Along the Natchez Trace

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Just Another Walk to Town...

Nearly all of my posts these days are what I see when we walk into town.  We've volunteered at National Wildlife Refuges where we gave tours....  sometimes the same tour 2, maybe 3, times a day.  I've been asked if I get bored with that...  and the answer is "never".  They are just like our walks into Coco...  we may walk the same route but each time we see something new... different people, different birds...  even the sunlight filtering through a tree might make it look different... or expose something we didn't see before.

As I've written, we live at the top of a hill.  We're the only folks living in this condo which has 9 units.  The view from the front is outstanding and the solitude we have is priceless.  This morning I took my hummingbird feeder out to hang up - it was about 6am - and there was a lot of raucous bird calls and frenetic activity going on in the tree just beyond the feeder.  The kind of activity that often indicates there's a predator close by.  I could barely see through the branches, but managed to spot a dark lump that looked out of place.  I hurried back inside to get my binoculars and camera....  walked out of the driveway and down the hill a bit...
Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl
All of 6", this little guy was the cause of all the panic.  This is the only photo I got...  he decided he'd had enough rude disruptions and he flew off.  (for anyone who might wonder...  ferruginous means iron colored...  and he is kind of rusty looking).

Bill & headed to town fairly early...  it's getting hotter earlier in the day.  As soon as I got the laundry hung out, off we went.

Just down the road there is a fenced in wooded field.  There is a herd of cattle there... mixed breeds...  maybe 25 or 30 in all.  Hey...  looks like something interesting is going on...
These men have herded the cattle into an enclosure...  and then are running them into a chute-like corral, maybe 10 or so at a time.  The man in the top left photo is loading his syringe....  and as the chute narrows and allows only one cow at a time through, he injects the meds into their hip.  I don't know what they're being innoculated for, but between the guys yelling a lot as they're trying to hustle the cattle into the chute and the bawling of the cattle who are confused and quite unhappy, it was an interesting scene on our way to town.

We live in a development of condos.  While the ones closer to Ocotal Beach are much fancier and much more expensive, our area consists of a ...  shall we say "works in progress".  Then, as you leave our area and walk the mile or so into town, you walk through a working-class neighborhood.  It's a mix of locals, some condos, a couple of churches, some small tiendas...  lots of folks walking or bicycling along the road.  Since we walk it nearly everyday we've come to "know" a few folks along the way...  like the gate guard man at one of the condos.  His English is pretty good and he likes to say "Good Morning"...  and we work on our Spanish... "Bueno Dias" or "Hola".

We almost always hang a left at the "big" intersection...  to the right we'd head right to the main street of Coco...  but to the left is Coco Beach.
There is a mix of boats in the harbor...  mostly either commercial fishing boats or privately owned pleasure boats.  Today, there was a huge sailboat moored there.  There aren't any docks or piers...  the boats anchor off shore and either row or use an outboard motor on a smaller craft to come to shore.

Bill and I always marvel at the change of the tide....  and the difference the beach is like...
The last couple of days we've been seeing a lot of these little crabs.  The whole thing is about the size of the bottom of a tea cup.... they are fun to watch as they pop into their holes as we approach.

And of course we have to walk over the Rickety Bridge as we head towards the main street.  There's always something there.  I'm wondering if what I thought was a rookery really was as we haven't seen the night herons for quite a while.  We still see the Great Egret and the Tricolored Heron, but even the Green Heron hasn't been around lately.  Today, though, we saw this big guy...
Actually, She's a female Ringed Kingfisher.
A whopping 16" dive bomber!  There was too much foot traffic on the bridge today so she flew off and we didn't see her in action.  The Green Kingfisher that we've seen here is only about 7".....  quite a difference is size!

When I first met Bill all those years ago, he had a philodendron plant that he'd "trained" to climb all around his kitchen ceiling....  he'd provided it with support and the tendrils grew so long it was a massive plant.  As we're walking home each day, we walk past this...
Now....  doesn't this look like a HUGE philodendron?  But, my gosh! Look at the size of those leaves!  Look how thick those vines are!  In the upper right Bill is standing beside a vine that has lost its hold and is laying on the ground.  WhooooHoooo!  I'd have had to had a machete to find the stove if he'd had THAT in his kitchen when I met him!

As you can tell, we love our walks into town.  Bill carries a back pack and we buy what we need at the grocery.  About once a week we buy our "big" stuff ...  several bags full.....  and take a taxi home (costs about $4 American).  But as February quickly moves on, it gets hotter earlier and earlier in the day.  We'll see how it goes for our next month or so here.

Before I close, for those of you on Facebook...  there is a site that features a blog about National Wildlife Refuges...   
Today they featured Aroostook NWR....  that's where we'll be in 4 months.      

That's All For Today!


  1. Just so nice enjoying the simple things you have right there.

  2. Sometimes I think Mike and I need to slow down and look around us more! Great photos, I loved the owl one!

  3. You have some really interesting photos today. You're so right about there always being something different to see, no matter where you are. We have been stuck at home quite a bit lately, but our rides and walks always bring something interesting - it's all a matter of opening your eyes and taking time to really see. You guys do that so well. Thanks for sharing what you see with the rest of us.

  4. I thought I recognized that photo!! Credit:Sharon Wallace! Neat. Interesting article on Aroostook.

  5. You are so lucky to see the owl! They are hard to find even when you are looking for them.

  6. How did I miss this post I wonder. Love that little Owl. You sure do see some interesting goings-on!