Aransas National Wildlife Refuge

Off to see the “Big Tree” in Goose Island State Park, and hopefully see some whooping cranes that are in the area from late October to mid-April.  The big tree is the second largest tree in the U.S., 11 feet across the trunk, 35 feet around, and 44 feet tall, 89 feet across the crown, and the most amazing fact is the tree is 1,000 years old.   We did not see any whooping cranes around Goose Island so we headed for Aransas Wildlife Refuge

 

as National Wildlife Refuge.   Aransas hosts the largest flock of wintering whooping cranes in North America with over 250 birds. By mid-April they depart for a hazardous journey of 2,500 miles to nesting grounds at Wood Buffalo National Park, Canada.

Even with 250 birds in the area one is still lucky to see cranes feeding in the marshy salt flats in the refuge, and we were indeed fortunate.  We took off on the Heron Flats trail and spotted a pair feeding.  Whooping cranes being 60 inches tall and with white feathers were easy to spot against the green/brown marshes.  The birds were elegant and gorgeous, a thrilling experience.  Luckily Lonnie had his camera because I forgot mine and when I walked back (a very short distance) to get my camera the birds had flown away by the time I returned.  And added plus on the walk down the trail we spotted a few alligators sunning themselves on the shore line.  The park rangers told us to keep Vegas on a short leash because the alligators like puppy dogs for snacks.  So glad the gators kept their distance.

Corpus Christi Trip

Lonnie’s brother and sister-in-law (Dan and Barbara) who live in Arkansas would be visiting their son and daughter-in-law (Greg and Cathy) in Corpus.  Great reason for a road trip, so off we went.  We had dinner at Snoopy’s, a popular restaurant on intercostal canal, luckily they had a large roaring fire pit inside to warm everyone from the misty cold weather outside.  The next day we were able to visit with Greg and Cathy whom we haven’t seen a several years and it was wonderful to spend time with family.

After the family visits we took off to Padre Island National Seashore, Malaquite beach.  We were very fortunate to find a great camp site with an ocean view and a very short walk to the beach.  Vegas truly enjoyed running in the sand and chasing the birds.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

KENTUCKY HORSE FARM

The Kentucky Horse Farm is located in Lexington, Kentucky and was open to the public in 1978. This farm is dedicated to the history of the horse and man’s relationship with the horse through out the ages. They have two museums; my favorite was the International Museum of the Horse.  The farm houses up to 2,000 horses at times of special events and they offer various attractions through out the year.  The day we were there, we saw three attractions, the Hall of Champions, The Parade of Breeds, and the Draft Horses.  The Hall of Champions provides stalls and care for retired champion thoroughbreds. A couple of the horses brought out for viewing were Da Hoss, the pretty chestnut horse (harness racer) and Funny Cide (Kentucky Derby winner), the one with his tongue hanging out. The Parade of Breeds showcased various breeds of horses from around the world and explained the history and purpose of each particular horse, all gorgeous.  The Draft Horse exhibition displays the largest and strongest of the horses.  The size of these animals is beyond belief, true giants.   The largest one was over 2,000 pounds and 18 ½ hands high.

 

The Kentucky Horse Farm has a convenient and very nice RV park adjacent to the farm, so we stayed there for a couple of nights.

 

We enjoyed our visit to the state of Kentucky very much.  There are many things to do there, the state parks are very lovely, and the state overall is very attractive.  I highly recommend a trip to Kentucky