March 04, 2006

Our 2005 Summer Bus Tour of California and Canyons

Is it too late to post some things about our vacation last summer? I have no idea why we did not do this earlier, but no more excuses.
This time, we traveled for 23 days visiting 4 national parks including Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon, and Yosemite. The visits we rather short, but not so short as to get 50 more birds for my life list. One of the best sightings was 3 California condors in Grand Canyon National Park. I never dreamed that I would ever see such a magnificent bird! (It is not even in a birding field guide, because it is so rare. The chicks are raised by hand, then banded and released in the park. A few years ago, there were only 16 in the wild. I don't know the exact count now, but it is extremely low, so seeing 3 of them land on a ledge a long way down was indescribable. At Yosemite, we got several great looks at a pair of western tanagers, (look in a field guide to see this gorgeous bird), and 3 male evening grosbeaks, just hopping around on the ground.

The highlight of the trip was meeting up with Tom Mos. in San Francisco. We spent a great, but too short, evening in his beautiful condo. Boy, is he a good cook and great host! In addition, he hired a bird guide who took us 50 miles up the coast in search of a variety of western birds. (Poor Tom had to do all the driving, and serve the rather exotic lunch on the trunk of his car.) It was great!

On the return trip, amazingly enough, we met my brother Tom Stahl and Faye in Las Vegas! Crazy, isn't it to meet up with my family from Ohio in Nevada?

When we arrived home, we called Gunther Tours (in Glen Burnie) and reserved the coming summer's trip to Alaska (2006), which includes a 1 week cruise of the inner passage and return through Alberta, to some of the same spots we saw 2 years ago, and also a trip to northern California and Oregon in summer 2007. Of course, with Andy's health issues, we may not do the Alaska trip this summer, but you never know. We are really enjoying the opportunity to see so much of our gorgeous country. Anybody want to go along?

Posted by Skip & Carol at 12:47 PM | Comments (2)

August 04, 2005

May 2005 Kelley's Island

Skip & I have been fortunate to be able to travel a bit this year and are having a ball. The week of Mother's Day, we made our third annual bird-watching trip to a lovely little island in Lake Erie, 1/2 hour ferry-ride from Sandusky, Ohio, with my brother and sister-in-law, Tom & Faye Stahl. The Audubon Society on Kelley's sponsors an outstanding program to celebrate the spring migration of the tiny little birds called wood warblers; the week culminates with International Migratory Bird Day on the Saturday following Mother's Day. Each day there are excellent lectures and discussions and 2 bird walks led by a guest expert, plus time to relax, hike, or catch some zzzz's.

This year Faye brought oranges to attract orioles. Each day, we saw at least 2 pairs of Baltimore Orioles and a male Orchard Oriole devouring the tasty fruit. Fantastic! The unbelievable beauty of nature makes one realize that God's creation is beyond our comprehension.

Posted by Skip & Carol at 04:21 PM | Comments (0)

February 21, 2005


This is Ontario Canada. Temperature 5 to 30 degrees. The Great Gray Owl lives in the Boreal Forest, and is seldom seen. It feeds exlusively on voles, and this year they are scarce so the Owls had to move or starve. That's why there in Ontario. There main weapon is their talons, and they use their beaks to pinch the voles neck, before they feed on it. They have the ability to sense movement two feet under the snow, locate and catch their prey.

Posted by Skip & Carol at 02:57 PM | Comments (1)

October 02, 2004

Sit Still!

Last week, in a first grade Media (library) class, one of my little boys spent the entire lesson time wiggling and fidgeting as he sat on the floor with his classmates. After several warnings to sit still, I made him move his clip on the citizenship poster. A few minutes later, when he was checking out his book, he said to me, "It really wasn't my fault that I couldn't sit still, Mrs. Mosmiller. I had an airplane in my back pocket." (Wow, do I feel guilty. Poor kid.)

Posted by Skip & Carol at 04:41 PM | Comments (0)

September 27, 2004


Hey Guys,

Does anybody want to go to an orchard for fresh apples? I found the names and phone numbers of half a dozen places in nearby counties and I really, really, really want to go as soon as possible. Let me know if you are interested in meeting me somewhere in the next few days.

Posted by Skip & Carol at 08:05 PM | Comments (0)