“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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The LONG Hot Summer...

With 85°F upon waking up these days around 5/6 a.m., I sigh in hopes of a cold front moving through, but alas, I honestly want to just go back to bed and sleep through the summer heat. I know darned well the temp will just climb up and up. Two days in a row by mid afternoon, it's reached ABOVE the century mark.  It's the price we Texans pay for the other three beautiful seasons!!  But, on Wednesday this week, I couldn't take it any longer. The early morning sky was cloudy, the temp, yes...STILL HOT, but the overcast was better than full sun. I drove to the beach in hopes of enjoying some of the sea breeze. Upon arrival, the wind was brisk, the waves were quite progressive at times. I walked, and walked and walked. Easily reached my goal of 10K steps in no time. Thing is tho, it wasn't a continual walk; stopping to watch birds and waves, and people. At least I wasn't a shut-in any longer.

As I walked along the shore listening to the beating and rhythm of the waves and listening to the gulls laughing as I headed north from the parking lot, after a few hundred yards, I decided to climb the dunes for a while!  Yes, there is always the danger of venomous snakes lurking in the grasses and brush, but a change of pace was overhanging with an urge to explore.  Besides, there was an open boardwalk!!  Sifting through the loose sand I stepped up. I even found a hidden gravesite as the silent brown pelicans soared above me...





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Back on the beach, I headed south in the direction of Brownsville, Texas and Old Mexico some [some 160 miles from where I stood]. By now the shores had become active with families with their children having some Summer romp in the Gulf to cool off! Each enjoying their time as they saw fit. I passed joggers, beachcombers, campers, surfers, and fishermen off the popular pier. The sky was now partly cloudy and the cloud formations were beautiful, and always unique! The last image of the cloud formation, I liked how the cloud opened up and the sun's rays came thru....



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The birdlife, I spotted several. But, it truly was a morning for the Black Skimmers. They were very active. Along with Least Terns, Laughing Gulls, Brown Pelicans, Western Sandpipers, Willets, one lone Caracara flew over the dunes heading north [as you can see it in the 2nd photo from the beginning of my post], and ONE LONE Semipalmated Plover...



Brown Pelicans


Willet & Least Terns


Least Tern & Black Skimmer


Black Skimmer & Laughing Gull [in last stages of molt]


Western Sandpipers [black legs! with one in the middle of this 1st image, with yellow legs...that one is a Semipalmated Plover]
...and the lone bird in the last photo is a close up of the Plover]

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By 10 a.m., it was time to make an about face and head back to the car for the drive back home. The humidity was building up as the sun began to bare down on me with extensive heat waves! Back at the parking lot, I got my chilled bottle of water from the cooler after opening the windows, and sat at the covered tables to watch the people as I cooled down and give some time to let the air circulate in the car before I got in....

44 comments :

  1. the photos show what you saw and i can almost hear the waves and wind and smell the salt air while looking and reading. it is the air we breathe at the beach that i love.. i should take a page from your book and go by myself, but have not been to the beach alone since 1984 when it was my solace for a summer. there is something soothing and healing about beaches and birds and breezes. the heat is killing us here to...

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  2. Sounds like you had a good morning.I love the cloud shots.All the pictures are fascinating.

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  3. I wonder about that gravesite...how sad...beautiful photos...and like your previous commenter said...I can almost hear the waves and smell that salt air...smiles

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  4. Beautiful beach scenes, and I love the bird photos, too!

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  5. You found both beautiful and sad things on the beach. That alone would be enough, and the birds are an added plus! You can really WALK! The dunes are beautiful! Surely it is a pet, and not a person buried there. I would think it would be washed away shortly. The Willet is my favorite of today's birds.

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  6. What a perfect morning and what a great way to enjoy it. I haven't been to the beach yet this year but this weekend there's a big event going on there and I'm going :)

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    1. Thanks...did you get to go to the beach?

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  7. Long, hot summer here in S CA too! Good for you getting out and walking the beach. The hole-in-the-cloud photo is just stunning!!

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the sky photo. Stay cool.

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  8. Anni...What a beautiful and varied post. Your header is such a lovely piece of artwork. I love looking at your pictures. For a non-formal-birder...just an old gal that love to feed them in her yard...your posts are all filled with info for me to read and enjoy. Thank you so much for all the effort you put into your blog. It is a wonderful teaching tool 'cause one is never to old to learn. genie

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words Genie.

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  9. Wonderful shots of clouds and birds.

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  10. fascinating shots. the cloud tunnel is really something.

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  11. Thanks for taking us along your walk. I remember my first job out of college was in Victoria, Texas and the the heat and humidity nearly overwhelmed me.

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    1. This is actually mild comparing it to Tucson's Monsoon Season. At least I have a beach to go to for some sea breezes.

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  12. It is really hot in that part of the country, but you sure do make the best of it. I understand the need to get out and walk, snap pictures, and share your wonderful world with the rest of us. Thank you for taking me along on your walk. :-)

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    1. Thank YOU for coming along with me D J

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  13. Hello,
    I love birds!
    Your pictures are so wonderful!!!
    I think it's fascinating to know that birds are descendants from some dinosaures (the carnivores ones). And I was amazed to find out that some dinosaures like in fact velocitaptors were covered with feathers. We make knew discovery everyday!
    Have a nice day

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    1. Fascinating indeed. Thanks.

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  14. Oh do we hear you Anni. The last two weeks here have been 95 or above real temp by early afternoon and 100+ heat index. Just miserable. Too hot to move almost I commend you for making 10K steps and all the lovely photos.
    Hugs Madi and mom

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    1. ...and yesterday was quite pleasant...but today, a different story. Back to HOT

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  15. What a beautiful morning it was! We're just back from a family camping trip and it's catch up on blogging and email time for me! Stunning nature photos you've shared, thanks so much and enjoy your weekend!

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  16. You had to be quick to get such nice black skimmer pictures! Impressive as they are, the holy cloud shot is just wonderful. What a walk, tough lady!

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    1. I really look forward to the solitude and quietness away from the city. Thanks Ms. G

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  17. Sky and beach. I love your photos.

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  18. looks as if you had a good day. Thank you for letting me tag along.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed trekking along with me Martin.

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  19. You have some great bird shots.

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  20. Loved taking your morning walk with you, Anni! So many sea-birds and you are so informative. I would never be able to tell them apart! I do like the ones with the black legs, though - so cute. Oh, those temperatures must be miserable. I lived in Tuscon years ago (with no air conditioning) and the temps would get to 110-115. We became night owls......Hopefully you will get a break soon. Lovely photos of the clouds and dunes :) x Karen

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  21. Great photos of the birds you saw. Quite a variety. I am back from my blog break and hope to join Bird D'Pot next week. Today's Flowers will also resume next weekend. I have missed popping in. Good to be back :)

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    1. It's good to see you return....may your loss in your family be remembered with great joy sooner than later.

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  22. Very nice post - I know what you mean about waiting for cool changes in the summer - its almost an obsession in this part of Australia.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Thanks Stewart....yes, it's every morning checking off another day of extreme heat, counting down to COOLER days ahead.

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