Our car battery keeps draining, and it seems to be a metaphor for our trip southward. After three days of travel, we arrive in Lufkin, Texas where we take some time to organize and clean the inside of the motor home, and sleep. Travelling can be exhausting.
Monday morning we head out early for the last leg of the journey.
“This might be our last winter trip in this vehicle,” Ric says.
I feel it, too.
We take it slow, and I nap several times, and by 4:00 p.m. we finally pull into the Ransom Road RV Park in Aransas Pass, Texas. The office is closed already, but a helpful manager arrives and directs us to follow him to our site, stopping just ahead of it to let us unhook the tow.
The battery is dead. Others gather around and help us push the vehicle out of the way and Ric and the manager go on ahead to park the motor home. I want to walk off the frustration. Clear my head. Get my bearings, as this is where we will be staying for the next month.
Our site is a 1 and a half, with concrete pads, backing onto a canal. As I approach a large bird rises from the water with a fish in its mouth and takes off upstream. It’s an anhinga! I want to shout with excitement.
“Are there anhinga’s around here?” I ask the manager, not believing what I just saw.
“Don’t know,” he says matter-of-factly, obviously not a bird person. “We do get sandhill cranes, though.”
Ric follows me back to the canal. The snake-like head of the anhinga slices through the water before submerging.
“It is one!”
He surfaces again, and I run to get my camera.
I don’t spot the bird again immediately, but I notice movement on the shore across the way. No idea what I’m shooting, I get a few snaps before the bird retreats into the bush.
The manager has nicely recharged the battery for us, and we walk up to retrieve the car. When we return, I take up my position at the water’s edge again. A green heron is sitting just feet away from me. Excited, I motion to Ric and scare the bird off, and just as it flies away, a monstrously large bird flies towards us and lands in the water. A pelican.
Ric is hungry, and so am I, but I can’t tear myself away. Later, I will learn that the mystery bird I captured was also the green heron. Last year, I searched and search in vain for a shot of this elusive heron, and I already have three different angles.
I will stay outside until sundown, watching and marvelling at this place we have landed. A birder’s paradise.