Monday, August 4, 2014

August 3 & 4, 2014

To Houston and Back!  Nice Quick Trip
August 3 & 4, 2014

Black Vulture at Bear Creek Park
Sunday we were  both moving slowly after a very busy day on Saturday at several activities for my 50th Year Class Reunion.  Ron went to teach our Sunday School class, but I needed to pack and take care of some things before we headed to Houston for a 7:00 a.m. appointment on Monday! 

When Ron got home we loaded the car and left for Houston about 12:30.  There was a lot of traffic heading north and there were 4 lanes open at the check-point.  We got to our hotel about 7:00 and Ron was asleep a few minutes later, I think.  I read for a while but also went to sleep early. 

First thing this morning we checked out of the hotel and arrived at the audiologist's office at the Houston Ear Research Foundation, right on time at 7:00 a.m.  The lady we were working with is named Jan and she is an early bird!  We prefer to get the appointment done first thing and then have time to do things we might need or want to do in town before we come home.  Jan put me in the sound proof booth for about 40 minutes of testing and it was almost all sentences being read while a loud noise was being aimed at the ear with the implant.  It is just a noise that sounds like static or a TV channel that has no programing.  That noise drowns out the voices and on most of the programs on my sound processor, I would only get about 5% of what was being said.  On one program, I managed 55%.  It is just very hard with the sound processor to be able to hear in noisy situations.  A mechanical device has trouble knowing what sounds matter so it increases all of them for a deaf or hard-of-hearing person.  Then we spent the next hour and a half going over the assorted programs and which might work best for various settings. 
Jan setting the programs on my sound processors.
I had a new Cochlear sound processor that had not been programed at all and she put the programs on it for me.  We took care of assorted questions and then left her office and went to the office of one of our main suppliers which was not too far away.  There were just a couple of things we had discussed doing in Houston, but nothing real pressing.  I asked Ron if we could go to Bear Creek Park so I could look for some birds.  We used to go camping there in the early 1970s. 
White Ibis (photo by my husband)
We drove all through the park looking for an office and Ron finally called them to see where the office was located.  We asked where to look for birds (I see lots of bird photos on Facebook that have been taken there) and the lady wasn't sure.  She finally made one suggestion.  We found a few, but it is a shame they are not better informed and better prepared to help the public.  It is a huge, nice park and we will hope to get back over there before too long.  Camping is no longer allowed there.  Too bad.

Black Vulture
We found a tree with about 15 of these Black Vultures.  With a wing span of 54 inches, these are fairly large birds.  We had been watching this one on the ground not too far from us and then I spotted a tree full of them.
Black Vultures and one Turkey Vulture

From Bear Creek Park we went to get a quick lunch and then I let Ron go to a store or two of his choosing.  We went to the Houston Garden Center after that, and a quilt shop before heading home.  The trip home was uneventful, thankfully.  We had less traffic coming home than we had going to Houston.  We got a few sprinkles of rain, but they were so sparse, I could count the drops.  We got home about 9:00 this evening, tired, but we both agreed that it was a good trip.
Black Vulture

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