Friday, April 18, 2014

Springtime in Sickstas yard

It's Spring here at Sickstas in Carthage, NC.
It actually has been switching back and forth between summer and spring temperatures. A week of 80 degrees left us when a cold front came in. Two nights we covered some of Sickstas plants so the frost would not bite them. Daytime temps this week have been in the mid sixties.
The birds have been busy hooking up and finding a good home to raise their young-ins.

These two White-breasted Nuthatch look like they are ready for some springtime fun and frolic.

I have seen this Carolina wren sweetening it up with another...Its also missing tail it's feathers. Looks a bit odd bopping about.

The creatures of the garden have been out and about as well, warming and leaching off of the plant delights.

Sickstas garden is filling out with springtime colors..plants that have been hibernating underground for the winter are popping out of the ground and stretching out to feel the sun.

The birds have started migrating and reaching the trees above us.
Yellow-throated, Red-eyed and White-eyed vireos, Black and White warblers, Northern Parula, Yellow-rumped warblers, Summer tanager have come to feast on the insects on the freshly leafed trees.
Ruby-throated hummingbirds have been gracing my sugar water feeder.
We had a single and early appearance of a Blue grosbeak and an Indigo bunting.

Just a few days ago I heard a hooded warbler singing from the woods across the street while I was doing my morning yoga routine.
I wanted to see this first of the spring arrival so I grabbed my binoculars and rushed across the street.
As I entered the woods I was greeted by a Morel mushroom.
I started picking as a looked for the Hooded ....

I never did see the Hooded this was deep in a thicket and I couldn't get close enough.
Instead I looked on the ground for more shrooms...

Devils Urn- Urnula craterium

I have the Hooded to thank for this bounty!

Spring has sprung!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Here we are…

Here we are…

Dell and Craigys_005

We have been here a week already.

I last blogged about Big Bend..

We left there a few weeks ago and stopped for a quick visit in San Antonio to see The Alamo, The Riverwalk and visit with a few facebook birding friends.

We then zipped to Atlanta avoiding a potential hail and wind storm by driving through the night only stopping when we had no choice because there was a huge truck car carrier fire in front of us.. we waited one and a half hours while it exploded a few times…and finally the fire was put out.


We stayed a few days in Atlanta and visited with our nephew who goes to Emory.

Now we are here..

In Sicksta Adele and Craigys Side yard

Dell and Craigys_004Its spring in full swing..

Dell and Craigys_009I've set out a few more feeders to add to my Sickstas bird feeders set up.

Dell and Craigys_006The Ruby-throated hummingbird has already visited..

See the hanging water bottle?…

I created a slow drip system for the birds.

Dell and Craigys_011Pine warblers love suet..

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We took a drive to Pinehurst resort with some RVing friends who happened to be staying in the area.

The floral displays were beautiful.

pinehurstWe have had warm weather here and a few lovely sunsets..

SunsetIt’s a rainy, chilly day today..

Heard our first Black and White warbler of the season…. 

We drove into town to pick up some ingredients for mushroom soup ~I will use my mushrooms picked in Oregon..

Should be yummy on a day like today..


The Black Vultures had other things in their menu.

black vultures

So that’s it in this nutshell of a blog post..

We are here in North Carolina until the end of the month..

Then we head Norther..

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Emory Peak ~ Big Bend NP

I am way behind in blog posts…We are no longer in Big Bend National Park..

We are no longer in Texas…but that’s another story.

I want to show you photos from our hike up Emory Peak in Big Bend National Park.         

What a hike!

Jeff and I hiked some of this trail four years ago.

We hiked Laguna meadows, the Colima trail to South rim and back down the Pinnacle trail.

This time we decided to hike up the Pinnacle trail to Mt. Emory then take the Colima trail to Laguna meadows and back down to the car.

Below is the view on our drive to the trailhead.

mt emory_009


I used my Bad Elf to track our route..We thought it was just going to be a 12 mile hike..ended up being 15.



15 miles
Minimum Latitude:
29.241220° N
Maximum Latitude:
29.270586° N
Minimum Longitude:
103.312103° W
Maximum Longitude:
103.293213° W
Average Speed:
1.2 mph
Maximum Speed:
5.1 mph









Our hike started at the Chisos basin trailhead.

Pinnacle trail..

mt emory_108

The trail wasn’t as bad as I remembered it.

mt emory_017It was a steady uphill but nothing too difficult.

mt emory_021On the side of the trail we happened upon this cactus just starting to burst forth in bloom.

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I am pointing to the peak we will be hiking to…

Mt Emory

Emory Peak, located in Big Bend National Park, is the highest peak in the Chisos Mountains.


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As we gain elevation we start to get some nice views.

mt emory_038Jeff is always hiking ahead of me..

I am very slow going up hill.

mt emory_040more views as we hike up the Pinnacle trail

mt emory_043

mt emory_046We met a nice couple and chatted a bit about RVing ~they had thought it might be a fun thing for them to do and we agreed and answered their questions on our RVing lifestyle...

Then uphill we go..

mt emory_052It was windy the previous day and the dust was still hampering the view..

mt emory_053A distant view of The Boot..

mt emory_056The Boot..

mt emory_058mt emory_059

The Pinnacle trail meets Emory Peak trail….

mt emory_080Stairmastermt emory_060

This was indeed a workout..

mt emory_061I stopped frequently to catch my breath.

mt emory_063Finally near the top..

See the solar panel on the upper left…some people climb the rock to that point.

mt emory_066I decided to climb the rocky area to the right..

see the people below me…

mt emory_068Once up and in an area I felt secure, I start taking photos of the view..

mt emory_069

mt emory_070

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mt emory_073

It felt good to be able to climb this peak..well, just shy of the summit… The extra five feet or so to the summit was a bit too frightening for me to climb .. it would have been a rock scramble to get there with shear drops around me.

We hung out had lunch and chatted with the others at the peak.

mt emory_075Then downward…

mt emory_077

See the trail cutting through the mountain on the left side…

mt emory_078

Mexican Jay..

mt emory_081We continue on the trail heading south..

mt emory_084

mt emory_082Another view of The Boot..

mt emory_083We had thought of continuing to the South Rim but it was getting late and we wouldn’t have enough time.

We take the Colima trail.

mt emory_089

mt emory_090The hike is starting to wear me down…

and it seems longer than what I had expected..

mt emory_093I complain to Jeff about every mile or so..

mt emory_096Whenever the trail climbs I complain..

thinking it should be all downhill ..

mt emory_097Some nice views to ease my pain..

mt emory_098

mt emory_099

More trail..

Never ending..

mt emory_101at least that’s how it seems..

mt emory_103On and on and on…we hike..

mt emory_105Until finally signs of civilization!

I was exhausted!

15 miles ~ done!!

Jeff and I agreed there is no need to repeat this hike..

at least not the Emory Peak part.

We might still hike to South Rim..of course by the time we get back to Big Bend, we may be too old and need to take the escalator to the top!

mt emory_106