Monday was a very long day for us. It started out fairly early for us. Mary Jo, my sister-in-law had a rehearsal meeting with her dulcimer club and suggested I come along, since Benson State Park was on the way and perhaps I would enjoy some birding there. Wayne and John decided to join me on that excursion. When we arrived at the park we were greeted by the sight of two altamira orioles bathing in a puddle of water. A brown thrasher walked nonchalantly in front of us, and I espied a titmouse hanging out on the window ledge of the nature center. The din of the birds was deafening but wonderful. I could pick out the cheer-cheer of cardinals, the konk-la-reee of the red-winged blackbirds, as well as the signature song kis-ka-dee of the bird so named. The ranger at the park pointed out some hiking trails on a map for us, as well as where to find the best feeding station for birding. In that area we also saw green jays, warblers and woodpeckers. Later, after a two hour hike, we then picked up Mary Jo and headed to the livestock show. You would think we would see a rodeo at a livestock show, but that was not on the agenda for the day. We saw several other interesting shows instead. The first one I saw was the Kachunga and Alligator show. Castillo and his sidekick, Bert Lucas handled an alligator from the swamps of Florida with surprising ease. Castillo encouraged a young girl from the audience to come on stage to pet the animal and even to sit on him, which she did with amazing aplomb. Castillo held the tail of the alligator so it would not whip around.