January 30, 2004 Rockport, Texas

We enjoyed our long Houston visit very much. Thanks to Mom and Aubrey for putting up with us so long. I finished the sampler quilt and here's a picture:

We have been in the Rockport area for the last several days. The first two days were sunny and warm and then a cold front came through. It's been cloudy and cool since.

We spent one sunny day touring the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge--such a wonderful place. Saw lots of birds but not being birders like others in the family can't tell you if we saw anything unusual. We enjoyed watching them though and took several of the offered hikes, as well as climbing the observation tower. We did not see the family of whooping cranes that are sometimes visible from the tower, but did see a rather tall white crane-looking bird--no red on the head or black tipped feathers when he flew. Very impressive anyway.

Then on Wed. we took the boat tour of the refuge and this time we saw several families of whooping cranes. It was a good day for them to be out. I remember when Mom and I went we didn't see many and they were far away. This time the boat came up pretty close. The cranes don't seem to be bothered by the boat though they don't like humans to be around. One whooping crane couple (the Libstick (?) pair) had raised two chicks--very rare. Evidently the blue crabs were plentiful last year and this, and the adults felt they could support a second chick. Usually, though they lay two eggs, they only feed and take care of the first hatchling. At another spot, I was looking at one through the binoculars when he took off and flew away. What a spectacular sight! I handed the binoculars to Riley in time for him to see part of the flight, but he had missed the take off.

We have also been to Sinton to visit my grandparents graves, and found that great-grandmother Tillery's stone is still off the base. We talked to Mr. Gonzales at the funereal home again, as Richard had before, about getting it fixed. Hopefully, it will happen soon this time as it turns out Beverly has called him this month too.

Yesterday was rainy and we didn't feel like traveling, so we spent the day reading, quilting, and watching movies--took a walk during a dry spell. Today it is overcast and windy and we are again having a bit of trouble getting moving, but do plan to head south as far as Corpus Christi--not very far, I grant you, but it will be a move. If weather permits we may spend several days camping on Padre Island there at Corpus before heading south again.

Love to all,
Margie & Riley

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