Thursday, March 8, 2012

Whooping Cranes...and an alligator

Today we drove up north to Aransas Nat'l Wildlife Refuge because we wanted to see Whooping Cranes and Alligators.  We were not dissapointed.  The weather was crummy and overcast all day so the photos are not very good but we saw them.
Whooping crane almost 5 ft tall

Whooping cranes are the largest bird in North America, weighing in around 15 lb and standing almost 5 feet tall.  They winter in this section of the gulf coast and migrate up north of the Arctic Circle to nest.  Almost extinct a few years ago, their population now counts as about 245 birds.  They mate for life.

Mr & Mrs. Crane in flight

After departing the visitor center we went across the street to have a picnic lunch under some oak trees.  Nearby we saw a fence with a sign that said Alligators - stay behind fence.  Ok.  This sounds like a good idea.

Serious Teeth
 After lunch we peeked over the fence and saw this fella.   He did remind me a lot of the crocadile in Peter Pan movie but he is an alligator not a croc.  Still...can't you just see Captain Hook scrambling for his life?

We started a little hike and saw this cardinal eating late lunch in an oak tree.  I started to shoot some pics and Sraddha grabbed me and escorted me back to car so this is the best photo I had.  not great but he is cute.  Turns out I had 50 mosquitoes on my shirt and pants.

If the Alligators don't eat you in Texas, the mosquitoes will!

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