It's all about walking, birding, and exercising here of late. I have been getting up early to beat the heat and find from pre dawn in the yard, to heavenly cloud formations, it can change the day's perspective.
---Silhouetted fence slats just before sunrise---
---to tree leaves pirouetting against the puffs of cotton clouds---
[notice a small trailing leaf/frond from the tree falling to the ground]
Bud and I routinely go out early on Sunday morning for a long walk. This past weekend was no exception. Usually we head for Oso Bay or the islands, but this time, to be different, we walked the two mile stretch along the North Bay area. Part of the park is in the city limits of Corpus while the back stretch is in Portland, Texas [an adjoining town just over the causeway from our city]. Naturally it was a bit warm, but finally not QUITE as humid as it's been the last few weeks ...my weather app on the phone that particular morning was only 59% humidity, and the breeze coming off the bay was delightful. [I can't wait for drier air than that even. LOL]
Anyway, the two parks that are rolled into one...the Corpus side is Indian Point Park, while the continuation of the trail that reaches the Portland side is called Sunset Lakes. We usually drive to the Indian Point area and get out of the car and walk along the shore and the large fishing pier, then a short jaunt from there to the oyster beds birding platform.
After walking around this area, we take a short hike to the pools that are nearby.
We hop back in the car and drive to Portland along the freeway, then entering the Portland side of the park that has many MORE lakes/ponds/fresh water pools, and we then walk the distance to the Corpus side and make an about face to return from where our walk originated on the Portland side. All in all about a two hour walk, stopping to photograph waterfowl, and climbing the observation platforms along the way. We meet joggers, bikers, hikers [both two legged and four legged family furbabies]. This past weekend, a whole slew of water birds greeted us. Plovers, Spoonbills, black skimmers, egrets, several types of herons, terns, sandpipers, vultures, willets, sea gulls, curlews, oystercatchers and more. Along with human fishermen/women vying for the catch of the day!!
On the way back home on the crosstown expressway after crossing the harbor bridge and port ship channel, we pulled off the freeway and stopped at a local city park. Bud's arthritis was acting up so he sat in the shade of a tree while I walked around the park. Very FEW birds seen. Cowbirds, martins, cardinals, starlings, mockingbirds and flycatchers mostly. I did hear a Great Kiskadee, but never saw it. [They are one of my all time favorite Texas birds!!...coppery wings, yellow breast, with a black and white striped crown...and their song heard is "Kissssss-k'-dee"]. If you'd like to see them, I have several different photos of the bird[s] on my birding blog. You can hop over to I'd Rather B Birdin' and scroll down the contents menu found at the top of the posts...or... Just click HERE for one I share. So, while there were very few birds seen, I ended up taking photos of the pathways hidden amongst the tree canopies. It's a beautiful 'forest' in downtown!! Dark, medieval, cool, green, and very dense in places. Other than the bird life found here in different seasons, I also like the fact that all year long there is a variety of blossoms seen. In the Spring, dazzling blues and yellows, in the Summer whites and pinks and purples, in the Fall, the bronze warm colors of changing leaves and flowers, while in winter you continue to have fiery reds and yellows. Of course with green throughout, in different hues, from the smoky cypress to the lime greens of wildflower plants, and vines. Behind the male cardinal, there is another fence line...
[directly above...passion flower vine & blossom]
After getting back home, I began working on and finishing my 'newest' pencil sketch. This time it's of the Common Loon. Seldom seen, but often heard calling its melancholy song from the hidden marshes, the loon is another striking water bird in its breeding plumage. I was lucky enough to spot one as it dived down for fish, and resurfaced along the downtown seawall one day before heading farther north for the summer months...