Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Farewell Texas, Until We Meet Again

It has been five months since we entered the State of Texas, but today we called that era to an end. The journey has been quite amazing, travelling through the Texas Panhandle, Big Bend Country, Hill Country, and The Gulf Coast. We have gone in search of land, birds, shells, and history. Our travels allowed us to meet people from all over the world, including Germany, New Zealand, all over the States and Canada, even folks from our own home town.

Over the past few weeks Ward and I travelled up the Gulf Coast from Corpus Christi to the Bolivar Peninsula and up through Beaumont, Texas. And we became bird watchers in the process. While at Galveston Island State Park we met a couple who took their bird watching pretty seriously. They had books for identification and each had a pair of binoculars. While discussing the various birds we saw, I very quickly realized I was not a real bird watcher. I was not paying very close attention to the details of the birds, color of the beak and legs, and the different subtle differences in plumage. I was not comparing the birds to any literature, and I was not using binoculars to get a good look at the birds. Maybe I am not a real bird watcher, but more a casual viewer of bird scenery. I just like to look at them.

While in Texas I have added not only bird watching and shell collecting to my list of activities but botany as well. While in Beaumont Ward and I went to the local Botanical Garden and Conservatory. We spent the morning walking through the gardens at the Tyrell Park in Beaumont. The flowers and plants were all quite interesting, but I found it odd that most of them did not have signs showing species. It is unfortunate as many of the species are unfamiliar to me. But during the walk through the gardens I think I found my new favorite flowering shrub, the Magnolia. At least I think it is a Magnolia. I also was witness to the largest day lily plants that I have ever seen. I guess it is true what they say, everything IS bigger in Texas.

Our afternoon was spent checking out the Edison Museum and the Fire Museum in downtown Beaumont. They were both quite interesting, and best of all free. I was amazed to see how many patents Thomas Edison actually had, which was just over 1,000. He was responsible for the incandescent light bulb, the phonograph and telegraph, to name just a few.

The Fire Museum showed the history of fire truck from early devices that were pulled by hand to modern day equipment. They also had a huge fire hydrant, painted white with black spots, in honor of the new release of 101 Dalmations. It was donated by Walt Disney to the museum.

It's been great being Winter Texans these past five months. I am sure we will be back again. We love you Texas.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds great! I was wondering how you were doing down there, on your journey back, since I had heard of more storms in the south. But sounds like you're doing alright! :) Good!
    Warren and I have become quite interested in birds, botany, and more but in a local sense...I am amazed at how much diversity we have here in lil old Manitoba. We've been learning to use alot of the natural plants as food andd even medicine. But I don't think we'd be considered "serious" birdwatchers, either.

    If you ever get the chance, I would recommend watching a VERY good and entertaining movie called "The Big Year" (Jack Black, Steve Martin and more). It's about serious birdwatchers and their competitive nature, travelling everywhere to see and photograph birds. It's on Canadian Netflix, if you have it. The subject matter might not sound very exciting, but they made a great movie and you might see many of the places you spent the winter travelling through in there as well!!
    Stay safe and travel with care! :)