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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out


In the NEWS

Political vs. neighorhood contention has been rampant for a few days, and Bud and I wanted to go inspect the situation! LOL Actually, we only read about it online, and forgot about it until we drove to Port Arnasas to check for migratory birds that are beginning to show up for Fall. And this object of the disruption of the skyline and colossal size on the channel banks would be something I'd not fancy if I were living there in a special, expensive, vacation home. But I don't, and since I don't live there, I thought it just may be okay. Nighttime lights on the object would be kinda pretty...but still:
    PORT ARANSAS -An oil rig arrived earlier this week in Port Aransas, to the displeasure and excitement of those who live in the small island community. The sight of a rig heading out to the Gulf or back towards land for work is a normal, but not one that's parked so close to town. The West Sirius isn't needed for production right now, so the rig owned by Seadrill Partners will remain in storage on Harbor Island, just down the way from the Port Aransas ferries. Port Aransas Mayor Keith McMullin says the rig is within zoning parameters for that area of town. However, a member of the neighborhood association is concerned about how long it will be on place. Douglas Daniel told KRIS 6 News he's heard the rig could be in place for two years as the owner waits for a new place to drill in the Gulf of Mexico. He's also concerned more rigs could be moved to the storage site. Residents we spoke with were not so concerned. They commented how all the lights are a new sight for visitors and how unusual it is to get an up-close look at the production vessel. Doug Wessels summed his view up pretty well, "If you don't like looking at it, just turn your head." The reality is the crews working to deactivate the rig bit-by-bit, plus the possibility of more coming, is a bad sign. Lower oil prices continue driving production and exploration companies to lay off employees. 
    source

As we approached the fishing village, the horizon was filled with a giant object! As shown in the very first panoramic view from a bird refuge near town [above]. It can be seen from miles away!! Bud and I had it pictured in our minds to be farther away from town...but not so. When we read 'down' from the ferries, it actually it isn't DOWN, it's up from the ferries. Right smack dab in front of some beautiful homes that line the other side of the bank. I think I can understand the home owners' objection. Still, if the oil company is in compliance with laws, there is nothing they can do. I walked out on the fishing pier once near the channel and snapped some scenes, making use of the zoom lens for detail. The first in order of the photos is not from the pier, but from the hiking trail some way away from the channel itself, as we turn to look behind us from our walking...



How big are these platforms?
They’re enormous. The BP oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico that exploded April 20 was 400 feet by 250 feet—roughly the size of two football fields—with a crew of 130. Some rigs are even larger. In fact, many of today’s oil platforms are essentially floating cities that employ and house hundreds of people. Massive production facilities sit atop undersea towers that descend more than a mile to the seabed, and they can drill up to 30,000 feet, or about six miles, into the earth’s crust. Rigs are equipped with cafeterias, lounges with pool tables, and even mini movie theaters. Crew members stay on the rigs for two weeks at a time, working 12-hour shifts. These roughnecks and roustabouts, as oil workers are known, earn at least $50,000 a year, in return for a grueling existence in a world of heaving waves, hot metal, reeking chemicals, cramped sleeping quarters, and a blazing-hot sun. Fires and accidents are a constant danger.

OH, AND THE COST? The largest in the Gulf of Mexico is worth $3 BILLION!!! Just imagine the insurance premiums for transporting these that will be idle until needed again. Whoa.

As Paul Harvey once said: "Now you have the rest of the story!"


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The Annual Bazemore Hawkwatch is now underway for the Fall Migratory Season! I was there Sunday morning. I'm sure I was too early for anything special, but it is AND will be a special time for the year. A few years back, the Watch started on August 15th through November 15th. Now they got more funding, so the beginning coincides more with the beginning of the migration; August 1st! This year the total of ALL hawks and kites [and other migratory birds] will be counted by three expert counters, daily, plus record keeping of all birds that pass through the thermals and perhaps, during bad weather, drop down to feed and take shelter. The key speaker for 2015 will be a falconer. Held in September. Hopefully, we will join them on those two days. I'd love to see a kite. Either Mississippi or Swallowtailed. Or BOTH! They're on my list to photograph. lol
    Historically, the largest flights of hawks arrive at Corpus Christi, Texas between September 18 to September 30, although large flights regularly occur from mid-August to mid-October. Generally, the peak of the Mississippi kite (Ictinia mississippiensis) migration is in late August, followed by broadwinged hawks during the last two weeks in September and smaller numbers of Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni) in early October. Flocks of Mississippi kites, anhingas (Anhinga anhinga), and wood storks (Mycteria americana) are often seen in the midst of the broadwinged hawk kettles. Weather in the northern and eastern United States is a big factor in determining the actual dates of the flights. 
    source

While I was there for a couple of hours, after talking with Dane [expert hawk watcher] as he answered a number of my questions, I walked the park road in search of some winged creatures....seeing one yellow throated warbler [no photo], stilts, kingbirds, grackles, mockingbirds, one green jay, black crested titmouse [which I had seen a whole family just a few days previously in the same area and will post photos of the fledglings and parents on my bird blog...follow the link from the top of my blog], cardinals, turkey vultures, caracaras, scissor-tailed flycatcher, green heron, great blue heron, snowy egrets, royal terns and more. The last time Bud and I saw an anhinga in this area was a couple of years ago...I'd like to see more of them this year. Dane's wife was busy setting out several hummingbird feeders amongst the trees nearby and on special lines set up for the season.
By the way, speaking of mockingbirds [the Texas State Bird]...the hawk watch platform in the park is sitting atop "Mockingbird Hill".  --Tra la la, twiddly dee dee, it gives me a thrill...to wake up in the morning to the mockingbird's trill---

Green Jay

Turkey Vulture

Vultures & Great Tailed Grackle

Bronzed Cowbird & Green Heron

Crested Caracara in flight & Tropical [Couch's] Kingbird



THE AUTUMN-SEASONAL SCAVENGER HUNT WILL BE PLAYED HERE. I will set up the list of 10-15 themed items to photograph and post it by the middle of August. The official hunt will not begin until September and there will be 30 days to hunt/link up. THERE WILL BE A DOOR PRIZE FOR one...all who participate will be in the drawing! STAY TUNED.


* * *This post was barely published and then the 1st comment showed within seconds of me clicking publish....and it was a bit nasty!! So...it was deleted. I can't understand why people/bloggers just don't stay away if they don't like the style of bloggers/blogging!!!  So....she* is now on my SPAM listing so I don't have to read those kind of comments. 

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56 comments :

  1. Anni you have been busy as a beaver snapping and posting gorgeous photos.
    Ohhh we look forward to the scavenger hunt. I'll be gone a bit mid Sept....but I should have time to catch up before the end of the month.
    Hugs Cecilia and madi

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    1. Oh sure...you'll have plenty of time and opportunities for the hunt. I'll post it early to give everyone ample time.

      Enjoy that celebration of such a special lady this week!!

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  2. Lovely skies, beautiful birds and a wonderful visit to your world, Anni!! I do look forward to your posts so much!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend -- camera in hand, of course!!!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this post today Sylvia. Have a wonderful weekend yourself dear one.

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  3. Interesting about the oil rig. Think I would have some mixed emotions if I had a beautiful home facing it.

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    1. Me too Paula....mixed feelings on either side. The oil industry has to do this for us greedy consumers, yet for the residents? Not so good.

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  4. I don't know what to think about the idle oil rig, or about it blocking the view like that. Super on the scavenger hunt- I may try it! Have a nice weekend, and stay cool- we are forecast to be in the 100s for the next few days. :(

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    1. I know our heat index these past weeks have been insufferable!!

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  5. You have oil rigs we have gas rigs. They call it "progress." You've just reminded me of something I wrote a long time ago. I have no idea of what motivated me to write this. I was 40 then. It was the 70's.

    Progress - Complete Piece
    Once there was a man
    Who lived within the wood,
    He’d hunt and fish and sing,
    And knew his life was good.
    And then they found the man
    And took him far away…
    “To a better land,” they said,
    “He’d have to learn to stay.”
    But soon the man grew sad,
    His body wracked with grief.
    They killed the lonely man
    Because of their belief.
    Why did people try to change
    His happy way of life?
    Did they know he left behind
    His baby and his wife?
    Now the child is grown,
    His mother died today,
    So deeper in the woods he’ll move
    To live his father’s way.

    By Geraldine, 1976

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    1. Oh my....this is absolutely incredible Ms. G!!! Wow...poignant. Some days I too wish I could live like our fathers and fore fathers...a simple way of life.

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  6. oh wow, that green jay is really something.
    I like the comment the guy made about if you don't like the sight then turn your head.

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    1. Yep, he has the right attitude. Why fight the system on such a trivial thing like this....much more important things.

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  7. That is one big rig! I'd be upset if I had to look out upon it every day - especially if it wasn't there when I built my home. However, I guess they have to park somewhere! I have never heard of a Green Jay. We have only the Blue and Gray here in the mountains. Goodness, who is so negative they feel they have to make snide blog comments? Thank goodness there is "delete!"

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    1. Well, that is perfectly understandable in your line of thought....look at YOUR backyard?!!! Yep, it has to be placed somewhere...but I guess the reason they didn't haul up the channel more is that they needed the 'hook up' or slab or something. Who knows. Yes, thank goodness for 'delete'.

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  8. Hello Anni,
    Beautiful birds, but that oil rig is an ugly thing. I wouldn't want it in my neighborhood either, but they have to park it somewhere, I guess.

    Thanks for your comment on my blog. Yes, Tupelo is named for the Tupelo Gum Tree. The Gum Tree Festival is a big event every spring (usually in May) - arts and crafts, talent shows, a 10K run, etc.

    Hope you are having a wonderful day!

    Lea
    PS. Tupelo's original name was Gum Pond.

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    1. Gum Pond....I did not know that EITHER. So very interesting. Thank you for sharing this here for me.

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  9. I saw the oil rig today while in the ferry line, was wondering about it. I don't see it as a problem but I don't own a fancy house there.

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    1. Life is too short to make such a big deal I guess...but it's still understandable with it not being there before.

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  10. Anni, I've never seen a green jay before, so a great capture on this one. Not sure what to think of the oil rigs, but I do think I would be a bit concerned if I lived where it was in my line of vision.

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    1. Well it's my understanding that it will soon be sitting idle...
      Just an eye sore for those that live nearby, but a thing of beauty and mystery for those that don't live that close. I guess.

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  11. I cannot imagine working on a rig like that. What an existence.

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    1. The rig itself would be okay...but surrounded by deep, deep, water - I'd prefer dry land. LOL

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  12. Sorry you had a hateful comment!! I have only had one unkind comment so far. I deleted it and she later commented again and I replied on the blog that I would have responded to her if I had an email or contact info. She wrote me back and after we visited she ended up apologizing to my readers - who are friends and family - on the blog post. I am so blessed that was the only one I have had to deal with but my daughter, Amber, has had too many to count! Hateful, ugly ones!! MEAN ones!!!

    As for the rig - it is what it is and it is certainly not in our control to change anything.

    The mockingbird is our very favorite and I have never seen a green jay before! It is so hot right now, I'm afraid we have nearly given up on sitting out with the birds! That reminds me - I need to go fill their feeders!

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    1. Oh yes...you bet!!! Bud and I, too, both love listening to the mockingbirds. AND watching them.

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  13. That rig is definitely enormous. Love the comment you left me: I just finished Wicked and enjoyed it very much. More to come. Keep deleting those hateful comments. I do, too. :-)

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    1. Thanks D J....oh yes, MacGuire is a great story teller. And as for the comments...I couldn't believe how quickly the comment appeared...it was like they were laying in waiting! LOL

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  14. I don't know what's wrong with people. If they don't like it, don't come back. What a waste of their time. Of course, I can't imagine what there is here that someone wouldn't like!
    That rig is huge! I wouldn't want it near my home either.

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    1. The fact that it showed up within seconds of me posting boggles my mind...like she was sitting 'in wait' to be the first to leave the snide comment!!

      LOL

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  15. I'm sorry that the residents object. I also think that expecting a pristine waterfront in a port is a mistake. Somewhere there is some balance.
    I have only visited such a semisubmersible rig like that. They are technological marvels but life on them is not easy.
    I spent more time on completion rigs. The drilling rigs drill the wells and then the owner of the wells puts up a platform and brings a completion rig comes in and makes the wells ready for production. They are not as nice as the drilling rigs.
    I've also worked on pipe laying barges that put the pipe in that takes the oil and gas to market. They are interesting also especially with the nitrogen saturation divers that are needed to make the welds in the deep water.
    I don't miss the six hour crew boat rides out and back in stormy weather when the helicopters couldn't fly.
    The rig workers would build up resentments during their two week stay on the rigs. They couldn't fight because they would immediately be fired. But the fists would fly in the parking lots after they got back on "on the bank" as they say.

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    1. ....I thought of you when I was snapping the shutter button....I was hoping you'd add your input to this after viewing the oil rig photos. Oh, and by the way, I love the term you used on your Teton image today..."Californication".

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  16. We shouldn't be drilling for oil and destroying environments important to aquatic and bird life. It's time we ploughed our resources into non-fossil fuel alternatives and start taking care of the environment better.

    Nice shots of the birds!

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  17. I would not want to live that close to an oil rig!
    What if that thing explodes also? Gosh...
    Love your bird pictures Anni :))

    Have a wonderful weekend!
    Möwe

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    1. ...well it's my understanding that this one is being decommissioned. No longer active. So, highly unlikely any explosions.

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  18. Interesting images of the rig, but as others have said I also would not want to live close by. They just seem so invasive and harmful to nature and the ocean. Have a great weekend!

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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    1. ...well, I think this one is being disabled...inactive. But still, an eyesore.

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  19. Love all your photos, as usual. I am pro-petroleum, but I don't think I'd want it in my back yard...or front yard, either. That happened to lots of people in Fort Worth over the shale here, too.

    Love kingbirds! We have one at the bottom of the hill. He is always doing some great "exercises".

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    1. Glad you enjoyed the photos this week Sue...especially the Kingbird. :-)

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  20. What lovely birds! We were surprised at how close to shore the rigs were in Alabama. Such a beautiful place but those rigs so very close.

    Thank you for joining us for Photo Friday again this week!

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    1. Thanks, and thanks for hosting.

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  21. Nice post - that footnote is not good. Why do people think they have the right to do that?

    Anyway - that green jay is a good looking bird.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. I guess not thinking before typing sometimes is par for the course...I don't know why some feel they have a 'right' to add stuff that condemns. Makes one wonder.

      thanks Stewart.

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  22. Hello Anni, I would not want that oil rig in my backyard or anywhere near me. It is ugly too, what an eyesore!

    The Green Jay is high on my list of most want to see birds, some day I hope to see one. Sorry about the rude comment, I am always deleting anonymous comments. I would think these peeps would take the hint. Great post and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

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    1. This time of year there are literally hundreds of green jays [not in our area....but near Brownsville and Sabal Palms Reserve]! You should come down our way...some TEXAS only birds seen.

      Ya, I delete a lot of Anonymous comments too!!!

      Thanks for hosting Eileen!!!!

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  23. The green jay has gorgeous feathers, Anni. Ah, so oil is big news in your part of Texas? Oil is big news here in Canada, the low price of it anyway, as we head into a federal election in October.

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    1. Yep....same here. Gas prices are getting lower the closer to election year. Politics...tsk, tsk!!!

      Thanks E G

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  24. As always, your photos are wonderful. The oil rig looks looks like a launch pat at Cape Canaveral! Have a grand weekend!.

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    1. There is a similarity of this rig and a launch pad!!! Never saw it 'til you mention it.
      Thanks Cathy...and enjoy your weekend also.

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  25. A green jay! I don't think I've ever seen one.
    ~

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    1. ...only in Old Mexico and extreme south Texas.

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  26. i like the black birds as much as the pretty colored jay. :)

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    1. ...glad you liked 'em today Ms. T

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  27. I enjoyed reading your post today Anni. I think I would have very mixed feelings about a huge drilling rig parking up on my landscape, especially if it was a birding spot.


    I try to steer clear of politics but sometimes we just have to take sides I guess.

    A Green Jay I would just love to see - a new jay colour for me. Ours are pink and brown!

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    1. Green jays are plentiful near South Padre Island most all year long I believe.

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