Happy Mother’s Day to the women who made us! I enjoy seeing all the photos posted by those marking the day, whether they are daughter, son, husband, mom, father, or friend.
I miss my own mom immensely. I feel the pain of friends who were denied the blessing of becoming a mom. I see the joy and pain of my friends and family mothers who live the ups and downs of their dear ones. This week I went to lunch with a friend who recently lost her 20-something son. She is strong and full of grace, but I cannot begin to imagine how terribly difficult this is for her.
So today, let us remember all moms — those who are here, passed, mourning, struggling, wishing, or praying — Amen.
We signed up to crew for Kurt & Kevin in the 2019 Turnback Canyon Regatta this weekend on Lake Travis. It is an annual 2-day up-the-river-and-back-the-next-day race, approximately 25 miles each day. The evening in between is a fun affair with lots of boats at anchor, and a festival ashore.
Unfortunately, this week’s rains have flooded the Day 1 overnight venue, so the Austin Yacht Club changed the format to be two round-trip races starting and ending at the yacht club, one race on Saturday and one on Sunday.
This morning we showed up and got off the start line with rain threatening in the distance. The race committee eventually abandoned the race due to lightning and pounding rain. Temperatures were in the high 50’s and low 60’s, so we were cold and wet when we pulled back up to the dock. But we were doing so well!
A shot from the pre-start boat maneuvers…
Commons Ford Park is one of my happy places. I haven’t been out here in a while, though. The prairie is breaking out in color and teeming with songbirds.
A painted bunting singing atop a mesquite shrub:
One scissor-tailed flycatcher posing in the foreground, and another flying away in the background:
A dickcissel pausing his constant singing to give me the once over:
Camelot and Nirvana rafted up last night after going for a nice long sail. It was the first raft-up of 2019, and the first one in quite a long time before that. It’s nice to be at anchor, and we were tucked way up in a creek where the only wakes being thrown at us came from kayaks. Perfect.
The lake is rising and is above full, due to recent rains. We’ll see how high it goes in the next week or so.
I kayaked up to the end of the creek that we anchored in. Lake sailing in the Texas Hill Country doesn’t suck.
A mallard duck came out to greet me.
Pretty view of a lovely anchorage.
Memories of most birds that I identify through binoculars reside only in my mind’s eye. Though, occasionally, I am able to capture a clear photo. These are a few of the 100+ species logged on my trip to High Island and Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge over the weekend.
Mom and Dad Great Egret at the nest with their babies:
This is the weekend of the MS-150 bike ride from Houston to Austin. I served as sherpa again with Doray and drove Laura and her friend Patty to Houston on Friday night.
This morning we helped her get to the start and then we drove east, instead of west, so we could do some birding on the coast.
We had a great day, logging over 80 species, and turned in at the hotel late and a tad tired. Tomorrow is another day!
I hid some chocolate eggs around the house again this Easter. Last time I did this, it took Monte several months before he found all of them! Hee hee hee 🙂 💙🐰🍫🥚
Over the weekend I made a trip to the coast. The Spring migration is underway, and I wanted to see some colorful birds arriving after their Gulf crossing. I thought the cold front headed for the coast might make for favorable chances of a fallout. As it turned out, the front passed north of where I was, so weather conditions were not exceptional. I did end up seeing lots of birds – almost 70 species. But, I had to work at it.
Scarlet tanager eating a juicy mulberry…
Painted bunting and common yellowthroat…
Black-necked stilt, standing daringly close to an alligator…
The news today of the fire and destruction of Notre Dame in Paris made my heart sink. What a terrible loss. Many, many millions of people feel a connection to the 8 centuries old gothic cathedral. As I post this, Notre Dame is still burning, its roof and spire have fallen. I can’t imagine much more of a charred shell will remain. I pray that noone was injured or killed.
I was 16 on my first visit. I was immediately awed by the beautiful arches, stained glass windows, towers, transept, arches, and side chapels. I have enjoyed more visits since then, every time I passed through Paris. These pictures were from my last visit, 4 years ago…
How does one connect with a place? It must be the intertwining of a place’s beauty, its history, and cultural significance with one’s own imprinted memories. I’ve only visited as a tourist; lit a candle, sat in the pews, listened to mass being said, walked all around it, toured the towers. I cannot imagine what Parisians who have lived with it every day of their lives must be feeling today.
One of my favorite novels, Ken Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, tells the fictional life story of Tom Builder, a man who built cathedrals in England & France in the 12th century, as Romanesque architecture evolved into Gothic. Notre Dame was a masterpiece. Its flying butressess allowing the ribs, pillars, arches and roof to be taller, and more open inside, leaving room for its legendary stained glass windows. I don’t know how or if it will be possible to restore or repair it. But, it will never be the same. Something has truly been lost for the ages.
We went to the ballpark tonight to watch the Round Rock Express play baseball; they are the Triple-A minor league club for the Houston Astros. It was a good game! We won, too.
The Budweiser Clydesdales were there, too. It was a treat to see them up close.
They say April showers bring May flowers. But, they also bring colossal bolts of lightning. We had some potent ones during the storms over the weekend. Monte is still piling up and fixing the carnage at the chez. The photo below doesn’t include the internet modem/router box that we had to replace, and two fried GFCI outlets, one fritzy raspberry pi, an LCD monitor power pack, and who knows what else.
On a positive note, Monte didn’t get killed when he was outside and lightning struck nearby.
This was the weekend of the Governor’s Cup Regatta on Lake Travis – a two-day set of races for all classes of sailboats, including Sunfish, J-boats, centerboards, and PHRF-handicapped multi-hulls and monohulls. We showed up early at Austin Yacht Club on Saturday morning; overcast, foggy and with storms in the forecast. Our class had five Catalina 30s registered. It would have been a fun weekend of racing.
But instead of racing, we sat through lightning-laced back-to-back postponements until all races were eventually abandoned for the day at 1PM. In the picture above you can just barely see the red & white striped AP flag () flying on the far right halyard of the flag pole – indicating that we were operating under a postponement at the time.
The same thing happened on Day 2, yesterday, except the N over A flags (), indicating abandonement of all races for the regatta, were hoisted before 9AM.
It would have been nice to race, but I’ll take the rain! The picture above is a shot of the low clouds and rain over Arkansas Bend on Saturday. Even if there had been no rain, there was no wind.
We met up with Kurt & Barbara tonight at the lake. We watched the remote control (RC) sailboat fleet races.
We watched the youth Laser fleet practice.
And we cashed in on two-for-one burger night at the marina!