Saturday, November 1, 2014

Close Encounter of the Reddish Egret Kind

Today has been all about making lists; and about creating somewhat “organized piles” of stuff.  

Around 2 a.m. this morning I realized that I’m getting awfully close to my first encounter with the new RV, and I’m not one bit prepared to go get it! I realized at that infamous 2 a.m. “can’t sleep” moment that I was somewhere around 9 months pregnant and no hospital bag was packed and ready for the call:  time to go!

Creating lists are my comfort tool for feeling prepared. And so at this evening's end of a long indoor day, I have 3 sets of lists on my kitchen counter: 

My first list reminds me of things I need to buy before I go get my RV, such as toiletries and paper products.  My second list reminds me of things I want to take, and includes multiple hats, beloved binoculars, trusty daypack and such. My third list includes the multitude of items I really need to take, from outfitting the RV with bedding and towels, to kitchen wares and creature comforts such as a small electric heater and heated blanket.

These last items, things that I really need to take, were mostly tucked away into multiple stick-house closets after saying goodbye to my Airstreaming life.  This morning I realized I’d surely forget them if I didn’t take them out of the closets and make them annoyingly visible. 

And so I’ve plunked down closeted items into an annoying pile, right in the middle of my living room floor.  Sitting next to them are a surprising number of clean garbage bags, filled with newly washed bedding and towels.

But I have a goal:  go get the RV and IMMEDIATELY start using it!  Ahhctober is gone; I surely don’t want to miss November’s lovely Texas weather.

Today’s indoor projects, driven by the closeness of encountering my new RV, reminded me that I had not posted photos from my recent surprisingly-close encounter with a Reddish Egret at GISP:

I’ve seen a good number of Reddish Egrets along the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas; and true to field guides, I always find them singly, in expanses of shallow salt water.  A few lucky encounters have rewarded me with glimpses of their drunken dance, foraging and fishing as only they do.

I’ve never gotten close to a Reddish Egret; my views have been kept at a polite distance, as they saw fit.  But this Reddish beauty was just behind me and to my left, watching me as I took a series of photos of what I hoped to be a Nelson’s Sharp-tailed Sparrow.

Elegant she is, yes?

The Reddish Egret is not nearly as common as the other egrets and herons.  And any sighting other than along the coast of Texas or Louisiana, or the southern tip of Florida, can be considered a rare U.S. sighting.

This day’s lovely One let me quietly come close:

And closer:

This non-breeding adult (all black bill) seemed as interested in my funny hat and protruding camera-eye as I was interested in her EVERYTHING:

She soon lost interest in my squatted presence and turned her attention to a needed meal. Her pre-dance posturing began:

And then the drunken dance began:

And I knew it was time for me to quietly back away; after all, what fisherman wants anyone to distract them from their time-honored focus?  I could have stayed and gotten better photos; but it might have cost this Lovely a meal.  And so staying was not an option.

Time for me to go add another item to my list-- state park and birding guides!


  1. I saw a reddish egret in Longview Texas back in the mid-nineties and was entranced by his/her drunken dance! Please tell me more about the new RV!

    1. A northeast Texas sighting is a good rare one! I'm keeping the RV a surprise until after I drive away with it. :-)


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