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”

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

 

 

San Jacinto Day Festival and Battlefield Reenactment 2017 – Part One

(Above photo:  Mr. Bill Lewis and Mrs. Kaye Lewis – Houston Area Square Dance)

I met this charming couple in their Square Dance attire and HAD to get their photo to help illustrate the fun of the day ahead.

Saturday, May 22, 2017 was the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battlefield Reenactment. It’s one of those events I’ve heard about for years and thought – maybe? This year I made it a point to check it out.  So glad I did!  I met some extraordinary people and the festival itself was extremely well organized! Parked at a chemical company parking lot – signage stating “Take a photo of what lot you are in” – happy I did! A shuttle then picked up our group in the G parking area.  Fast forward to leaving the event after the Reenactment – I thought we would be in a massive shuttle exit line, but it was probably the BEST organized shuttle line system I’ve ever seen in a festival situation! Kuddos to whomever organized that part of the festival!!! Great Job! Oh, bonus…parking and the festival entry were my favorite four letter word…FREE :)!

Note:  This festival series will be spread over several posts as I met far too many interesting people to put everything in one post so “stay tuned”!!

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Who was the first person I couldn’t help notice upon exiting the shuttle? The fun and lively “Mama Goose”.  Mama is a second grade reading teacher at Channelview ISD at DeZavala Elementary school and is the author of “Reading and Rhyming with Mama Goose” Mama Goose gears her words towards K-6th grade audiences.  Ms. Goose was additionally awarded Teacher of the Year within Channelview ISD and is a motivational speaker.  So lovely to meet someone promoting the importance and fun of reading to our youth and in such a magical manner!

 

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What child wouldn’t be entranced by Mama Goose reading them a story?! I just personally, really loved Mama’s positive energy and passion! 

UPDATE: From Mama Goose (##mamagoose), “How do we help children develop a love for reading? One nursery rhyme at a time. How do we capture the brilliance of their imagination? One picture at a time. Mama Goose grew up with Mother Goose nursery rhymes as a child. The classic style and simplicity of life taught her valuable lessons, as well as a spark for reading. Mama Goose grew up in the United States of America and wanted to share with the world traditions, values, and concepts that are germane to the U.S.A. Mama Goose is not a fictitious character; she is as real as the air we breathe. She’s a potpourri of Mary Poppins, Mother Teresa, and Willie Wonka all rolled into one. Get ready for a magical journey of nursery rhymes that are sure to inspire any child to fall in love with books.”

Ok, so far we have the Lewis square dancing couple and Mama Goose… gosh, I barely got off the shuttle and into the festival!

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The San Jacinto Monument (click link at beginning of post to read more about the day and history-no sense in me retyping it :)) 

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The crowds were fun and lots of families were out enjoying one of our great weather days! 

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Mr. Paul Washington represented the Buffalo Soldiers National Museum well to the delight of many of us festival attendees – he was a super nice gentleman too.

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(Above Top Two Photos:  Mr. Paul Washington-The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum-Houston, Texas)

Mr. Washington speaks to inquisitive crowds at the festival, generously sharing his knowledge.  (we’ll learn plenty more about the Buffalo Soldiers Museum soon – promise! It warrant’s it’s own post!!)

Hope you enjoyed Part One of the San Jacinto Day Festival and Battle Reenactment!  Stay tuned for more fun – promise it won’t be what you expect!

Thanks for sharing your time with Houston Photo Journey!

Elizabeth and Max (he refused to attend once I explained it was an outdoor event as his majesty prefers the inside during hotter weather, his air conditioning and a light blanket!) 

Max a few years ago-still just as cute!