My Red Cardinal (and Bird Obsession), at Bear Creek Park in Houston, Texas

As my daughter’s “Hoosier” Dad pointed out recently, the Northern Cardinal is Indiana’s Official State Bird and has been since 1933. However, Indiana is not alone…Illinois, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia all choose this as their State Bird!  The males are the beautiful red ones, the females are the brown ones with reddish wings.  I just think they are beautiful and sound so cheerful! To me, they have always been associated with a sign of good luck and happiness! I always tell my kids, when I see my Red Cardinals, I know it’s a good omen and will be a wonderful day! 

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I was driving through Bear Creek park the other day and stumbled on this beautiful Red Cardinal about to take a bird bath so I had to stick around!

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Splish splash he was taking a bath…

Continue reading “My Red Cardinal (and Bird Obsession), at Bear Creek Park in Houston, Texas”

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City of Katy Off Leash Dog Park

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Since I was recently in Katy, Texas with Max to check out Mary Jo Peckham Park, I decided to go next door to the City Of Katy Off Leash Dog Park.  They have a little pups area that is more for dogs Max sized and then the big dog area.  Max loves to go to the big park area as it’s so much more room to wander, so a let him as long as I don’t see any ruff  🙂 pups and I leave his leash on but let it drag behind him in case I need to grab him quickly. IMG_8791-1

Max loves to just spend forever sniffing! Whatever makes him happy 🙂 IMG_8950-1

Met all sorts of friendly little pups there.

Continue reading “City of Katy Off Leash Dog Park”

Mary Jo Peckham Park – Katy, Texas

Mary Jo Peckham Park at 5597 Gardenia Lane, Katy, TX 77493 is a beautiful 32 acre park in the heart of Katy, Texas that was built in 1991 and designed to provide fun for children, families, elderly and those with disabilities in mind.  Want to play 18 rounds of miniature golf? Either bring your own gear or stop by the community center and borrow a putter and ball from them – FREE! Please call for their hours and rules but pretty sure you still just need a Texas Driver’s License to borrow or use the facilities.20170429-IMG_8649

Photo: Micah was having fun at the park with her Mom

Continue reading “Mary Jo Peckham Park – Katy, Texas”

Skink!!! Fun with Crocodile Encounter!!

Crocodile Encounter put on a wonderful, educational and FUN show at the 10th Annual Bridgeland Nature Fest!!! The two gentlemen conducting the show were brilliant!! Their connection with the crowd of varied ages and their energy levels were fantastic!! 

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Photo:  (Left), Mr. Leonard Brown, Zookeeper and Presenter for Crocodile Encounter, (Right) A lady with a great sense of humor!

This poor, unsuspecting victim was volun-told to go up onstage,  she trusted this nice, young man, Leonard with Crocodile Encounter!! Big mistake!!!…. Continue reading “Skink!!! Fun with Crocodile Encounter!!”

Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin Headlined The 10th Annual Bridgeland Nature Fest 2017

Photo:  (Above: Jeff Corwin holding an Echidna)

The crowds at the Bridgeland Nature Fest were all super excited to see this man!! Jeff Corwin of The Animal Planet.

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Photo:  Jeff Corwin of The Animal Planet (Nice guy in person too!) – He stayed for photo’s and autographs for the crowds.

Mr. Corwin certainly brought out the crowds and after watching his performance I understand why! He did a fantastic job at capturing the attention of 3 year olds to old folks like me!

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Photo:  Echidna

Continue reading “Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin Headlined The 10th Annual Bridgeland Nature Fest 2017”

Bridgeland 10th Annual Nature Fest

(Photo Above:  Shivam Babu Enjoying the Armadillos)

April 29th, 2017 was the 10th Annual Bridgeland Nature Fest in Cypress, Texas.  What a great day despite looking like rain a large portion of the day! So glad I decided to risk the rain and go!  They had super fast shuttle service available at the Cy-Ranch High School and admission/parking were FREE!  

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Exiting the Shuttle bus, This was what welcomed us festival visitors.

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Liked these colorful pieces from the Austin Bike Zoo.

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There were a TON of Food Truck Caravans!! You wouldn’t go hungry here (although broke and gaining weight is not looking good 🙂 ) !!20170428-IMG_7652

Next time I am checking out the Waffle Bus’s food – looks good!20170428-IMG_7653

Not bad prices for festival eats!20170428-IMG_7654

The residence of Bridgeland community have plenty to do on a daily basis!20170428-IMG_7658

Texas seems to be home of the Armadillo’s – they even had Armadillo Races!!!20170428-IMG_7682

I liked being able to touch one, just like this curious little festival goer!20170428-IMG_7692

What’s a festival without a train for the kiddos!20170428-IMG_7695

Let’s help out our nature friends and build them a bird house 🙂 20170428-IMG_7697

This is the stage where guests sat on both chairs and hay bales.  They had a wonderful line up of presenters!!! IMG_8597-1.JPG

HEB grocery store was there handing out free cupcakes! Nice!20170428-IMG_7708

How can you resist wanting to hold this cute little roo! 20170428-IMG_7714

I loved those dark, intense eyes!IMG_7716-1

Sorry, I forget what this one is called – if you know, please tell me!IMG_7905-1

Here we have the South American King Vulture, a scavenger that feed on the dead, thus preventing disease spread by disposing of decaying remains…If I saw one near me too close, they’d probably get their next meal from ME after I had heart failure!IMG_7919-1

Their colors are magnificent though!!IMG_7928-1

The females will just lay one single egg that both parents incubate. IMG_7865-1

You get Blog bonus points if you can tell me what this one is! Pretty sure it’s a Falcon. IMG_7834-1

May as well cover all the vultures – this is an African White Backed VultureIMG_7810-1

He just LOOKS hungry…and scary!IMG_7781-1

The Great Horned OwlIMG_7776-1

What a beautiful creature! Love those eyes!!!IMG_7982-1

If you know me, you know I am DEATHLY afraid of snakes…but guess what this is NOT a snake, but rather a lizard! I touched it (barely!) (baby steps!) 🙂 IMG_7988-1

All the kids and their adult people 🙂 were having a blast! The rock climbing looked almost safe enough for me to attempt 🙂 

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Plenty of inflatable bouncy house type of activities for the kids!IMG_8619-1

What kid (or adult for that matter) doesn’t want to go exploring on the Fire Engine!IMG_8612-1

Chick-fil-a and Wild Things Zoofari were there on stage doing line dances and tossing out t-shirts and stuffed animalsIMG_8588-1

I’d have been happy with them throwing some Chick-fil-a sandwiches to us all 🙂 (I love that place!)IMG_8608-1

It really was a good day for kite flying too!IMG_8598-1

There was also what I will call a “Living Tree” wandering around. IMG_7992-1

She really DID blend in with the tree!IMG_7997-1

If I had on this make-up I would be tearing my face off! My skin just can’t tolerate face make-up (I learned this as a clown the hard way one year!!) IMG_8564-1Photo:   2 year old Hailey grabs the bubble

Little Hailey in the white,polkadot romper was the cutest little baby ever and was having the time of her life chasing after the bubbles!!!

Stayed tuned folks…more coming up including…..

Jeff Corwin, “Jeff is an American wildlife biologist and nature conservationist known as the host and executive producer of the Animal Planet television programs “The Jeff Corwin Experience” and “Corwin’s Quest.” 

Source:  http://bridgeland.com/playing-in-bridgeland/events/nature-fest

Thanks as always for your support of Houston Photo Journey!!

Elizabeth and Max

LAST CHANCE FOREVER; Birds Of Prey Is Our Feature of Today!

Today’s post is all about Birds of Prey! While at the San Jacinto Day festival, I was privileged to witness a demonstration on Birds of Prey graciously put on by the San Antonio based, nonprofit organization –  Last Chance Forever.  They are “dedicated to the rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned birds of prey, scientific investigation, and also just as importantly, the education of the public” (source: LastChanceForever.org).  

The show was definitely *****5 Stars worthy!!!! 20170422-IMG_6937

Photo:  Ms. Kelly Rayner, Program Coordinator-Last Chance Forever, San Antonio,TX (Holding a Northern Crested Caracara).  You can really see the huge talons and wing strength!
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Photo:  Northern Crested Caracara – What a truly beautiful bird!  According to Rapture Technician, Mr. Ian Joplin, (and lifesaver for this article!), the Caracara’s are very intelligent birds that can hunt and eat carrion, sometimes incorrectly referred to as a Mexican Eagle.

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The trust level these birds have for both Ms. Rayner and Mr. Schmid is amazing as they showed us the bird’s release and immediate return back to both handlers.

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Photo:  Ms. Kelly Rayner (Left)(Holding a A juvenile Bay-winged Hawk or Harris’ Hawk, both names are accepted) and Mr. Robert Schmid, Volunteer for Last Chance Forever (Right) 
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Photo:  Here we a close up of the stunning juvenile Bay-winged Hawk/Harris’ Hawk

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This is a hybrid falcon, a cross between a Sakar Lanner and a Lanner Falcon20170422-IMG_6915
Photo:  This hybrid falcon, a cross between a Sakar Lanner and a Lanner Falconlitte was too cute!

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I wanted to give you a perspective on the size of this Barred Owl

Bird Number Three

What a truly remarkable and stunning bird!!! Isn’t it just magnificent!!!!

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This Barred Owl was just so captivating to look at I HAD to get a close up!

Bird Number Two

This red phase Eastern Screech Owl, (the red is a recessive trait to more common gray phase) was the cutest little thing ever!!!

Bird Number One

Look at the HUGE size of this magnificent Golden Eagle!

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Gorgeous isn’t it? What a rare opportunity for those of us in the audience to see such a bird!

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The Golden Eagle (above)

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Stunning isn’t it!

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So glad I was able to see this unbelievable demonstration!! I was sad to say goodbye to the Golden Eagle!

Note:  If you would like to donate to this worthy cause or volunteer in some capacity, please contact info@LastChanceForever.org or visit their website at www.LastChanceForever.Org.  Here’s an interesting article if you’d like to read more.

HUGE shout out of thanks to Mr. Ian Joplin, Rapture Technician, who helped make sure I was labeling the birds of prey photos correctly!

Thanks for your feedback! Max and I always love to hear your thoughts!

Elizabeth and Max