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We Finally Found It!!!

Several attempts to find this sanctuary in the 'suburb' of Corpus Christi [Portland, Texas], we've driven the Farm to Market* Roads to find this particular birding area...to no avail. Until yesterday! We finally found it. I must first say here that I am not too impressed with the county's Audubon Society. Sure, they've acquired many land tracts to keep in its natural state of existence for birds...but, the group neglects the ones we've traversed. Instead of keeping them cleaned up of brush and trash, the areas we've visited in the decade here, I'm sorely discouraged by their maintenance of their 'parks'. They need to find a way to get volunteers or something to beautify the land acquired. I can see at one point in time there was an enthusiastic beginning....but the inattention given now is evident. I'd volunteer to help clean it up!!

Okay, so again, we finally spotted the entry. It is easy to miss. We've been by this without noticing it...but now we know where to stop. And we WILL GO BACK for birding during migration. It's called:


Fred Jones Nature Sanctuary
Several acres of natural brush, shrub, trees, grasses, a small brook, donated to the Society by Fred Jones. The few acres were the original homestead of Fred B. Jones, amateur botanist and one of the founders of the Audubon Outdoor Club. He authored "Flora of the Texas Coastal Bend," 1977, and "Flowering Plants and Ferns of the Texas Coastal Bend Counties," 1961. On three sides of the area, it's country homes and farm land. The fourth side view is the Nueces Bay...


Nueces Bay & Harbor Bridge

I'd be lying if I told you there are many trails to trek through....in fact, I would have to say there are many, many, MANY trails. It would be very easy to get lost if it weren't for the sound of traffic on the FM road every once in a while! The tall trees, the meandering trails, the high growth of bamboo, etc....you could walk into this labyrinth of nature and lose your bearings easily.

The sun was out, the breeze was slight, the air was cool and comfortable...the sky cloudless. And the cardinals were EVERYWHERE!! We spotted Pyrrhuloxia, mockingbirds, cardinals, warblers, sparrows. Along with some nice views for the wanderer of water, foot bridges, old farming apparatus, wildflowers and the hint of Spring with the budding and flowering of some trees...and a hidden drip system [pond with dripping, active water movement] to attract the fowl. I'll stop gabbing and post some photos:


Wild Verbenna - Barren Tree


New Spring Leaves Budding - Tree Blossom


Neglected [but solid] footbridge - Park Bench


Cardinal [male] - Gnarled Mesquite Tree


Bamboo & Brook - Brook


Bamboo Outcropping - Old Farm Remnants


Live Oak Tree - Drip System


Pyrrhuloxia [female]

*Farm to Market Roads -in other states this would simply be a county road in the back country; away from a town

62 comments :

  1. We have a Farm to Market road in rural Skagit County, too! I didn't know where the name came from and that t's not unique. Love the new sanctuary, Anni, and all the many many trails you took me on :-)

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    1. I had never heard of Farm to Market roads before Texas.

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  2. Huzzah, you found it! Lovely photos are the welcome result of your successful foray... although I'm forced to agree that the neglect is shocking.

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    1. It's sad to think that they meet once a month, and yet, all they seem to do is go on field trips and have pot luck dinners....instead of utilizing their time to the upkeep.

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  3. Hooray, that's wonderful! What a fun place to visit, your photos are incredible too. Enjoy your weekend.

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    1. Thanks....enjoy your weekend too, Karen.

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  4. Hello Annie!:) Glad you found it! It would be helpful to perhaps have a bolder sign. It does look like a good place for nature lovers, walkers and birders alike who could enjoy the many trails of this sanctuary, but I must confess,...I wouldn't like to go on my own, as I have NO sense of direction. Lovely pictures of this very natural looking reserve. Oh and I forgot to mention that I think the pond with dripping water is a neat idea.

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    1. ...and move them up closer to the road....or post a sign BEFORE the gate along the road, pointing to it. LOL

      It can easily become a hairy experience for those with no sense of direction. Let the sun be your guide. I too like the idea of a drip system. I'm sure it attracts birds and small wildlife alike.

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  5. so much beauty there and i like that hidden bench. perhaps when you go next time food and water with you in case you lose your way on all those trails OR drop bread crumbs?

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    1. Bread crumbs in a wildlife sanctuary would be a bit of a 'no do'....with my luck, I'd end up with a coyote following me, chomping away. And when I ran out of bread...well, what'll happen next is a whole 'nother blog post!

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  6. Ah, very welcome images of Spring! Beautiful. :)

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    1. The best time of year....except for the long hot summer that follows all too quickly.

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  7. Oh my gosh I could have taken 20,000 steps on this secret trail.
    As always your pictures are gorgeous. We are especially fond of the Cardinal profile
    Hugs madi and mom

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    1. I just bet the Diva would have a TALE or two to write about if you two walked the 'secret' trails!!

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  8. To begin with, I love your new owl header!! You are a talented lady and it's always a pleasure to visit your blog!! Wonderful captures for the day as always, Anni!! I hope you have a beautiful weekend!! Enjoy!!

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  9. Another good place to walk and observe nature. I sure would like to see Cardinals. I haven't seen any in many years.

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    1. I'll trade two of our cardinals....for your mountain jays!! Deal?

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  10. Hi Annie....I wrote you this long comment about your post today and then my darn laptop went dead with no more charge. That is so frustrating. I just love the way you posted your pictures this week with the two side by side and I really like the collage you make of the memes in which you like to participate. Both are so nice and easy to follow.So glad you finally found the sanctuary you were looking for and did not run out of food and drink :-) The pictures are wonderful telling us you really did see a lot. Love the funky gnarly old tree and the odds and ends you discovered hidden in the briars and brambles. The blooms are gorgeous - spring is definitely trying to get a headstart in your neck of the woods. Know you really enjoyed your walk. Hope all is well with you and thanks for your visit. genie

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    1. Thanks Genie...your words are very encouraging!!

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  11. Thank you for this enjoyable treat

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    1. Y'know Martin....I would love to reciprocate your visit, but I have a very difficult time deciphering from Google Plus where your most recent post is. Sorry, but thanks again.

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  12. Wow! I can see why you were excited to find this place. So many wonderful photos!

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  13. Wow, what a beautiful place. Great pictures. Thanks for taking me along the enjoyable walk. I would have gotten totally lost in that place.
    Blessings,
    Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures

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    1. I thought of being lost for a while, 'til I was lucky enough to have a vehicle zoom along the road several yards away. Then, I knew which direction to go. lol

      Thanks Audrey.

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  14. Some of those areas do look a little overgrown,but you still managed to get some wonderful pictures.

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    1. In my opinion....VERY neglected. Thanks Ruth

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  15. You have so many places to hike and enjoy the birds and nature. Glad you take advantage of them!

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    1. I do....and enjoy the areas....IF I can find 'em. lol

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  16. Really a cool hobby, love to watch birds and the more colorful they are the better. Such simplicity in seeing them. Thanks for sharing and enjoy a wonderful weekend.

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    1. Exactly, a simple pleasure everyone should become active in watching those birds!!

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  17. What a shame that they don't put the effort in to maintaining these areas. Maybe you should take over the Audubon Society and make some changes :)

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    1. I've oftentimes thought of becoming a more active member in the A S, but I'm a bit selfish with my time....I'd rather b birdin'. But, then again, I wouldn't mind giving up a weekend or two to get the areas cleaned up.

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  18. A lovely series of photos. Happy weekend!

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  19. What a beautiful day for an adventure. Lovely photos. It is very sad when areas do go into decline. It's worse when you remember its former glory. Have a lovely weekend :)

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    1. Thanks....I'm glad you stopped in to visit with me!

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  20. Hello Anni, it is always great to find new birding spots. The trails will be fun to explore. Great sightings and photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

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    1. I was elated to finally find this area I've heard so much about in the past. Thanks for hosting Eileen.

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  21. A very interesting series of photos!
    We noticed FM roads when we visited Texas years ago. We assumed it originally meant roads built to make it easier for farmers to bring their produce into town to sell.
    Have a great week-end!
    Lea

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    1. Yep, a huge farming/ranching community all across the state of Texas! Thanks Lea

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  22. I noticed your question (on Eileen's blog) about Tina and Tom. It was a car accident. Their Ford Focus hit the rear of a dump truck. So very sad.

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    1. Thanks. ...yes, I found an article online.

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    2. I guess I need to make a correction. After reading the article you linked to about the accident, I can see the photo shows a head-on collision, not a rear-end collision. I guess I was thinking rear-end collision because we lost a friend that way several years ago. He had a heart attack while driving and rammed into a dump truck from behind.

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    3. Lea, no problem....things like this and the photo [I can't enlarge it] shows too little, you can't tell....at least I can't.

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  23. That has happened in our area as well. Neglect of our treasures prevails lately and all people think about is making money on gas wells. Hate it! Also, wondering if you carry a compass when walking trails. Love these photos, especially the empty old bench with nature taking a seat there.

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    1. True about 'making money' everywhere. But thing is, this society is supposedly non-profit, right? Why the neglect? I'd say laziness and lack of interest.

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  24. I love that Pyrrhuloxia--so beautiful. And I love how sharp and clear its eyes is.

    I would love to have a place like this to go and roam and wander. That was relatively close to home.

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    1. Luckily, there are several areas here for us. I tend to return over and over.

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  25. so glad you found this place. Your photos are always fun to see. Thanks for sharing Anni and have a great week.

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  26. I love your posts and how knowledgeable you are!! Your photos are magazine worthy and I learn something with every visit. My only problem is I can't remember much any more!!! Wish I had you in my pocket when my sisters and I were in Galveston or now when we are down on the ranch near Waco!

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    1. Thanks so much Linda. I'd love to be down on the ranch 'bout now.

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  27. Hard to find and neglected, but apparently well worth your efforts to discover where it was hidden. Looks like a possible great spot especially during migration! Love your Pyrrhuloxia.

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    1. I tellya, I looked for these birds for years after leaving AZ, and couldn't find 'em for the longest time, now I spotted one about a month ago, and see them often!

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  28. Btw sorry you didn't enjoy To Kill a Mockingbird. I've heard a couple of others say they didn't as well. Everyone has their own taste in things, of course.

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  29. I love little hidden places like that. Too bad it is not maintained very well. It does sound like my kind of place with lots of trails and such.

    Great pics.

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    1. It would even be BETTER if it were maintained.

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