Articles Tagged with: senior birders

SENIORS ENJOY OHIO


Seniors Discover Mentor

Ohio-Mentor

This senior spent a couple of years in graduate school at Ohio State in Columbus, but never encountered the neat city called Mentor. Mentor was first settled in 1797. The population runs right at 48,000, so it’s not small.

CNNMoney.com ranked Mentor 37th in a list of the Top 100 Best Places to Live in America so we just have to check out the city for senior visitors. It is known as The City of Choice.

There is a lot of history that focuses on Mentor. In 1876 James E. Garfield purchased a home in Mentor, from which he conducted the first successful front porch campaign for the presidency. Must have worked, he was elected president and coined the term ‘Mentorite’ when referring to a native of the city.

Seniors Check Out National Historic Site

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Garfield’s 20-room farmhouse that is now a National Historic Site. The site includes guided tours of the Garfield home, visitor center exhibits, a biographical film, walking paths, and dozens of special events each year.

You will find plenty of other things to fill in your itinerary including the Headlands Beach State Park that attracts senior visitors. If you missed this year’s BeachFest, you missed a great time. One of the “coolest’ sites in town is the Mentor Civic Center, an indoor ice skating complex with two regulation-size ice rinks, a studio rink, locker rooms and a snack bar.

Senior Birders Head for Mentor Marsh

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The City of Mentor maintains over 1200 acres of green space including 34 parks and public facilities that accounts in part why it is a great place to live. Add it all up and you have more recreational opportunities than you can find in many major cities. Plus, Mentor’s location on Ohio’s north coast makes it a major destination for those who can’t get enough of the great outdoors.

Senior birders, you will find more than 250 species that have been recorded around Mentor Marsh. Great numbers of waterfowl also stop at the Marsh. During seasonal migrations you’re sure to see Blue-winged Teal, American Wigeon, Gadwall, American Black Duck, Northern Shoveler and Hooded Merganser.

Bring along those clubs and spend some time at the Black Brook Course designed by Bertie Way. And ladies,  Mentor is one great shopping destination with nearly 600 retail businesses. In 1961, the Great Lakes Mall opened as the world’s largest indoor shopping mall. So many superlatives in just one city! Check it out for yourself.  jeb

SUNDAY COFFEE WITH JEB


Galveston, Texas-A Senior Weekend Escape

Welcome-to-Galveston-Island

USA Today recommends Galveston as a great place for senior citizens to plant your feet for an excellent summer weekend escape. More than 30 miles of beaches plus a wealth of cultural and historic institutions make this island a Gulf of Mexico vacation hot spot.

Galveston, located on Galveston Island, with a population that runs right at 60,000, is 2 1/2 miles wide and has several old Victorian buildings. In the late 1700s the bay, and later the city, was named for Bernardo de Gálvez, governor of Louisiana, later viceroy of Mexico. I found it of interest that modern Galveston dates from a settlement established on site in 1817 by the famed pirate Jean Laffite.

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The town is linked with the mainland by causeways and a bridge. As a major seaport, Galveston Bay is the state’s chief cotton port; sulfur, grain, and petroleum are also shipped. The city is a commercial fishing center and a popular vacation spot, with many Victorian buildings and long stretches of beach nearby.

Many senior tourists enjoy nature at the Galveston Island State Park, a 2,000-acre site that features fishing, hiking, mountain bike riding and swimming. Former senior servicemen enjoy the Lone Star Flight Museum that preserves Texas aviation history and includes many historic aircraft.

When you come for a visit, don’t forget your walking shoes. With 14 museums and 20 art galleries, plus several historic homes and mansions, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Don’t care to walk? Bicycles are available for rent for those who want to leisurely tour the area. The four wheel bikes are highly popular for getting around and get some exercise at the same time.

Senior Birders Attracted to Galveston

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Attention senior birders: The FeatherFest is big in Galveston. An attendance record-setting 651 birders and photographers of all ages attended Galveston’s FeatherFest Birding and Nature Photography Festival held April 10-13, 2014. As many as 224 species of resident, seasonal and migrating birds were spotted over the four-day festival.

Summer shows abound at The Grand 1894 Opera House that features top notch entertainment. Programs range from William Shatner one-man show to the Hank Williams story to Three Texas Tenors.

The Historic Pleasure Pier is a $60 million dollar attraction offering 16 rides, a 100-foot-tall Ferris wheel and a 200-foot-tall swing tower offering panoramic views of the Gulf of Mexico. Galveston is famed as well for the hurricane that struck the city in 1900 and an estimated 10,000 people lost their lives. Ike also did lots of damage in September of 2008.

It’s all fixed now, so come on down… enjoy Glen Campbell and enjoy the entire area. jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO MONTANA


Seniors Enjoy Glasgow in Big Sky Country

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Glasgow, a town near Fort Peck Lake is the county seat of Valley County, Montana. The population runs just over 3,500. The Scotties of Glasgow High School have put the town on the map with 46 Montana State Championships in their storied history.  

A major draw for senior tourists is the Glasgow Pioneer Museum of Valley County where you will find some super genealogical archives and the Western Reading Room.

 The town was named after Glasgow, Scotland and overlooks the Milk River Valley. The river is a major tributary of the Missouri River. Glasgow, maintains its roots as a busy agricultural and commerce hub in Northeastern, Montana. In the 1960s the population flourished up to 12,000 because of Glasgow Air Force Base (SAC).

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This small town has much to offer the senior traveler and families relocating from another area. Like so many Montana towns, Glasgow began as a railroad town in the 1880′s. Today its economy is heavily dependent on agriculture. Wheat, alfalfa, and barley are the main crops with a large number of beef cattle herds as well.

Water pastimes such as fishing, swimming, and boating are popular on the nearby Missouri River and Fort Peck Lake. The city even has its own international airport, so you can fly in yourself.

 Seniors Birders and Wildlife Enthusiasts Welcomed

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Senior visitors are guaranteed to see wildlife all around as you travel northeast Montana’s roads and highways, lakes and rivers. Bighorn sheep, deer, elk, and pronghorn antelope are among the large mammals you’ll see on Montana prairies. Birders will thrill at the variety of resident and migrating birds found in the region, including pheasants, grouse, osprey, eagles, and cranes.

 American Indians inhabited the region for centuries, and extensive buffalo and pronghorn antelope herds provided ample food for the nomadic tribes. The Nakoda, Lakota and Dakota peoples alternately inhabited and claimed the region from the 16th to the late 19th centuries.

In 1804 the Lewis and Clark Expedition came within 15 miles of the future site of the city of Glasgow and noted the extensive herds of buffalo and various game.

Glasgow was founded in 1887 as a railroad town by James Hill, who was responsible for creating many communities along what is called the High-Line of the BNSF Railway.

Glasgow is served daily westbound and eastbound by Amtrak’s Empire Builder so senior travelers can easily arrive in town by train or car. Enjoy your visit to Glasgow.  jeb

SENIORS TRAVEL TO IDAHO


Seniors Stop in Pocatello

Pocatello, Idaho is another one of those towns that rate up there with the best.  Forbes rated it (#6) as one of the best places to live cheaply in the country. It has events going on all year long. Not only can you ski and go snowmobiling and play golf, but birding, fishing, biking and just strolling though the park keep seniors wanting to come back again and again.

Pocatello is known as the “Gateway to the Northwest” (or “Gate City” by the locals). Pioneers, gold miners and settlers who traveled the Oregon Trail passed through these gates. Stage and freight lines and the railroad soon followed, turning the community into the trade center and transportation junction it is today.

At one time the city boasted the largest rail yard west of the Mississippi River. Incidentally there is a law that goes back to 1948 that makes it illegal to frown or grimace within the city limits. As a result, the town is now known as the U.S. Smile Capital and is famous for its hospitality. The local philosophy is to make every visitor’s stay memorable and fun whether you’re staying the night, a few days or a few weeks.

Pocatello was named after a Chief of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes who donated land the city now occupies to the Railroad. Pronouncing the name is easier than you think; try poke-uh-tello. Pocatello has a population of approximately 54,000 and Chubbuck which is separated only by a city limits sign, has a population of approximately 14,000.

Hiking Biking Trails Invite Seniors

The Portneuf River joins the more famous Snake River at American Falls reservoir just north of  the city. Unlike most rivers in the United States, the Portneuf flows to the north. The Portneuf Greenway has nature filled trails at either end of the community and islands of green for pedestrians in the Historic Old Town area. It includes 13+ miles of walking and biking paths along the river. It is open to bikers with a courtesy eye out for runners and walkers.

Above all, Pocatello is famous for its pristine wilderness and numerous snow/winter activities. Pocatello hosts Benny the Bengal who is the mascot for Idaho State University with its 15,500 students.

Pocatello and Southeast Idaho have a story to tell. It is a story of one of the most thrilling periods of American history, when a young nation full of adventure and wanting new lands began the trek Westward, first in trickles, then in swarms, growing into the greatest, voluntary migration that any nation had known.

The Fort Hall Replica visit is to enter the 19th Century world of explorers, trappers, fur traders, Native Americans, pioneers, gold seekers, historic figures, and common folk; all of whom visited the place called Fort Hall on the banks of the Snake River in what is now Southeast Idaho.

Pocatello seems to have it all together and is just waiting for your visit. jeb

SENIORS RETURN TO CALIFORNIA


Seniors Discover Morro Bay

Morro Bay, California is a great place for seniors to spend some time. It’s a waterfront city in San Luis Obispo County with a population that runs just over 10,000. The town of Morro Baywas founded by Franklin Riley in 1870 as a port for the export of dairy and ranch products. He was instrumental in the building of a wharf which has now become the Embarcadero.

This seaside village is get a getaway for senior travelers seeking outdoor adventures in a gorgeous natural setting. Located along scenic Highway 1 midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Morro Bay is easy to reach and hard to leave. And the famed Avocado – Margherita Festival, in September, packs in tourists from around the country. Do you enjoy eating avocados? Just imagine winning a Year’s Supply. Wow!

Morro Bay in 60 seconds? Yes, you can visit Morro Bay here in 60 seconds, but in person, you will need quite a bit longer. The Bay is located near Hearst Castle and the Big Sur Coast.

Its famous landmark, Morro Rock, was named by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo when he first charted this coast during his 16th century voyage of discovery.

Morro Rock is a 581-foot volcanic plug located just offshore from Morro Bay at the entrance to Morro Bay Harbor. That’s one big volcanic rock folks.

Senior Birders, Golfers, Hikers Welcome

Senior citizens will find the town to be a pleasant tourist destination with mild weather all year long. The Visitor’s Center invites birders to enjoy the over 200 species that gather in the area. For many years, the town was focused completely on the commercial fishing fleet that harbored in the sheltered waters of the Morro Bay estuary, but today it has much more to see and so.

So bring along those golf clubs if you are a golfer. Senior visitors can enjoy nature hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, bicycling, camping, sport fishing, whale watching & sailboarding. Pick up some picnic supplies at the weekly Farmers’ Market; rent a bike, hike, eat, golf, take a boat trip or just walk around the town. It will all be memorable in Morro Bay.

TripAdvisor has a vacation all planned out for you including some top notch B&Bs, restaurants and a beautiful beach. Wikitravel will fill up your itinerary with lots to do that includes an aquarium, a state park and the Embarcadero, the main tourist area and lines the east side of the bay. It is a great walking experience along a working port and eco-tourist destination.

A variety of marine life is found in Morro Bay, from sea otters to sea lions, and the town is a declared bird sanctuary. Excellent deep sea fishing originates at the north end of the Embarcadero. Morro Bay is not to be missed on your journey up the Californis coast. Enjoy the Bay and all it has to offer.

I’ll meet all you seniors at the Avocado-Margherita Festival in September!   jeb

 

 

SENIORS TRAVEL TO WYOMING


Seniors Fall in Love With Jackson Hole

With an enviable location in Wyoming near Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone, Jackson Hole is an ideal home base for visiting senior nature-lovers.Whether you’re skiing or snapping photos of the residents at the National Elk Refuge, You’ll be in awe of what this destination has to offer.

Jackson Hole is where former VP Dick Cheney calls home and for good reason. Senior visitors often wonder about the difference between Jackson and Jackson Hole. Jackson Hole refers to a 48-mile long valley surrounded by jagged mountain peaks and includes the towns of Jackson, Kelly, Moose, Moran, Wilson, and Teton Village. Known to early settlers as Jackson’s Hole, the area has been renowned since its discovery in the early 1800’s for its incredible natural beauty and abundance of wildlife.

Seniors are Invited

Jackson Hole Valley has remained relatively isolated from the burgeoning travel industry. Instead it has survived on local industries like logging, ranching and, during the 19th century, fur trading. But recently, Jackson Hole has encouraged the rise of tourism.

Jackson Hole is a haven for wildlife, including a surprising variety of birds.  Come in the fall to hear the shrill bugle calls of male elk searching for mates, or get up-close-and-personal with these magnificent animals. If you have never seen an elk up close or heard a call, you are in for a treat.

TripAdvisor has some magnificent photos of Jackson Hole as well as information on the 102 attractions in the area. The #1 draw is the Laurence Rockefeller Preserve Center. With a generous donation from Laurance S. Rockefeller, senior visitors to Grand Teton National Park have access to over 1,100 acres of pristine land located on the shores of Phelps Lake.

Now known as the Laurance S. Rockefeller Preserve, the former JY Ranch property originally had been purchased by philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in 1932, and served as the Rockefeller family’s summer retreat for nearly 70 years. Situated 12 miles to the north of Jackson is Teton Village, offering a variety of higher-end Jackson Hole hotels and attractions.  You’ll see those magnificent Teton Mountains all along your journey.

Jackson Welcomes Seniors

A sleigh ride, horseback riding, hiking, biking, touring or just sightseeing, there is always something to see and do. Get a good look at the four elk-antler arches on the town Square. The Square  is surrounded by dozens of boardwalk-fronted art and photo galleries, bars, restaurants, factory outlets and gift shops and a prime location for the shopping savvy.

Jackson Hole is celebrated as a paradise for winter sports fans and outdoor enthusiasts, offering year-round activities for vacationers visiting during both the winter and summer months.  The entire area is a year round adventure with parks, resorts, arts, history and lots of “cowboy culture.”

The nickname for Wyoming is both the “Equality State” and “Cowboy State.” Wyoming, Forever West, wants seniors to come and see why the stare rates so highly with senior visitors from all over the world.  jeb

 

 

SENIORS TRAVEL TO NORTHERN MAINE


Seniors Find Great Life in Caribou

Caribou, Maine is not large (8,000+) but it has lots to offer senior visitors who love the outdoors and scenic beauty. Caribou’s nickname is “The Most Northeastern City in the US.”  Caribou and Aroostook County‘s two major agricultural crops are the potato and broccoli. Area farmers annually plant approximately 60,000 acres of potatoes and that’s a whole lot of spuds.

Wikipedia has information on Caribou and highlights the many cross-country ski-trails with varied scenery and terrain within a one hour drive of the city. Caribou has two municipal cross-country ski venues; one within the urban limits which has lights for night skiing as well as a visitors center, and a lengthier venue two miles outside the urban limits.

With over 115 inches of snowfall annually, both are consistently well-groomed for skate and classical skiing. Get this, over 2,300 miles of nordic trails for snowmobilers and skiers. The Maine Winter Sports Center, headquartered in Caribou, is the premier outdoor sports organization in the state.

Senior travelers will discover a cultural diversity in Caribou. Irish, Scottish and English descendants mixed with an infusion of Swedes. Along with these, the families of the French and Acadian culture have long been one of the glues to the local heritage.

Seniors Drawn to Aroostook County

Senior travelers will find Caribou on this World Atlas site.  Look for it way up north, almost to Canada. The local Chamber of Commerce notes that “The rural American lifestyle is alive and well in northern Maine.

Senior citizens in Caribou will find themselves among people who take pride in what they do. A major “must see” in Caribou is the Nylander Museum of Natural History which was dedicated in 1939 by Maine Governor Lewis Barrows. The museum was built as a WPA project.

Aroostook County has over 7000 miles of rivers and streams. Senior fishermen will find many Brook Trout waters. Arguably the most beautiful freshwater fish, Brook trout  are the only trout native to much of the eastern United States.

This colorful and inviting county is a top birding destination in North America where the lakes, rivers and streams provide prime bird habitat. Pristine habitat also remains undisturbed for an abundance of wildlife. Senior visitors are likely to see more moose than fishermen.

I’ll depart today with a plug for the state of Maine and an invitation for you to visit their official tourism site that you can find on Google. There’s a wide variety of activities to keep you busy during your Maine vacation. I think you’ll enjoy everything about Caribou and Aroostook County. jeb

 

 

SENIORS VISIT CENTRAL WASHINGTON STATE


Seniors Are Jumping In At Moses Lake

Have you ever heard of Moses Lake? It was new to me. It’s the lifestyle that attracts senior visitors to Moses Lake and that keeps them coming back year after year…or for some, for a lifetime. The friendly people, small town charm, low cost of living, sunshine and recreational opportunities make Moses Lake a great place to visit and an even better place to call home. Oh yes, Moses Lake is out there in central Washington State.

Wine, festivals, natural freshwater lakes, parks, campgrounds…Moses Lake is an outdoor haven and the largest city in the county with just over 20,000 citizens. Moses Lake, on which the city lies, is made up of three main arms over 18 miles long and up to a mile wide. It is the largest natural body of freshwater in the county and has over 120 miles of shoreline covering 6,500 acres. That’s a lot of fishing territory, so throw in your pole seniors. Moses Lake is part of the Columbia River basin.

Moses Lake is east of Seattle and Ellensburg on Hwy 90 on your way to Spokane. All in all Grant County has over 247,000 surface acres of water.  That’s bunch and the hunting is as good as the fishing.

City History Interests Seniors

Wikipedia will give senior readers lots of great information on Moses Lake, including how it got its name. Interestingly enough the city was originally named Neppel, after a town in Germany where one of the original settlers had lived. When the town was incorporated and renamed Moses Lake in 1938, the population was estimated at 301 people.

Laketown Landing is the name given to the newly remodeled downtown shopping area of Moses Lake. In 2007, after much discussion and debate, the City of Moses Lake decided to remodel the original downtown business shopping district of the city. For nearly a year, things were in a state of construction and sometimes a little chaotic, but the city survived and now the downtown area is graced with new sidewalks and attractive street fixtures.

The Water Park, State Park and The Links at Moses Pointe draws in many visitor each year. The Moses Lake Museum and Art Center has the largest collection of American Indian artifacts in the area. With lots of sun, sand and water, Moses Lake offers up many things to do like canoeing, fishing, off road driving, bicycling, hiking, wildlife photography and bird-watching just to name a few. And for you senior birders, the official bird list for the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge includes over 200 species in the 23,200 acre area.

Moses Lake looks to me like a great place to spend a few days. jeb

 

 

MORE FOR SENIOR BIRDERS


Some Say 14 and Others Say 18

The are somewhere between 14 and 18 different varieties of hummingbirds that senior citizens will find in Arizona. Southeast Arizona is a premier location for sighting hummingbirds. And a one-day record for the most hummingbird species seen in a day in the United States – fourteen – was set in the Sierra Vista, Arizona area.

Historically, these tiny flying jewels begin to arrive in mid-March and leave by early October. Peak months for the greatest number of hummingbirds and species sighted are May and August.

When I was in Ecuador I could not believe the size of hummingbirds. You will not believe this, but they actually were the size of a full-grown robin. HUGE! Over 330 species are known to science. All are found only in the Western Hemisphere, and the vast majority live in the tropical forests of Central and South America. Almost half of the known species have been reported from Ecuador.

Senior Birder’s Premier Destination

If senior travelers have a particular place in their heart for hummingbirds, southern Arizona harbors an ideal getaway. The Nature Conservancy’s Ramsey Canyon Preserve is a pristine sanctuary tucked in the foothills of the Huachuca Mountains of southeastern Arizona. The preserve is home to nearly all of the hummingbird species known to visit the United States, fourteen of them in all and among them the Anna’s: magnificent, black-chinned, long billed, white-eared, and rufous varieties.

No other public spot in the country offers such a wealth of hummingbirds, as well as 150 other species of birds, making it one of the country’s premier birding destinations. The World of Hummingbirds will provide interested seniors with information on the feeding, life, babies and more.   This site is also over flowing with interesting facts on hummers.

Why southeast  Arizona? Here’s why.  Southern AZ Bird Observatory has additional information on hummingbirds noting guided bird walks, tours and educational workshops.  You can learn about banding hummers as well as SABO recommendations. On your way to southern AZ, pick up this book (A Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America). This site features a hummer survey in Arizona.

 Where to “bird” in AZ will be helpful for seniors who want to know where all the other species can be found.  And these sites offer more information for senior birders: bird watching toursbird watching destinationsbird watching vacations.

So take a senior birding vacation in Sierra Vista Bring your binoculars and get ready to enjoy thousands of hummers.  jeb

 


SENIOR BIRDERS VISIT ARIZONA


Senior Birders are Buzzing to Arizona

 Senior Birders will love Sierra Vista, Arizona. Located at the center of one of the finest birding areas in the United States, Sierra Vista is often referred to as “The Hummingbird Capital of the U.S.” We know that hummingbirds are small and interesting but beyond that, many people have limited information, so I wanted to provide some of the most fascinating hummingbird facts.  In truth, the hummingbird is an amazing creature.

The mild climate, proximity to Mexico and diverse habitats, including 9,000-foot mountains and the magnificent San Pedro River Valley, make southeastern Arizona a major hot spot for rare and unusual species of birds.

What Senior Doesn’t Love Hummers?

Can you think of a single individual who does not love Hummers.  Many of us senior citizens hang out our little red feeders full of red sugared water just to watch the birds come in to feed.  Tiny as they are, hummers don’t seem to fear humans, making them fun to watch and highly addictive.  Baby hummers have to eat too and mama is there to do it.

In Sierra Vista you will find White-eared, Costas, Annas, Roufous, Magnificent and more. There are at least fourteen varieties that inhabit the Sonoran Dessert in Arizona. I recently heard an Arizona desert specialist who was giving a talk ask the audience, “What do rattlesnakes and hummingbirds have in common?”  No one knew the answer.  “They live in Arizona!” he responded.

Hummingbirds are found only in the Western Hemisphere. They are fierce and fearless despite their diminutive size. When it comes to defending their nectar or sugar water feeders, you can expect the males to pursue any interlopers right out of your yard. They will not hesitate to collide with another bird. They can fly backwards and upside down if they have to.

Hummingbird Banding

When I read about banding hummingbirds, I asked myself…”How in the heck to they catch them and band them?” But they do. Researchers conduct hummingbird banding to collect study data on the migratory patterns, breeding habits and other behaviors of these incandescently colorful birds.

The two Sierra Vista locations encourage senior citizens to visit and observe researchers and licensed hummingbird banders carefully do their work.  When the summer migration of hummingbirds has begun, it is a perfect time to witness the rare treat of hummingbird banding.

Two locations in the Sierra Vista area offer senior birders the unique opportunity to see the tiniest of birds being weighed, banded, fed and released. Banding is conducted on Fort Huachuca and at the San Pedro House through the migratory season. The AZ Game and Fish Dept. has a short video with information on hummingbirds.

The good folks down in Tucson have a hummingbird project ongoing for seniors interested in increasing hummer diversity.  So buzz on down to Arizona and enjoy the thousands of hummers that are just waiting for you to come and see them.  jeb

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