Wednesday, February 20, 2013


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We spent the night in the parking lot of the Cameron Park Wildlife Visitors Center.  Employees coming to work  knocked on the door and told us there was no camping in their parking lot. Jim explained about taking refuge from the storm and told them we would be visiting the center before we hit the road.  There is a boardwalk to an observation platform.DSC03074 (Copy)

There are no trails to walk here, just one huge wetland very busy with birds and ducks.  The center has  two films,  artifacts and information about wildlife in the area.
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We were amazed to see about 40 roseate spoonbills huddling in a copse of trees at some distance from our lens.  Their feathers are all fluffed up in an effort to keep warm. It was still windy and cold in the morning.
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Like the egrets they are such majestic birds and obviously hungry.
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It was fun watching them eat.
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One bird would fly back to the group and another would come out to eat. I tried to get a decent shot of them flying but by the time they lift off and you try to find them in your viewer, they are too far away.
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Birds high in the sky made a pretty sight. I thought they were geese, but on closer inspection they have medium long curved bills and I don’t know what they are. If you left click on the photos they enlarge. Do it twice, and they get bigger still.
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I caught this fellow just swallowing his food.
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Each time I’d turn back and try to isolate a bird from the mob huddled in the trees, the clarity suffers from the distance. Fascinating anyway.
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Then as we were driving away, I could see a path behind the copse of trees near the road. Jim turned around for me and I walked behind the birds and got a couple of crisp shots. They were edgy and most of them flushed somewhere out toward the wetlands.
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The thick brush made photos difficult, but they are so beautiful, it was worth the effort.
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We stopped for groceries in Lake Arthur and got permission to park at the American Legion Post 405. A very friendly group. In fact, when I came out of the grocery store, a gentleman coming into the store offered to help me with my groceries. A very friendly town. No one locks their doors. Very little crime. God’s country, we are told.
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The other patrons wouldn’t let us buy a drink in the place. This is Norman, Joe and Sally. Sally looks much like Loretta Lynn. She loves her music.
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Everyone I asked was born and raised right here in Lake Arthur. Norman loves to dance and he informed Jim that everyone there is staunch Catholic and we were living in sin, at which time the whole bar erupted into laughter. We could hardly get away. They’ve asked us to stay for their jambalaya feed on Thursday afternoon. We have another storm warning for Thursday, with a tornado watch, so we have no plans to drive anywhere on Thursday.

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