Learning new things

Since mosquitoes and the avoidance of them are a main focus of life here on the refuge, one of the first new things that I learn while volunteering at the Refuge Discovery Center is that a mosquito cannot fly faster than 2.5 miles an hour.  A Master Naturalist shared that with me and I made this mnemonic to help me be prepared: Winds below two point five, slather on repellent to stay alive!

This might be a Carolina Chickadee (or not, I am not very good at this yet)- did he follow us here?

While I am not usually a huge fan of constant wind, I have come to appreciate a stiff breeze and am hesitant to step outside the coach here unless I can hear the flutter of our slideout toppers flapping indecisively with the changing currents.  Once outside I am learning to study birds and right off I discover that contrary to my formally held beliefs, every white wading bird is not necessarily an Egret.  I now know that Snowy Egrets have black legs with yellow feet that look like they walked in yellow paint and that Great White Herons look like Great Egrets but have yellow legs instead of the black legs of Egrets plus Great Herons should only be seen in Florida though we did not see one there. 

Next I have to learn how to identify ducks!

I saw lots of Cattle Egrets in Florida though – they hang out with the cows hoping that while grazing the cattle will stir up some tasty insects for them to eat without the egrets working so hard to chase their food down.  So in conclusion, many of the white wading birds are Egrets of some type, but they could be Herons or Ibis or something else… obviously I still have a lot to learn!

I thought you might enjoy a ride to the grocery store with me so you can get an idea of how the Texas landscape here differs from where you are.  The refuge itself is the one area that reminds us of the coastal areas of NC with its cattail covered freshwater estuaries and cord grass filtered salt marsh.  The areas outside the refuge are either cattle covered or covered with piping, powerlines and enormous petroleum product plants, something we never saw at home.  I believe that the train passing me in the video below is leaving a nearby plant as it crawls by me at about one car every 4 seconds.  The time stamp on the video tells me the train took 12 minutes to pass by.  This means that 180 cars pass me (at 50′ length railcars according to a webpage I found), for a train length of almost 2 miles if I did the math right – of which there are NO guarantees!

Here is a ride to the grocery store here along the Gulf Coast of Texas:

About Sunny Weathers

Pilot, motorcyclist and full time RVer. Follow Stormy (my personal full time RV mechanic and repairman) and me as we travel all over the US in our Country Coach RV. I'll share the fun and the tribulations and any great survival tricks we learn!

7 Replies to “Learning new things”

  1. Be interesting to see if you come back here next year:>) Them texas skeeters are a mean bunch, keep your 6 shooter handy. :>) GOD BLESS

    JD
    Jim

  2. Forgot to mention, did you see the “gator” sunning on the dock???? GOD BLESS

    JD
    Jim

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Hahaha – I did! That was using the telephoto lens and no photographers were harmed during the taking of that photo 🙂

  3. Skeeters can’t possibly as bad as Portsmouth Island opposite Ocracoke. Those suckers (notice the pun) could fly at 20 knots over the ground into gale force winds.

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      I agree those Portsmouth Island mosquitoes appeared to be some kind of mutant super breed.

  4. Barbara Kauffman says: Reply

    Charlie always said those Coastal Texas skeeter could be harnessed and ridden. Enjoyed the ride through the land.

    1. Sunny Weathers says: Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it!

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