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The other day I mentioned that Bud and I drove to the island, and stopped at a few of the birding reserves. One where we walked the most, I also mentioned, the drought has severely dried the area up to an extreme. Well, I thought I'd show you a part of what we saw.

[from observation deck: looking South, West, North and then East]

Mostly tho, instead of water and waterfowl, we saw very little water, just a lot of salt flats. In Port Aransas Texas, on Mustang Island, the town has set up a wonderful, still unfinished, [they are in the last phase of completion] birding sanctuary that is great for the hikers and bikers alike. Eventually it will connect with a main highway that is part of the ferry route; also connecting to another birding reserve, the Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center just on the outskirts of this tourist haven. The expanse in my post today is called Charlie's Pasture Nature Preserve. The history of the vast landmass dates back to the 1800s where Charlie was born [on the island] in 1906. His father, Mattejo Bujan, settled here in 1865. They both herded cattle in the 'range land' up until the Texas law required that livestock must be fenced in. The area became part of the city of Port Aransas and then the council voted that it become a wildlife preserve.

[white ibis - snowy egret]

There are pavilions, observation decks, over a one mile hiking/biking trail that continues to Salt Island. Eventually, the last of the other trail will be finished...connecting in its entirety. There is an aerial view of the island and the area at the city's website. HERE ---to see the island, you'll need to scroll down on the site's page a bit. Ironically, even with the lack of rainfall, wildflowers were abundant along the paths. And, around the boardwalk sections that would normally cross the low lying waterways, that day...mud, we saw several raccoon and coyote tracks. After this 3 mile round trip walk, we then drove to Leonabelle's Refuge. This is where the baby herons got 'up close and personal' with us. More photos of the babies, to follow in another post. Oh and about the 'nose bleed'...not really. Remember I grew up at the elevation of above a mile high...about 5700 feet above sea level. At this observation deck we are about 15 feet above the flats, so we'd be about 20 feet above sea level!! LOL Coming down, my ears popped....[just kidding again!]



  1. Anonymous6/01/2011

    BWAHAHAHA I got a nosebleed just reading about the 20 feet LOL Too funny. I love thee photos. So nice. And what happened to those damn Mavericks? Pffft. Have a wonderful day.

  2. What a beautiful spot, a shame about the drought, look forward to the photos of the baby Herons.

  3. great angle! the first photo is superb!

    can't wait to see the pictures of the baby herons.

    hope you have a lovely day!

  4. Hope the drought lifts soon - it is amazing how some areas have been flooded and others have had drought - beautiful scenery still,

  5. Another great adventure. I had to chuckle about the height! You have indeed lived in the heights and the depths. Hope it's not too hot for you today. It's supposed to be really warming up today and tomorrow - hope it doesn't flood like they're predicting as the huge amounts of snow melt quickly, after it being so cold so long. Did you hear there are 28 feet of snow up at Trail Ridge Road and they had it almost plowed out when 17 foot drifts accumulated again?? Wild up there, but not down south where we were this week-end.

  6. Loved the photos... Looks like a great place to visit! I am still having problems with blogger!

  7. You live in such a beautiful place - and your photos always show off that beauty brilliantly! What a cool thing being done for the wildlife - I think I'll have to add Port Aransas for a future road trip/visit! :)

    WW: Lucky Blogging Kitty

  8. Looks like a great place for viewing and taking photos. Very interesting history. Well today is June 1 and hurricane season opens! Sure do hope its a quiet one!!!

  9. Oh mercy that does look high....but what a good place to take all those lovely pictures.
    Madi and Mom

  10. What a wonderful view! The birds are so pretty.

  11. What a great trip you took us on today.
    I sure wish that we could send you some of the flooding we are having in the state now.
    I had to laugh at your nose bleed, but it sure does look high. I am not a great fan of being up that high.
    Have a great day

  12. Love the angles on that first sad about the drought.

  13. Love all the shots, wonder if i can visit them .. My watery wednesday is up :)

  14. What relaxing views those are.!

    Watery Wednesday

  15. Yikes, I'm scared of heights and that lookout looks mightyyyyyy high to me!!! lol What a view, though, I'm sure it would be worth the shaky legs to go up there:-) I love the fact that they have bird sanctuaries for all these lovely birds. We use to have a bird sanctuary near here when I was growing up and I remember my parents taking us quite a few times. Unfortunately it closed down one year and there hasn't been one around since. Great photos, my friend. xoxo

  16. what a lovely place that looks for seeing birds and other wildlife. Shame about the drought though

  17. A great post about your drive to the island, Anni! Wonderful photos. The flat view reminds me of Florida. Where I grew up, the elevation was 33 ft. :)