Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Oklahoma Autumnal Tour - Part 2

Sequoyah State Park

November 8
We decided to put this on our Autumnal Tour only because this summer we were talking around the campfire at Greenleaf, and a couple of folks mentioned that they work in Ft. Gibson, and every day when they cross the dam to go to work, there are Bald Eagles.  We really didn't think that we could do much good, but we thought we'd give it a try as it would make a nice break from Great Salt Plains to our next stop. 

We picked out Sequoyah State Park as it had full hook-ups and the reviews on RVParkReviews.com was pretty good.  I did some research on which sites had the full service. (Great Salt Plains has no sites with full hook-ups so I knew it would be a treat for us to have the full hook-ups).  The park is actually located on a peninsula that inserts itself in the middle of  Ft. Gibson Lake, with the "Grand River" on one side and the Ft. Gibson Lake on the other.  There are about 4 campgrounds, with two of them having hook-ups.  When I called it was recommended that we drive around to see which one we liked better, and again the reviews were stellar for Seminole so when we hit there and saw the nice site, we just stopped there.  We didn't need reservations, however the weekend (Veteran's Day) was a holiday and the park filled up fast and is well used.  The sites are about 30 yards from the lake shore, but easy enough walk and the woods are filled will all sorts of birds.  But that's not why we're here.
The first thing we notice crossing the bridge entering into the Sequoyah State Park peninsula is the preponderance of pelicans which are always fun to watch, on the shore of the swimming beach.  The beach is closed for the season, but we can get relatively close enough to watch the birds.  Part of the fun of watching flocks of birds is their landing in a particularly crowded spot.  No one seems to mind just "one more" landing and there always seems to be more room even when there doesn't look like there's any.

The woods surrounding our site is filled with birds floating around, and although some of them were shore birds, some were woodland birds that we really don't get to see that much, like this red-headed woodpecker. (Don't you just love the technical name of some birds?!!!!)  With a piece of bark in its chops and banging on all the trees he's up to something like nest building, or we hope it's something productive!
 But the main reason we're here is for the eagles.....and we found them.

Sure enough the first day at the dam, we spot an immature eagle.  They are a dead giveaway, as the first year they are almost all black.  The second year, they are a little spotted on the head and breast, and by the time they are mature in their fourth year, they have the bald head.  This one is about a year old.  And the other thing we could tell was that he does not like wasps, as one was harassing him and in the first shot you can see the wasp, while in the last one  it seems to be following along!

Obviously the one on top is a little older - the speckled head is a giveaway, and the return of the one y/o.  I imagine they were siblings or even possibly from the same generation, with one maturing a little more than the other.  But it's for sure they don't get along.

Our tip from our friend around the campfire at Greenleaf was pretty good.  Bald Eagles are definitely around the dam area.  We didn't see any  mature eagles - well one, but he was too far to get a good shot, but they are around and migrating through.

The trip at Sequoyah State Park ended with a great purchase.  Lately we've noticed that in some of the  more scenic and enjoyable parks, that the water may have different mineral content than what we're used to, therefore a distinctive taste difference, even in our coffee and tea.  So we've been bringing along bottled water so that our coffee and tea doesn't taste funny.  That's fine, but to be honest, I had gotten a little bored with the preponderance of bottled water packaging, which sounds a little preachy, cause to be honest, I'm not all that wonderful and green.  I was just bored of having to make a gazillion trips to the trash dump to dump all the plastic bottles and containers.  So we purchased a water filter.  The one we liked was a Brita 2.5 gallon filter and it fits nicely on the cabinet next to the sink.  I'm not sure Walt was all that fabulous with the idea, but it has worked well for us and we're happy with the results as I'm not taking a gazillion trips to the trash dump and Walt is not having to buy packaging for all that water we're drinking.

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