Piping Up, Nestling In

Last year we left the Outer Banks of North Carolina to return westward. We spent some time traveling through the Midwest, stopping at Winnebago’s headquarters in Iowa (seems like an annual visit…), then in South Dakota, where we crossed the now-famous Dakota Access Oil Pipeline…


…passed many trucks like this one, toting the pipes for the pipeline to work sites…


…and, at another point along the pipeline track, we could see how far along this project was:


After checking into this, we discovered the pipeline seemed to be a “done deal” despite its impact on the Native American tribes further north of this spot. We were happy to discover, later, how the unified voices of so many finally got some attention and made a difference.

Our Salem, SD, neighbors were reproducing like crazy. We watched American Robin parents teach their juvenile young to stalk bugs and worms…


…while under the eaves of the RV park owners’ house a pair of Barn Swallows swapped nest-sitting chores:


In Sioux Falls another pair’s clutch hatched, giving visitors to the restrooms a good look at their healthy chicks (in between getting dive-bombed as the parents flew in and out of the alcove):


Meanwhile, the baby birds back at the RV park just wouldn’t appear, though we kept checking (almost as often as the parent birds!). As the days wore on, the pair seemed to get impatient. One day we heard the one in the nest calling out, maybe to get some relief from the incessant sitting, the growing heat, maybe hunger…


Whatever the reason, we heard the response call and looked around for the mate. And guess what? Taking a break in a nearby tree it sat:


The park owners told us they’d had a nest that failed early in the season, so were late with this batch. So late they were still nest sitting when we left the park.

But further up the road we discovered a spot where several American White Pelicans were hanging out, hoping to get lucky (or maybe had, with nests nearby):


So much amuses us…. like we couldn’t resist, every time we saw this sign…


…one of us would say, “Canistota?” and the other would reply, “Yes, please. I’ll have a Pepsi.”

And whenever we see a sign like this one…


…we say something like, “They don’t have a little for sale… they have LOTS for sale!”

This sign made us scratch our heads:


Instead of going to the zoo to see “very, *very* naughty monkeys,” we just kept our eyes open — and were rewarded with a Sasquatch sighting!


Don’t see him? Here’s a close-up:


I love quoting Yogi Berra who supposedly said, “You can see a lot just by watching.” You can see a lot just by looking around you.

In Sioux Falls these snow shovels caught our eye. In the Outer Banks we spotted dumpsters painted by local youth organizations, and here, thousands of miles away, local talent was on display again.


Ah! Hope for America’s future when you see evidence like this that kids are volunteering in their communities this way, don’t you think?

About Ellen

Fiction writer and photographer, I travel the country with my sweetheart of a husband as a "full-time RVer."
This entry was posted in Birds, Cool Experience, RV Parks & Lifestyle and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Piping Up, Nestling In

  1. Ingrid says:

    Amazing what we see when we open our eyes and look. Great bird photos and loved your take on the signs!

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