The Christmas season started with a trip to Brazoria county to visit old friends and attend the annual Schuelke Christmas party.

We stayed at Brazos Bend State Park (our traditional home for Christmas in Brazoria county).
This creek (behind our trailer) is normally just a trickle.  It is now almost out of its' banks after the rain.
Christmas lights were set up......
... and we had our small fiber-optic tree on the table.  The cell phone is used for internet connection; Doris is sending out a prayer request Sunday night (email, text and telephone).
On Tuesday we did a short hike around 40 Acre Lake.  Much of it was covered with floating weeds.
Doris is cautiously walking around an alligator sunning on the bank. 
This not a big gator for this park, but it is still about 6 feet long.  We have seen 8-10 foot alligators here.
This is a small one - about 4 feet long.
This guy was having a hard time getting out of the foliage so he could take flight.
And away he goes.
Look at me - I am gorgeous!

Brazoria county is a leading birding area in the US.
Two turtles hiding.
There are squirrels, hawks, crows and deer everywhere.  There are plenty of turtles and alligators in the lakes.