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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out
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Adventures on a Ferry Ride...

Heading over Harbor Bridge to our first stop on the itinerary...which is Indian Point. Altho, for the 2nd time this winter, a brown booby [it's a bird - I know, I  know...odd name for a bird, but what the hey?] was reported at this area, we saw none. I really wasn't expecting to find it...they are more or less 'stay on the water' birds...rarely coming ashore. But, we got some walking in, along all the fresh water ponds and the bay's shoreline. Our next stop would be Ingleside and the Aransas Pass area. Both, small towns along the coast. Not much there but it was a nice drive. Eventually, heading toward PORT Aransas [not the same as Aransas Pass, Texas]. And in order to get from Aransas Pass to Port Aransas, you must board the Ferry Boats and cross the massive ship channel. I happened to be driving on this day instead of Bud. And I will say right now...I don't like the idea of crossing water. Deep water...I have a strong phobia. The digital display signage about a mile outside the area informed us drivers that there is a 15 minute wait to board. So, we arrived in line...something like the fourth vehicle from the front we were. I watched in fear the semi-truck loading on a special ferry boat. Thinking of the weight of the truck, and nothing but a 'sinking' feeling crossed my mind. No it didn't sink. But I just couldn't help myself. Finally, we were directed to drive aboard and park, and wait in the car for other vehicles to load...wait, wait, wait. Thing is, by the time I drove aboard...our car ended up being in the FRONT on the 2nd row of cars/trucks. In the front mind you...a scary thought. I really hadn't planned on taking photos, but since we were in the lead and the view on the other side was without any other interference of vehicles ahead of me on the ferry, I asked Bud to hand me the camera from the back seat. Now, we've utilized this ferry service many-a-times, but the frequency never makes it easier on my nerves..

Quiet inside our car as we waited some more while the guides directed others to drive aboard. They primed our car to steady it once the ferry began to cross....then, after what seemed an eternity, the ferry started to move. Another dreaded feeling came over me...but I persevered....hung tough. And snapped a few photos:

[take note of the heart shaped cutout on the metal barricade]

...we moved slowly over the channel, coming in closer and closer to the other side. Finally, all secured and the gate came down. Thank goodness, the patrolling guide pointed at ME and I WAS THE FIRST VEHICLE OFF that nasty contraption!!! Phew...what a ride. Literally.

We stopped to have lunch at a Mexican Restaurant and walked afterward to the first spot to check out the bird activities. Not much, several yellow rumped warblers and one bird that I've only seen ONCE before in our area of Texas. And that was the American Robin. I first heard it before I finally found it. Robins, according to the habitat maps of such birds are only a non-breeding resident...scarce they are. But, its song was a welcome sound! Spring is coming...or probably to some, has arrived!! The very first one I saw, about a decade ago, I didn't have a camera. This time I did!! After walking through this part of Port A, we drove to another of our favorite areas...Leonabelle Turnbull's Refuge. Soras, pelicans, shovelers, and ducks. Now, I've seen Green Teals many times here and other places around Corpus Christi, but one was marked very differently. The colors were rare. You see, Green Teals most often look like this seen here at this link. What I saw on the pond there was this. The Teal had PURPLE instead of the green. I was wondering if it was the light, or perhaps something to do with mating. I did some searching; lo and behold, in the description on ducks dot org, I read that sometimes they do have purple marking/colors!! This I did not know.


Spending maybe about 1 hour there, we turned to leave the observation area, and in amongst the dying reed I spotted this family:

The Coypu, aka River Rat or Nutria.
Their fur continues to be highly sought. But, in most cases, they are destructive and most often, if found, relocated.

One more...
I spotted in the dying reed also...far off the path, in the distance, I noticed this.
Anni: "What do you suppose that is Bud? An alligator nest?"
Bud: "It's probably a coon nest."
Anni: "I bet it's alligator."


There ARE alligators here. Warning signs at the entrance proves it. Bud and I have seen a few now and then. Oh, and searching to compare...yes, I utilized Google again. The nests of alligators I viewed online are similar to what I found!! By the way...did you know that alligators do not hibernate. Some bloggers mentioned a photo I had a few weeks ago with an alligator on the grass....mentioned that it's too cold/too early for them to be out...not so!! They actually brummate. They have been known to be out in winter, and can withstand water temperatures of 40 degrees. If there is warm sun and protection of cold winds, they do come out and soak up the warmth on some of the colder days. Read more...

52 comments :

  1. Wow, great adventure.

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  2. Anni, sounds like a great outing. Wonderful sightings, the teal is beautiful. The Nutria is a weird looking critter. Thank you for linking up to Saturday's Critter party. Have a happy weekend!

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    1. ...thanks Eileen...and thanks for being such a gracious hostess.

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  3. Lovely capture of the Copyu, used to see them in Italy.

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    1. ...they can be quite abundant here in south Texas

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  4. Wow great post! thanks for taking us on your journey!

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  5. The times I have been on that ferry I felt uncomfortable. Seems like it just couldn't hold all that weight but it does, so far. lol

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    1. ...a few weeks ago, one of the ferry boats lost battery power and it couldn't be steered...crashing into the pier on the other side. LOL

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  6. The nutrias are cute. Enjoy your weekend!

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  7. Be super careful of those alligators! I don't think I have ever heard of nutrias before.

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    1. We were a long distance from the 'gator nest. No worries!

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  8. I actually enjoy ferry rides. We have them here in Washington state, and they were new to me when we moved here. I never heard of those nutrias before. I'm still recovering from my travel bug.

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    1. awwwww, get better quickly DJ!!

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  9. i'm not a fan of the nutrias. have had 2 here on our pond (although my dogs dispatched them). love that teal!

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    1. I've read they can be quite destructive!

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  10. You two had quite a full day. Thanks for taking us along. The ferry ride makes me nervous too, and if the journey is very far, I begin to get sea sick!
    Love the photos you have shared. Blessings to you this Sunday.
    xoxo Mildred

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    1. ...it's the water for me. I like only water below my knees in depth. LOL

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  11. If it was an alligator nest it is good it did not come out! :)

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    1. ...the nest was quite a long way from where I zoomed in on it with my power lens....and there is a lot of boardwalk before it could get to me. LOL

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  12. Ferry rides don't bother me b/c I grew up riding the ferry between Galveston and Bolivar. My problem is heights; get me more than a foot off the ground and I'm dizzy and holding on for dear life!
    Lots of gators around Brazos Bend State Park which is where we frequently go birding or just to be out in the beautiful park. Joe took a picture of an 8 footer there at the park. (I am no where in the photo b/c I was half way back to the van by the time he had the camera focused!)
    Lovely teal. I had no idea that the greens could be purple!

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    1. me either...as I posted, that purple coloring was all new to me.

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  13. What a fun day! I don't think I've ever seen an alligator nest before - good find.
    I'm just like you when crossing deep water and I have a bit of paranoia about ferrys. I'm just glad to be on land again!

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    1. ...exactly, dry land mucho better! '-)

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  14. Great shots of the nutria.

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  15. be still my heart on the critters you found and on those river rats.. awesome shots an i would love to see them. i was relieved when you said you did not like the ferry ride. i can tell you i would not be in a car on a ferry, never ever.... i don't do boats... but you did find a lot to see when you got there.

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    1. I don't like it either, but when you have no choice other than to turn around and go the longer way and spend up a lot of the daylight hours for birding...the ferry was our choice. LOL As for the nutria...there are a lot of 'em here.

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  16. I really wish we could totally eradicate the nutria. It has destroyed so much of our coastline. We have enough problems with that without these rodents adding to it. Love the shot of that green teal. I've never seen one and he is a beaut!

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    1. ...but how y'wonder? I guess it's possible, but their related to rats...and you know how THEY multiply! Well, then...glad I posted the teal for you. I've never seen one with purple 'til the other day.

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  17. Oh Anni I'm with you on that. I've been on two such ferries...I felt like what I imagine a sardine would fell. I'm ok on a ferry w/o cars but it just seems like a LOT of weight.
    Thanks for your kind wishes. We had a fine 44th anniversary and a delicious
    Baskin Robbins Ice Cream Cake still awaits
    Hugs Cecilia

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    1. ...now that you mention it. But wait. Sardines taste good...I want my with oil please. And not Gulf Oil. '-)

      Your Ice Cream Cake sounds heavenly.

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  18. A Teal with purple? I had no idea there was such a thing. He is beautiful. I don't mind ferries once I am onboard and can get out of the car, it's the loading and unloading I hate.

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    1. Oh these ferry boats you can't get out of your car. No need actually. Just crossing a ship channel. Nothing like being out on a bay.

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  19. I've never been on a ferry and I'm fine with that :)
    The river rat is kind of cute. At first I thought it was a rabbit till I read and looked at the other pictures. A shame they are so destructive

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    1. Trust me, as far as I know about ferry boats, you're not missing anything. LOL

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  20. Dearest Bud, when Annie says 'I bet that's an Alligator nest', just agree then run... Phew Annie you are one brave lady! You may have been quaking in your boots on that boat but look at you fearlessly snapping away for your blog as soon as you're on dry land...
    Wren x

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    1. LOL...he learns from me, he knows better than to run from me. rofl

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  21. You really are brave. To cross on a ferry when you are afraid of deep water....to be that close to nutria (which just looks like a huge rat to me....seen them close to my son's old apartment complex here....it was by a creek....and to be where there actually are alligators....and you could end up in the water with them????!!!! My, I do admire your bravery!!!

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    1. Yep, bravery is my middle name. Wait...maybe it's stupid. Ya, more like stupid. Hootin' Stupid Anni.

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  22. Wonderful post with terrific pictures!!! Wishing you well!!! Cathy

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  23. That made a fascinating read Anni, thank you! I have not heard the word 'brummate' before. Loved the photos, and enjoyed learning about the teal. Thanks again and have a great week.

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    1. ...well, you just don't talk about brummate in your every day conversation, that I know. Right?

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  24. Looks like you had a great outing Anni :)

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  25. That was an adventure!! I remember how fun it was to cross the Ohio River on the ferry, when I was a kid. We would go visit my cousins in Kentucky and the ferry was the best way to get there from Ohio. Of course, my dad was driving on and off that ferry!

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    1. ....I fear water tho, so this took a lot to do. LOL

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  26. I've never seen a river rat before! I'm always learning and seeing critters that I never knew existed on your blog! Thanks!

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    1. ...there are a lot of critters yet to find here in Texas. LOL

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