

We have Red Beefeater and Big Boy tomato plants this year

Red Beefeater

Big Boy

Big Boy twins

Just in the past couple of days our tomato plants have really started putting on fruit. I guess that patience has paid off. It looks like we might have a good crop this season after all, as we had good plant growth but no tomatoes to speak of.  Now if those rascally squirrels will only behave…

 

The Canada goose is common but stately

They hold their head high, walk slowly, and you can see them just about everywhere. These large birds flock in very high numbers, and are known to make large poopy messes on the paved areas they walk across.

Next to the drainage pond near a large grocery store

He spotted me!

This goose and his buddies were lounging next to the pond. When he got up and walked away he turned, stretched his neck and gave me the stink eye for bothering their rest. Glad he didn’t rush me! They can be mean…

 

Different things we saw today

Sometimes you never know what you are going to find when you’re out and about. Here’s some stuff we saw today while we were out looking for bridges and other history.

Creepy tree, best presented in B&W

Mud daubers and paper wasp nests

Two different paper wasp nests

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some wasps make their nests out of mud, thus the name. Others make very light nests with paper like material, again thus the name. At least that’s what we called them.

Crawdad house entrance

The crawdad builds a tower like structure with the material it excavates to make its home. These towers can get to be about a foot tall sometimes. Ok, this small lobster like critter gets its name depending on where in the country you happen to be. In the Midwest we call them crawdads. From Louisiana? You’ll no doubt call them crawfish. You’ll call ’em crayfish if you’re up North. They are all the same critter. Yes, you can eat them, but cook them well first. Don’t ask why…

 

We have changed a bit

Those who have followed us for awhile know that we moved from a big 4 bedroom home with a built in pool to an RV adventure. We had joked as our 5 kids were growing up that we were going to get an RV and park at each of their homes, then when they got tired of us they could pay for our gas to the next one’s home. We have kids that live in Indiana, Ohio, Washington state, and Texas.

 

We decided when our youngest finished college that we really wanted to do it. The kids were all busy with their own lives and we could travel and stop in to visit them all at the same time. We didn’t really let them pay for our gas.

 

Then we realized we should really have a small house as a base home. So we now have a very small house with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath. It is quite a change from the big house we were used to, but then we are gone a lot. Our youngest son isn’t married so he lives in the house and takes care of things while we travel.

 

Then Covid hit and we were stuck. Fortunately we were able to get back to home base just in the nick of time and stocked up with supplies. Like everyone we were shocked at how long it lasted and how bad it was. But, we were safe. Now 2 years later and 2 years older, it is harder for us to travel in the RV cross country like we had been. We still use the RV, but for shorter trips and it is great when we set up at a flea market. We now fly when we go to Seattle or Austin.

 

We still travel but our interests have changed a little. We like visiting vineyards and winetasting. We’ve gotten interested in old churches and their history. Maj has always been a history buff, so we’ve taken up visiting historical sites.

 

Our website has changed a bit to compensate for the changes we’re making. Rather then listing all the things we do in each state we are focusing more on the things that interest us today. Oh, and I shouldn’t forget birds! We have taken up bird watching.

 

I think you will still enjoy following us as we take shorter RV trips, fly out of state and have more personal and fun stories.

His name is Bongo

We saw this large and beautiful blue-and-gold macaw enjoying “riding” around at our recent Highway 40 Yard Sale. Owner told us that the bird’s name is Bongo, and he doesn’t say much. Bongo is twenty years old, and can live to be at least 80. Thus the owner said that he has provisions in his will to take care of Bongo, as the bird will most likely out live him.

Another fledgling robin

Mom with a morsel for junior

Close up of the youngster

The Free Dictionary lists the first definition of fledgling as “A young bird that has left the nest and has usually acquired flight feathers, but is often not yet able to fly.” That’s a pretty accurate description of this young robin. It would run across the yard, chirping all the way with a feeble attempt to flap its wings. Hopefully this little one will survive until it can fly. This fledgling may be the same robin from this post.