On Friday our group of 8 NOMADS got up bright and early on a non-work day!!!
We had the real treat of meeting Judy from Travels with Emma one of the RVing Worlds favorite bloggers. This is me on the left, Judy on the right.
Judy is volunteering for three months at
When I found out we would be working on a project only about 15 miles from the refuge where she is volunteering, I suggested we meet. She graciously invited us all for a tour. We arrived right at eight am to meet Judy waiting with a van that seats about 10.
Judy told us that back in the 70's there were only about 35 of the Mississippi Sand Hill cranes left in the world. Due to their protection as an endangered species there are now about 120. For a while it looked like we would not be privileged to see any cranes on this day. Then - there they were - two cranes off in a field and one of them doing their mating dance! The cranes mate for life and follow a ritual of the male doing a dance to impress his mate. (I know this trick works - Leonard and I met while out Country dancing almost 24 years ago).
Unfortunately my camera is such that when I took pictures, all I got was a field.
But I did get this picture of others in the group taking pictures.
I really need to get a camera with better capabilities. To check out the cranes, go to Judy's blog. www.travels-with-emma.blogspot.com
I found very interesting their methods of catching a crane for the purpose of banding. One method is by use of the "coffin".
The biologist goes out at night, quietly lays in this box and while closing the lid, places corn on top. When he hears the walking of the crane on top, he puts his arm through a small hole in the side and grabs the bird!
After the excitement of seeing the crane doing his dance, we hoped to see more. And see more we did. A total of 33! Judy tells us this is a record for one of her tours. We were privileged indeed. We were not so lucky when it came to seeing the two young Bald Eagles nesting in this nest. Guess it was nap time.
After hugs and thanks, we headed back to our campsites. Leonard and I decided to make a day of it. We first drove over to Pascagoula and checked out Ingalls Shipyard where Leonard worked for 8 years in the 70's.
He keeps remarking how things have changed in the area in 40 years! Well, yea. He wondered if the Longfellow House was still sitting there along the gulf. It was.
This house was built in 1850 for slave trader Daniel Smith Graham. It has since been a girls school, a club for Ingalls Shipyard and a private residence. Legend is that Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the poem The Building of the Ship while visiting this house but there is no real evidence that this is true.
We then took a drive to Biloxi. Biloxi was hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. These once were casinos that sat along the beach.
And here are what appear to be new or rebuilt casinos - sitting along the beach.
And the beaches? The sand was white as snow.
That evening our group took Judy's advice. While on the tour she drove by The Shed BBQ and recommended it.
It sure was a shed.
But what great BBQ. I choose the brisket with potato salad and beans.
Len selected their mixed dinner. It had brisket, BBQ chicken, ribs, pulled pork, pulled chicken and sausage. He also had sweet potatoes, cole slaw and collards. We have enough meat left from his dinner for today's lunch.
Yesterday was one of those perfect days that we are so blessed to enjoy with each other and our new friends.