Turkeys, Thanksgiving, and Giving Thanks

This Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving in the United States. Turkey is traditionally the main course served for the Thanksgiving meal so this week, turkey is on my mind.

During our RV travels we encountered a few wild turkeys.

Wild Turkey in a campground in Texas
Wild turkey in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Wild turkeys roaming around a campground in Georgia

THEN

Last year at this time I was frantically getting everything ready to host a family Thanksgiving. Months before the holiday I thought about how it had been a long time since my brothers and I celebrated a holiday together. I also thought about how life is too short to put things off so I called and invited them to our house for Thanksgiving. I’m so glad I did.

Thanksgiving with my brothers was extra special last year. We laughed a lot, reminisced, and sat up talking late into the night. Our son and one of our granddaughters was here part of the time to add to the fun.

NOW

This year will be quite different. We will have a small quiet Thanksgiving at home. I will be preparing a Thanksgiving feast, just on a smaller scale this year. In fact, I just got back from what I hope is my final trip to the grocery store. Let the cooking begin!

GIVING THANKS

I wake up every day thankful for the gift of today. There is so much I have to be thankful for – my health, my family, my friends, the beauty of nature, a visit with my grandchildren. This year I am extremely grateful that my family is healthy, well, and able to work. I’m thankful for everyone in the medical field for their tireless work. I am also thankful for the researchers and developers of a vaccine for the virus and for all of the volunteers who are participating in the testing of the vaccine.

This post was inspired by Lisa’s Bird Weekly Challenge #24: Hunted or consumed by Humans and Amy’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #124: Now and Then

Bird Weekly Challenge #23: Long Legged Birds

Every year, endangered Whooping Cranes fly south from Canada to spend their winter along the Texas Gulf Coast at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. Sometimes some of the cranes can be seen in open fields near Goose Island State Park in Rockport.

Several years ago we spent a few days at Goose Island State Park in hopes of seeing some of these endangered Whooping Cranes. Every day we went out in search of these beautiful birds and every day we saw them. I posted about our experience at Magnificent Endangered Whooping Cranes.

Thank you Lisa. for this Bird Weekly Challenge #23: Long Legged Birds

Bird Weekly Challenge #21: Birds with Black Feathers

I searched through my archives for birds with black feathers and came up with birds I saw in Alaska, Texas, Colorado, and close to home in Georgia. The photo above is a Hooded Merganser at Inks Lake in Texas.

Oystercatcher in Alaska
Puffins on the Columbia Glacier Cruise from Valdez, Alaska
Whooping Cranes in Texas
Black Billed Magpie, Colorado
Wood Stork on nest in Georgia

Thank you Lisa. for this Bird Weekly Challenge #21: Birds with Black Feathers

Bird Weekly Challenge #20: In Your Yard or Garden

I have to admit I spend a lot of time in my backyard watching and photographing the birds. Here are a few of my favorites.

Red-bellied woodpecker
Tufted Titmouse
House Sparrow
Cardinal in winter
This great egret landed in our yard one day
Male Painted Bunting on twisted vines
Male Ruby-Throated Hummingbird

We also are lucky to see wading birds in the salt marsh behind our house. I’ll often run grab my camera to capture them when they land on one of the docks.

Great Egret
Roseate Spoonbill
Juvenile White Ibis

Thank you Lisa. for this Bird Weekly challenge. Her original post is Bird Weekly Challenge #20: In your Yard or Garden

Bird Weekly Challenge #18: Birds starting with “A”

A is for Anhinga.

From the Audubon Field Guide: “A long-necked, long-tailed swimmer of southeastern swamps. Often seen perched on a snag above the water, with its wings half-spread to dry. Can vary its buoyancy in water, sometimes swimming with only head and neck above water (earning it the nickname of “Snakebird”). Often solitary when feeding, it roosts in groups and nests in colonies. Looks rather like a cormorant when perched, but not in flight, when the long tail may be spread wide as the Anhinga soars high on outstretched wings. Anhingas are silent at most times, but around nesting colonies they make various croaking and clicking sounds.”

Thank you Lisa. for this Bird Weekly challenge. Her original post is Bird Weekly Challenge #18: Birds that begin with the letter “A