Thursday, April 21, 2005

Crawfish & Fried Twinkies, More Birding & Gardening, Michelle Gets Sick

Last night Michelle and I had dinner at Rocky's Roadhouse in Beaumont. From the name I expected it to be just another crowded steakhouse with peanut shells littering the floor, but it turned out to have a very pleasant outdoor dining area, a stage with live music, and some of the biggest crawfish I've ever seen. Shared two heaping platters of mudbugs complete with corn and potatoes and fake butter to dip it all in. Did make one mistake - ordered the fried twinkies for dessert. That's right. Fried twinkies. Tastes about as bad as it sounds.

This morning I looked out the front window and was surprised to see a Yellow-breasted Chat near the birdbath. It was perched out in the open, and hung around long enough for Michelle to come see it too. Afterward I walked around the yard hoping to find some other goodies, but didn't see much aside from a pair of Gray Catbirds and a lingering Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Later in the afternoon a female Summer Tanager was splashing in the birdbath where the chat had been seen earlier.

Michelle and I both had the day off, but she had arranged a full schedule of appointments to keep us busy. This morning we met with the priest at her church about our impending wedding, then we went to Joe's Crab Shack to have lunch with some of Michelle's patients from the convalescent hospital in Silsbee. We left the restaurant a bit early because Michelle was having chills. Later in the afternoon we went to Tyrell Park to meet a photographer and have some engagement pictures taken. The Garden Center in Tyrell Park is very photogenic and can be a good birding spot - today it was good for Prothonotary Warbler and Scarlet Tanager. Also saw a few watersnakes (possibly 2 or 3 different species involved?) basking along the edge of the slough there. Unfortunately we had to leave early because Michelle was feeling ill. Checked her temperature when we got home and she had a fever of 103. Acetaminophen and a cool bath brought her fever down, and a lime slushie from Sonic might have helped too. At least she's resting comfortably now.

On a more positive note, our garden is looking great. Only one of the azaleas is still flowering, but the lantana, salvia, and coral honeysuckle are all in bloom. Even the hamelia and bananas (which appeared to have been killed by the winter freeze) are showing signs of life, with fresh foliage emerging from their roots. We now have 3 hummingbird feeders and 4 seed feeders in the yard, so the birds and squirrels should be happy too.


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