The photos I'm sharing on this post were taken on two different days this summer. The first set is from a beach walk at Padre Island National Seashore [a Federal Park]. It was a glorious day. Clear, hot of course, but the sea breeze kept it fairly comfortable. And the scenic wonders kept me walking...
NORTH Padre Island
Trail from Visitor Center to Beach
Again, to curb the confusion with many, this area is NOT SOUTH PADRE ISLAND -famous for many, the SOUTHERN tip, South Padre Island, is located near Brownsville, Texas, by the Mexican border, some 115 miles from Corpus Christi. Tho it's all the same island, NORTH Padre Island, on the other hand, is just a few miles from my home. Malaquite Pavilion is a covered area named for the band [tribe] of Native Americans around this area of the Coastal Bend [and, 'coastal bend' is a moniker for the curved boundary of the Corpus Christi area where the state 'curves or bends along the shoreline as you can see on any map]...the beach is pronounced MAL uh keet. Within this compound there is a visitor center, a gift shop, covered showers, a vast section off the pavilion grounds is a research center and large 'incubator' for the saving of the endangered Kemp Ridley Sea Turtles. Each year the scientists/staff hold several release days of the new hatchlings where the public is invited; of which Bud and I attended a few summer's back. Read about it HERE.
Behind me as I walk the beach, the sand dunes. And this cutie, a Pug breed, named Heidi was geared up in its life jacket!!!
Colorful umbrellas grace the sandy shore.
Brown Pelicans roost on a huge tree that washed ashore [several yards from the beach] and took 'root' years ago. Sometimes, gulls or I've seen cormorants perched here searching for a school of fish swimming in to feed. It has become a focal point for me since most times there is some kind of bird life and it makes a good backdrop with the continual wave action.
Port Aransas, Texas
A Cargo Ship Coming In from the Gulf
[more photos of the same below as it makes its way thru the channel]
I oftentimes make a special side trip from the birding sanctuaries/refuges to the beach about three miles from the fishing village of Port Aransas. The jetty can be walked [tho at some areas it's like you're putting your life at risk because the boulders that the jetty consists of are somewhat precariously situated]. I walk the beach that is cordoned off from any vehicle traffic from the jetty to the pier about 1/2 mile or so away. Shorebirds such as terns, skimmers, and gulls abound. Oftentimes egrets will hunt for fish at the edge of the jetty as I begin my sand laden trek to the pier. But most of all, I just love sitting on the boulders and watch the pelicans, the fishermen, and the huge cargo ships come into the channel heading to Corpus Christi about 20 miles to the west. From where I sit to watch the world go by, I can see the vehicle ferries taking cars, semi trucks and RVs across the channel. I can see on a clear day the Lydia Ann Lighthouse [now privately owned]. I watch the tourist boats heading out into the Gulf of Mexico, I watch the sports enthusiasts such as fishermen or boaters that cruise the sea...or just people watch. It's a great pastime!!
A little over a week ago, this is what I witnessed around the jetty and Magee Beach:
Searching for Dolphins at the Ship's Bow
Then, the last segment today is of something I've noticed each and every time I drive out of the dunes from the beach back into the village to head on the island highway back home. I've always been very curious as to what it was/is. For some time, I thought it may just be an old home foundation. Other times I thought it perhaps is of some historical significance. There was no one behind me on the road, I still had my camera on the seat beside me, so I stopped to photograph the area. Well, come to find out, it is of the latter mentioned...something of historical importance and has now been designated with an historical marker. [I have yet to find the marker - it must be on the OTHER beach access road. I will next time use that entrance and see if I can find it]
Here is what I took pictures of...it's on a small incline, just about a football field away from the beach road...
Still no other vehicles at the time, so I kept snapping. In the viewfinder I noticed the darkened 'figure' at the left center. "What's that?" I zoomed in...it was a Crested Caracara perched atop the stone ruins!
It's ruins from World War II - a gun replacement that was of temporary use to protect the Texas Coast. When I find the marker, I will hopefully climb the dune and get much better pictures.