“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards




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A Funny Thing Happened in Search for a Booby!!

Christmas is now just a memory.

Christmas Day,  2006, Hootin' Anni's became a reality...starting my 8th year blogging here.

Many times, I've mentioned that where I live our winters are more like everyone's autumn. Rarely does it get below 35°. But, the last couple of weeks, the temps have been considerably cold and the deciduous trees are giving us a display of color change...if you know where to look. And in the last couple of weeks, when we hopped in the car to chase birds, we came upon some rich autumnal colors!! From along the Nueces River in Bazemore Park near Calallen, Texas, to Paradise Pond in Port Aransas, Texas and Indian Point/Sunset Lake Park in Corpus Christi/Portland Texas area....


Our bird count is growing. A few more different species have been added, like the Reddish Egret [both in non-breeding colors to their white morph winter garb] to a hefty flock of Bufflehead Ducks at Indian Point Park near the North Bay area. But, I gotta add this little ditty ...I frequent the Texas Bird Sighting site to see what birds have been seen in our area [actually I only pay attention to the coastal area, but the site shows ALL of Texas' sightings]. Anyway, for the past month, there have been rumors/postings of a non-land bird [Brown Booby which Bud and I figured was a ship's stowaway and ended up inland] seen along the ship channel near the turn-around for the big oil tankers and cargo ships. Well, Bud and I have driven out there a couple of times, and yesterday morning, early, we drove out there again since we figured the shipping channel and oil tanker trucks would be very limited on the highways since it was Christmas!! For that, we were correct. VERY LITTLE semi-truck/transporting going on. But, the area the bird has been spotted several times, there is now a HUGE oil tanker docked along the channel and parking area for cars ---thus, blocking the view of the abandoned barge where the bird has been seen perching!!! So, we decided to hop back in the car and drive around the long way to the BACK side of the channel!!! This is where we usually run into an overload of semi truck traffic!!! As I said very little [just two semi-truck tankers on the highway yesterday] ---but to make a long story short -- we pulled off on to the shoulder of the highway to get the back view of the barge...we were standing on the side of the road, viewing the birds perched on the barge and flying around it through our binoculars...when Bud said to me: "We've got company!". I dropped my binoculars and looked over behind the car...there were Christmas lights flashing!!! A city cop had pulled behind us. I guess the ship channel tower thought we were terrorists...'cause we had been stopping and looking through our binoculars for some time here and there. They called the cops on us!! After he saw us and my camera and bird book in my back pocket he assumed we were looking for birds. I chatted with him for a while and after a "Merry Christmas" exchange of wording,....he went on his merry way!!  We left a short while later and ended up near Portland, Texas at Indian Point Park and the tidal basins looking for special feathered friends.

We never did see the Booby! And I doubt we'll go back. We'll just take the others' words it was/is there.


sidebar linking to Random 5 Friday

53 comments :

  1. Hahaha! To think you might have been a terrorist. That's funny, but it's kind of reassuring to know people are paying attention. Sorry you didn't see the booby, but you sure had an adventure! :-)

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    1. ...Bud didn't think it was funny, but I DID!!! Something about cops and the Wyatt Earp syndrome. [kidding]

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  2. Sorry you missed the Booby! I have heard of other birders being stopped and questioned by the police.. A terrorist birder, oh my very scary. I hope you Christmas was wonderful, enjoy the rest of your week!.

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    1. I have a new title....a terrorist birder!!! I bet some of the birds around here would agree.

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  3. Yes, you are a bird spy! There are "adventures" everywhere. I love your photo of the tree fungus. Up my way it's an art to carve or burn or paint a picture on or in the fungus. Some are very beautiful. I'm quite sure you know about this. There is a category at our fair showing the art.

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    1. fungus art? Now, I've heard of everything...would like to see some of this work.

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    2. Just Google Images for fungus art. You will see. I have one on the top of the logs that my daughter made for me and I have made one of a rooster for her friend.

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    3. I will do that! Today, in fact. Thanks for the info.

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    4. I just did...and the art work is amazing!!! Mind boggling. What a treasure they all are. One that was done in black and very thin lining in the art/drawing reminded me of scrimshaw!! You've opened my eyes to a new art.

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    5. Artist's Conk grow on many types of trees, especially maples, alders, birches, beech, apple, poplars, cherry, plum, oaks, willows, and elm. This fungi gets its name because when you flip it over you can carve writing or pictures in it. The picture will stay in the fungus and cannot be erased.

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  4. What an exciting afternoon! Whenever I go into areas I've never been, or obscured places, I always worry about either cops or a serial killer. :/ Sorry you didn't get to see the booby (wow that it's even there), but you did see the reddish egret and bufflehead ducks! I have GOT to travel your way at some point. Love that you've got fall color!!

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    1. ...come on over Gail...we could go birding together!!

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  5. OH DEAR ANNI...not the kind of Christmas Company one wants...whew thank goodness you had your birding book and camera.
    ME THINKS THE SHIPPER DUDE WAS A TAD SUSPICIOUS...BUT I GUESS THESE ARE THE TIMES IN WHICH WE NOW LIVE.
    TOO BAD ABOUT THE BROWN BOOBY THOUGH.
    HUGS MADI AND MOM

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    1. ...yep, you can't be too suspicious these days.

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  6. The official bird count is going on here, too, and I saw in the newspaper that five new species have been discovered. I'm sure that is exciting to birders! Nice photos!!

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    1. ...well, our count isn't 'official'...but it's fun keeping track of what we see for the two weeks of CBC.

      Thanks Terri.

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  7. First you crack me up with your post title then the story. So you and Bud are terrorists huh....lol

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    1. I knew you'd get a kick out of the booby reference. [kidding] Yep, Bud the Terrorist...if you have ever seen Jeff Dunham...Bud is now up there with the likes of Achmed. LOL

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  8. I'm like another commenter, it's good people are paying attention. John and I got stopped once while watching a herd of wild hogs from a country road by a land owner. When I showed him my camera his passenger almost died laughing. I never realized there were so many different kinds of ducks. Thank you for the comment on my blog.

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    1. ...wild hogs? Like Javelinas?

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  9. You criminal you! Call me, I'll have my brother come bail you out if you need it.

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    1. Oh boy...now I bet your brother's life is never a dull moment being a bail bondsman and all. I didn't know that.

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  10. Haha! I have never thought about getting questioned while bird watching. But then, I haven't been near an oil tanker. Very interesting story. Sorry you didn't get to see your bird, but I'm glad to know that we have people watching out for the bad guys. Nice photos and your header is fantastic!

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    1. ....thanks Cheryl for your compliments. Ya, cops have a thing for people stopping along the side of the roads here in Texas. dunno why. lol

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  11. You may not have found the prized booby, but sounds like you had alot of fun during your search! :)

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    1. Oh Nancy...prized booby and fun searching...wouldn't touch that with a 10' pole. Sorry...my mind is always in the gutter I guess. And it's awfully early

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  12. sounds like a wonderful day...i suppose you must have looked like suspicious characters. :-)

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    1. ...hmmm, never thought that I would be considered a suspicious character...but in these days and times, I guess anyone can look that way. Especially doing what we did all along the highway and in such a 'vulnerable' area of security.

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  13. Hi there! What a lovely adventuresome blog you have here. Love the header. I'm so glad you had your bird book with you to help diffuse the policeman's suspicion - yikes, but all's well that ends well. Thank you for visiting my blog and sayin' hello. Have a great weekend!

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    1. ...thanks --- and it was my pleasure stopping by to meet and greet with you today also!

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  14. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving such kind comments. I am now following both your blogs. I love to meet new people and especially birders as they are good people.

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    1. Hi Ruth! So glad you stopped by this morning. I will return and get your url so I too can follow your new posts from my blog list!!

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  15. Boy you are in a perfect area for birding. Looked at moving down there a few years back, hard to give up my eagles and prairie. Thanks for stopping by.

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    1. ...we have eagles AND prairie here also! PLUS the beach. :o)

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  16. beautiful landscape colors. texas still gives plenty of beauty. :) congrats on starting year 8!

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  17. wow, 8 years ... that is just amazing!! i hope you have a great year! hope you find the birds you wish for very soon. ( :

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  18. I just clicked on your blog and your photos are awesome. I enjoyed very much reading about the birds in Texas. I sure hope you have a very happy New Year.

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    1. ...thanks for stopping by Brenda...it's good to meet you.

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  19. Hi Anni, I love that little woodpecker in your header. I hung some bird feeders here and they are on a tree beside us and neighbours. We had a little woodpecker who sat on the neighbour's side of the fence and kept bobbing his head over the fence. Robert called me to see and kept making funny noises in time with the bird's bobbing. Oh we were laughing! Happy holidays and I hope you stay out of trouble...the cops are on to you now...lol. :)

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    1. ...yep, we're most likely under their radar now! LOL

      I loved reading this comment Veronica!
      Happy New Year to you too.

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  20. Great story. I hope you have a happy new year to come.

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    1. ...thanks Carver...and same to you.

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  21. Congrats on your 8th year of blogging. Your posts are still funny and interesting. And I love to admire your beautiful photos.

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    1. ...awwww, thanks for the sweet compliment!!!

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  22. Beautiful images...interesting encounter...fortunately they didn't give you a ticket.

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  23. Congrats on your 8th year of blogging, sweetie! I'm sure you already know I'm a big fan of your lovely blog.

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    1. ...you flatter me...and I appreciate your friendship Veronica.

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  24. to funny, if you were in
    England, you could say you went looking for a booby and got found by a bobby.

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