...and on this morning...the Old Lady and the Sea!!
An early morning drive took me to the fishing pier on North Bay. There was a dense fog warning, but my drive was nearly clear all the way until I reached the causeway. There, fog was off to my left and once I reached the pier, a fog line, low, along the water's surface as it followed the city boundaries and the harbor bridge created a misty, serene sight. At times the sun tried to shine as the cloud cover broke and the day began. While I walked the perimeter of the parking lot along the rock barriers and the open water, seagulls were chattering and laughing to all who would listen. A few bright-eyed fishermen [and a couple of women] were already on the long pier with their poles in hand; some were propped up on the railing [the poles, not the people!], and their lines in the sea. One at the pier's edge reeled in his first catch. Looking farther out to sea I sighted many dark forms on the still, quiet, mirror-like pool of the salt water. A gentle shimmer of the sun's reflection temporarily blinded my vision as I tried to follow the shadows, looking for a particular water bird that shows up in abundance this time of year. As I slowly made my way along the length of the pier, I spotted MANY eventually. The gulf bay was literally swimming with the species I was searching for!! Common Loons. They were popping out for air after their...what seemed like eternal underwater dive...everywhere I looked! In front of me, in back, to the left, over my right! [enlarge the photo and see the dark form near center...that's a loon]. I stood there at the pier's end and watched all around me, some would come to surface only to dive again instantly, while others would float silently and then disappear only to reappear several feet away. Others came up, preened. Yet, more would come up with THEIR catch of the hour....raw oysters in their beaks; swallowed whole, of course!! And I took dozens of photos for my bird photography blog, I'd Rather B Birdin'. Eventually I turned to leave the area. I watched one loon behind the building as I turned to leave, it flew toward the causeway, under and disappeared where the Nueces River joins the bay. For the most part, the fog had dissipated, the sky was now partly cloudy and the temperature was warming up for another beautiful winter's day. I had a short drive ahead of me to Sunset Lakes in Portland, Texas. This is where I can walk the trail and accumulate my 10K step plan. In turn watch the joggers, the bikers, the birders, and those just out enjoying the fresh air as we all make use of the 2 mile-long track between the tidal ponds with the bay and the ship/boat activity just on the horizon. Leaving the area in the car, several spoonbills were seen. The position of the sun at the time gave me an opportunity to capture one nearly in silhouette!