Kauai’s North Shore

The north shore of Kauai is known for its planned resort area, Princeville, as well as Hanalei Bay, world-renowned for its beaches and surfing. However, it also contains two great places to see native island wildlife: the Hanalei Bay and Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuges.

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Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge

We headed south until we reached our final destination: Laguna Atascosa. Unfortunately, our GPS kept trying to take us through various cow pastures instead of down the road into the refuge. After tossing it out the window (figuratively, of course), we pulled past the entrance sign.

I have to say, the refuge is gorgeous, even with the severe drought conditions of south Texas, and being able to spend time exploring it with family made it that much more special.

The refuge office itself has attracted a myriad of jewel-toned birds with their birdfeeders and citrus. In the span of 15 minutes, we saw long-billed thrashers, black-crested titmice, green jays, an Altamira oriole, grackles, bronzed cowbirds, 2 species of woodpeckers, orange-crowned warblers, and several different species of sparrows.

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A Day with some Salt and a Breeze

Alright, you caught me. It’s not a day on the beach with a Margarita and some sunshine. It was actually in the middle of a landlocked state with a breeze gusting around 30 miles an hour and so salty it left me windchapped.

You know, the Great Plains are actually made up of some really cool little areas. Like the Salt Plains (not to be confused with those boring old Pepper Plains. Just kidding.). Despite living only a few hours away for the last 7 years of my life, I hadn’t actually visited the salt flats of Oklahoma and the related National Wildlife Refuge. So on my first weekend day off in forever (well, fine, it was only 6 weeks or so…), the Other Half and I loaded up the dog for a jaunt up to the area.

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