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…
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 crewed for Kurt on Camelot yesterday in one of the Austin Yacht Club’s Spring Series Races. A cold front blew into town the day before so it was cold! Temps started out in the 40s. We had to dig out our ear muffs, gloves, scarves and heavy coats. But, it turned out to be a nice day, in spite of the cold.
And we did well. Camelot took First Place in its class for the Spring Series!
Spring is here! I have been busy filling up a couple dozen lawn waste bags to put on the curb for pickup the last few weeks. So, I’ve had the opportunity to spy on several pairs of birds who have picked our birdhouses to build nests in and raise a mess of babies.
This is a ceramic birdhouse that I bought when we visited Louisville Stoneware a couple years ago. I hung it up last year with no takers, but a cute Carolina Wren couple have moved in this Spring.
I built and installed two bluebird houses last year, again, with no takers. It’s a bit of wishful thinking that I might attract a bluebird since they really prefer a more rural setting. But a girl can hope! This year they won’t be empty, though! A Bewick’s Wren couple is building a nest in this one…
And a Black-Crested Titmouse couple is in the other one…
I have seen a few other birds enter some of the other houses/holes around the yard. But I’ll have to stake them out to see if anyone moves in.
I’m just thrilled to know where several nests are, and will anxiously watch for signs of babies hatching and fledging.
Last night Monte and I went to our local pub for dinner and to watch Monday Night Football. Since we don’t have cable, we have to go out to watch the Seahawks play. We won! 🙂
It was bittersweet, though. Our local favorite and most awesome pub, BB Rover’s, is closing for good in 2 weeks. 😦
I’ve enjoyed lots of good times and good beers in that place over the last 23 years. Post-softball-game celebrations, after-work happy hours, St. Patrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage dinners, darts, Austin Sailing Society meet-ups, live music and open-mic night, and many games of pinochle with friends. It is very sad to see it go.
We brought our vulnerable outdoor plants in when the weather turned cold last week. Most of them are in the shop. I brought a few small ones into the house. I’m enjoying this one, a pretty pink impatiens.
I checked the SD card on my critter cam yesterday. I moved it a few weeks ago to point at the opening of a burrow I discovered that some animal had recently dug in the middle of our back lot. I just wanted to see what I could see. I captured countless daytime visiting backyard bird species (doves, blue jays, cardinals, titmice, wrens, mockingbirds,…). But it turns out, it’s quite the popular nightspot. Here are some snaps…it’s a jungle out there. I thought these were the most interesting visitors.
We are pet sitting this week – our niece, Julie’s, dog, and Doray & Tom’s parrot. Because of that, we have been sticking close to home. But, today we took the opportunity on this beautiful day to take a drive.
We stopped by several vantage points around the lake. With the emergency flooding situation behind us, Lake Travis is dropping about 1.5 feet a day now, currently at 695′ above mean sea level. The butterflies were thick today, which makes me very happy – so much of what humans do have hurt their populations over the years. It’s nice to see them out there despite us.
I believe these are Queen butterflies, on blue mistflower. I think I’ll plant some of this in my yard!
We also stopped by the marina to check on our boat. Our marina’s staff has been doing a wonderful job keeping all the docks floating and clear of obstacles. They are running a shuttle to the docks for boat owners, since the lake is still flooded, and the water level is still about 15 feet above the parking lot. Everything looks fine. Our batteries are doing well (electricity has been off to the docks for 12 days, so far).
I brought my completed propane bag out to the boat and hung it. It works great, and I found the perfect spot for it.