Here's a shot of Cam and me on the way down:
|"Snuggle on in here, Maggie."|
It takes about two and a half hours to get down there, in case you were wondering. Plenty of time to catch a few Zs and still help navigate.
Our first stop at Quivira was just south of the Big Salt Marsh. It was very exciting, as the Sandhill Cranes were swirling all over the place! It's like they were staging themselves, gathering together before they head south!
At times, they filled the skies!
|More Sandhill Cranes!!!|
They also have a beautiful song! Mom isn't very good at taking videos, but she did shoot a few clips with Dad's Canon SX60 - take a look and listen!
Isn't their song wonderful?!!? We loved listening to them!
We also saw a few geese out at Quivira:
|A "few" geese|
That is mostly Snow Geese. We also saw Greater White-Fronted Geese and Canada Geese. Here is a Snow Goose sneaking into a Canada Geese formation:
|One of these is not like the others!|
I'll bet they spotted him, but he did a good job infiltrating! (He's the mostly white one, near the rear of the formation.)
Other highlights were Mom being able to get some shots of this Eastern Meadowlark:
|Eastern Meadowlark on barbed wire|
We have both Western and Eastern Meadowlarks here, and usually see the Western (our state bird). The best way to tell them apart is by their song, but Mom didn't hear this guy sing. She went with "Eastern" as the ID because they prefer the wetter grasslands, and since we were in a marsh ... it just seemed right.
We saw a lot of hawks, like this one:
And we saw tons of ducks! This photo is a real "who's who" of the duck world:
|American Wigeons, American Coots (not ducks!), Redhead Ducks, and Mallards|
Duck-wise, we also saw Green-Winged Teals, Lesser Scaups, Buffleheads, Gadwalls, Ruddy Ducks, Northern Pintails, and Northern Shovelers (Mom's fave!). Oh. And Pied-Billed Grebes -- but like Coots, they aren't ducks, though they like to hang out with them. Anyway ...
Here are a couple buddies hanging out together on the beach:
|Greater Yellowlegs and Least Sandpiper|
We also saw a lot of deer! This was the biggest one!
Isn't he beautiful!?!? Mom cautioned him about watching for traffic and hunters. (Still no hunting allowed at Quivira right now, in case there are any Whooping Cranes lingering around!)
We took a rest stop in Ellinwood on the way out and the way back. While Mom and Dad had their sandwiches ...
"Maggie has passed out from hunger, Mom. She really needs a bite of sandwich. I'll take one, too."
Works. Every. Time. (Mom wanted me to point out that she does bring water and snacks for us ... but that doesn't count. Right?)
I helped navigate on the way home:
|"OK, now stay straight on this road for 87 million miles ..."|
But I have to admit, that first stretch of I70 does this to me:
|"She'll be OK, she's just super serene."|
We hope you enjoyed our most recent trip to Quivira! If you'd like to see more, please click here to view our album!
Yours sincerely and serenely,