This weekend is the Corpus Christi 55th annual Jazz Festival; Bud and I will be attending if weather cooperates, tho, we've been there rain or shine in the years past. It's always a fun-filled event, with this year to celebrate 55 years in Corpus,....fifty five jazz bands will be performing with live celebration of America's music!! There is food, drinks, and vendors, along with the bands. Big crowds are always expected in the area, parking spots are hard to find....etc. etc. etc. But worth getting there to enjoy the music and New Orleans style ambiance as you sit under the tented stages, or walk around to shop for trinkets or unique clothing. Beer Gardens, grilled greasy food is also on the venue, if you dare to partake!! The shows run late into the night and reopen the next morning. For three days.
This past week Bud and I drove to Harlingen, Texas and headed toward a small city west of there via the interstate to stop at a Texas State Park in search of a rare bird that has been reported in the ponds on the park's property. Altho, we failed to spot the bird, for the most part [explained more in depth in a bit] we enjoyed our walk around the many waterways and viewing other wildlife. It was a quiet morning when we arrived. The visitor center was closed being that it was a Monday, but that's okay. It saved me money I'm sure since I'm positive I would have found a book or a pair of earrings with birds to purchase. There is a huge, vast amount of small ponds intermingling with heavy wooded areas. All reachable with paths and boardwalks. The entire chain of pedestrian trails are surrounded with reed filled ponds, beautiful oak trees, manicured lawn areas with picnic tables, gazebos/observation areas, and a more arid landscaping of chaparral areas dotted here and there. The kiskadee birds were giving a chorus of their one of a kind song...."KISS ka eeee". Altho we didn't see the Jacana bird [pronounced shuh CAN ah] from Old Mexico, we were kept busy finding ducks with the likes of black bellied [photo below] and mottled, alligators, kiskadees, flycatchers, jays, woodpeckers...and a new photographed bird also [vermilion flycatcher which I'll share at a later time on my bird photo blog], the nasty explosion of gnats in our face whenever we stopped to take photos or look through our binoculars kept us quite mobile and made our 'trip' shorter than expected. That's alright, we know where to find it again another time. The park is called Estero Llano [pronounced es TARE oh LAWN oh ---which, to me the double "L" should be pronounced like a "Y" in the truest form of the Spanish Language....when in Texas??!! - just like the city Amarillo which means yellow in Spanish and pronounced correctly it's AM a ree oh. In Texas it's pronounced Ama RIL lo - or the monument just outside Houston...San Jacinto. In Texas, Texans pronounce it San sjhuh SIN toe...when in the true Spanish language it should be San ha SEEN toe. There are so many towns, historical areas that are mispronounced here, it boggles my mind.] The park's name translates loosely to Esturary of the Plains. It is located on the outskirts of a little town called Weslaco, Texas [a suburb, kinda, of Harlingen]....real close to one of many International Bridges on the border of Old Mexico and the Rio Grande.
On the prior weekend to our day long trip to Estero Llano, I walked my 10,000 steps around Port Aransas birding areas on Mustang Island. At the beginning of the morning hours, the island was drenched in heavy fog!! It made for some pretty, but a bit eerie, photos. We stopped at three different areas. By the time we made it to our last trail along the channel-pasture-salt flats, the fog was lifting and the heat was on!! But, I thought I'd share the foggy morning here, now. First photo is of the white picket fence at the entrance to Paradise Pond:
Thru the misty air above Paradise Pond, this Great Blue Heron was spotted...and it was joined with a 2nd one as they both flew off to the west:
In the remaining photos, these are of one area at Port A's Leonabelle Turnbull's Wildlife Sanctuary. A Foggy Breakdown. Some photos are taken from the boardwalk [more ground level] while others are taken off the two story, elevated, watchtower. The 4th photo [if enlarged] you can see a small white object in the tall reed grass -left center- that is a egret, which I zoomed in on with photo #5. A bunch of cormorants thru the fog and looking toward the gulf which you can't see this particular day, a couple of other birders are seen in the foreground on the boardwalk...
Once the fog lifted, I walked my remaining steps along the salt flats of Charlie's Pasture. There, I sighted in on stilts, various sandpipers, and ones I always look for in this area and found on that day...horned larks. Those photos I'll share on my bird blog soon.
P.S. I was chosen a winner!! I received this email from an author I had recently posted about. I had signed up for an autographed book give-away, The Ripper's Wife, and my name was chosen:
Brandy Purdy .email taken off for privacy purposes.
To :email taken off for privacy purposes:
Today at 12:53 AM
Hello Anni, Congratulations! You are the winner. I hope you will enjoy the book. Please send me your full mailing address and I will get your book right out. P.S. I took a look at your blog and I love your witches.
Brandy Emily Purdy