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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out




...Brownsville Girl

Our trip was a quick jaunt through the Lower Rio Grande Valley...


Rio Grande River...top of photo is Old Mexico and bottom of photo is Texas, USA.


...in hopes of seeing a few birds that are indigenous to the area. I was wanting to spot two, but of the two on my list, I spotted only one...and then, a couple of unexpected species instead of my '2nd' on the list. So, all was not wasted mileage. At one time, while I was driving, a small flock of snow geese flew out of a resaca* between two towns on a busy highway, which means I was unable to pull off and get a photo of the beautiful birds in flight...way too much traffic and a dangerous, narrow shoulder on the road to pull off safely. At least I saw them...it was a first for me. And trust me, their name is a perfect fit...snow white against a beautiful, clear, blue sky...it was amazing to see.  But the trip wasn't ALL about birding....

...We also had planned on stopping at some areas that we've never taken time to visit. We've been to South Padre Island before, and it has never appealed to us both since it's a busy, over-crowded, tourist trap now-a-days. Once a beautiful island marred now by high rise hotels and congestion...no longer a pristine, quiet island as it was long ago. But, on the way to the island there is a small town by the name of Port Isabel. Here there is a lighthouse that is a 'main attraction' to some.  I've never stopped to see until this trip. I went inside the lighthouse and climbed it as far as I could since the exterior tower is, at the time we were there, inaccessible. Bud didn't 'cause of his arthritic knees. And it's a good thing he didn't...it was steep and the outdoor top was closed off because of the railings outside the house...they were and still are doing repair work. This lighthouse is the only one in the state of Texas that the public can enter. Port Isabel, Texas is very quaint; the residents are extremely friendly!!   I enjoyed it. I took pictures...coming soon to a post near you.

But this particular diarial is a bit of history, along with some beautiful, natural surroundings while birding. The history? The Sabal Palm Forest...a forest of the only remaining Sabal Palms, surviving naturally without human intervention [NOT transplanted as are some today in other cities].  This forest is found in Texas along the border of the Rio Grande River.  The trees are nearly 500 years old; probably older.  [first written record of its sighting is 1519]  I wanted to walk the trails amongst the living sculptures of centuries ago!!
    TEXAS SABAL PALM. The Texas palm (Sabal texana), also known as Texas palmetto, Rio Grande palmetto, palma real, and palma de Micharas, is a native of the lower Rio Grande Valley. It is a stocky palm that grows to a height of twenty to forty-eight feet and has large blue-green, fan-shaped leaves that form a thick, rounded crown. Small white flowers produce an edible, dull-black berry that matures in the summer. The tree has gray to reddish-brown bark and soft reddish-brown wood. The Texas palm has a continuous range extending from the lower Rio Grande valley in Texas through eastern Mexico to Guatemala and to Oaxaca and perhaps farther north on the west coast of Mexico. In 1519 Alonzo Álvarez de Pineda found a forest of the palms along a river ten miles south of the site of present Brownsville; the trees were so numerous that he referred to the river, subsequently named the Rio Grande, as the Río de las Palmas. Texas palms were reported along the Rio Grande up to eighty miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico as late as 1852, but by 1925 agricultural clearing had severely reduced the number of the trees in Texas, and none was reported more than sixty miles above the Gulf. By 1986 only about 100 acres of Texas palms existed in Texas, most of them clustered in thirty-two acres of the Audubon Society's Sabal Palm Grove Sanctuary, located in Cameron County; the tree was listed as a threatened species by the Texas Organization for Endangered Species. The collective, indented, text courtesy of this site...

Sharing some photos of the Palm Forest as we walked several of the trails in the sanctuary - I couldn't resist humming the theme from Indiana Jones movie...I felt I needed a machete at times like the natives and scientists searching for the lost gold in the tropical forest...










...a few birds seen on our hike in the forest - the jay was seen at a feeder station along the numerous trails, and these three bird species can also be spotted in/or near our home town, Corpus Christi...nothing new in birds here.  Bud and I also spotted a great horned owl nesting in one of the palm trees...will share those photos soon on my birding blog.


Brown Thrasher & Couch's Kingbird


Green Jay

The Couch's kingbird was named by ornithologist Spencer Baird in honor of Darius N. Couch, a Civil War general who took a leave of absence from the U.S. Army to participate in a zoological expedition to northern Mexico.




linking to: Nature Notes, Wild Bird Wednesday, Our World Tuesday



...some randoms:


...By the way, the title I chose for this blog "Brownsville Girl" [once titled Dansville Girl and changed to Brownsville Girl] is by Bob Dylan.

*Resacas are former channels of the Rio Grande found in the southern half of Cameron County -in and around Brownsville, Texas ---sometimes a dry channel, but most often a marshy, watery outlet ---depending on the weather patterns and rainfall - Resaca photos coming soon to a blog near you!!

Another random: Anyone else a GRIMM fan? Watching what we missed last week online, I'm now gonna ask...just how are they gonna explain all the broken glass from the police vehicles in front of the precinct caused from Adalind screaming? If the writers even DO attend to this dilemma, I'm thinking they'll say 'earthquake'? lol Maybe, maybe not. Why, even they may just ignore it altogether and move on without any explanation. Or Officer Wu may come up with something comical as he does so very often.

78 comments :

  1. Anni, sounds like a fun trip. I like to visit different lighthouses.. I would LOVE to see a Green Jay! They are beautiful. Great post and photos. Have a happy week!

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    1. ...it was fun. I enjoyed the lighthouse...and will post about it on Friday I hope. Yes, those Green Jays are incredibly beautiful...and they too can mock sounds like a mocking bird.

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  2. I'm looking forward to seeing the lighthouse too

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    1. I just wish I coulda gone outdoors on the tower platform to take photos...maybe someday when the repair work is finished.

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  3. Hadn't heard of the palm forest sanctuary. The trees are majestic and lovely ( and so wonderful they are preserved). Also, the flowers in your yard and the brilliant colors of the green jay are gorgeous.

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    1. ...thanks Cynthia, glad to know you enjoyed this post.

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  4. A good fun trip. You got good captures.

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    1. ....thanks Indrani, as always.

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  5. Looks like a very productive jaunt to me. Love seeing the greenery and the birds. That green jay would be on my list. Looking forward to more pics from your trip.

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    1. glad you enoyed this Roan.

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  6. Dearest Anni;
    Oh, I've never been to nor seen real light house. Port Isabel, Texas sure look worth to visit. Trailing in the Palm Forest must have been so enjoyable, I am so fascinated with your pictures of 3 birds, they are really beautiful♡♡♡

    Sending you Lots of Love and Hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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    1. ...glad you enjoyed the post and photos Miyako

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  7. What, you left your machete behind? Those palmettos are cool, and I think I could her you humming all the way over here. :-)

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    1. LOL...and here I thought I was being quiet to not disturb nature, and you HEARD me? lol

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  8. The Palm Forest walk looks like fun!

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    1. Luckily we got there quite early in the morning before the humidity had a chance to build up.

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  9. What a fun jaunt. I have never seen a Green Jay. They are very pretty.

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    1. ...that they are; pretty. And they're pretty good at mocking/mimicking other birds as well.

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  10. that jay is smashing!

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    1. ...that they are....but, I'll trade you a green jay for one of your blue jays?

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  11. Looks like a great place for a 'jaunt" enjoyed seeing the palms.. better than the snow out my window today LOL

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  12. Looks like a wonderful place to explore. Great shots!

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  13. What a beautiful palm forest. Would love to take a stroll down the path and take some images myself there.

    Mersad
    Mersad Donko Photography

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    1. ...it is EXTREMELY photogenic.

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  14. Those palms make me feel like I live on a whole different continent. And what beautiful green jays! Thanks for the mini tour!

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    1. ....thank YOU for stopping by!

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  15. Hi Anni and welcome back. I love the green jay picture. I bet it is spectacular to see in person.
    Hugs Madi and Mom

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  16. Fascinating post and photos for OWT ~ love all the textures in your photography and bird shots are wonderful ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

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  17. There seem to be endless places to go in Texas and I am guessing you are going to cover them all. Love the Green Jay ... don't have anything like that up here (unless you want to count the Blue Jay). He is very attractive with his bright colors. Your rich green Palm Forest is wonderful ... it makes me sad that man has "developed" away so many of our natural treasures. Thank goodness for Audubon ... they are trying to save many important natural areas that effect bird migrations. I enjoy going on trips with you ... you tell us enough to keep us informed, but not bored. You are awesome Miss Hootin' Annie ... I'm glad I found you.

    Andrea @ From The Sol

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    1. ...thank you sweet Andrea. And, I have to say 'right back atcha'...I truly enjoy your posts...now if I could only figure out what your mystery bird is.

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  18. I love the colours of the green jay, so gorgeous!

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    1. ...thanks Gunilla...glad you liked the Green Jay.

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  19. Sure looks an exotic place to bird in Anni. But you with a machete? Give me a moment to ponder. Love the Green Jay with those spectacular colours.

    Brownsville Girl - hey that's Vvan Morrison again.

    Rock n Roll at weekend Anni.

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    1. ....it is quite exotic. I felt at places I needed to have a huge machete to cut down the overgrowth on some of the paths. LOL

      ummmm, me thinks that's Brown-eyed Girl with Van Morrison tho.

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  20. Palms are so interesting in both their appearance, growth and types. Nice walk through. BTW..I do NOT like the tv Grimms. I am very fond of the original Grimm's fairy tales, though and have read them over and over.

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    1. I really enjoy TV Grimm!!! I too read Grimm's Fairy Tales when younger ---but this isn't about the fairy tales. LOL

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    2. Silly ME! Goofed - I was referring to "Once Upon a Time" TV show! I've never watched TV Grimm.

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    3. Oh, I don't like Once Upon a Time. Tried about 1/2 season of that program and couldn't take it...stopped watching altogether.

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  21. I've never heard of a green jay before. That bird is amazing looking. Looks rather tropical to me

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    1. ...well, it IS subtropical here in Corpus and more so in Brownsville area.

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  22. Very interesting post - the palms are beautiful - and also the green jay.

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    1. ...a green jay is always a favorite...only found in Texas too.

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  23. Oh I am so envious of the green jay. He is a beauty and you photographed him so well.

    One of the sights I enjoy where I live is all the different palm trees. They make you feel like you're in the tropics. Love them!

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    1. ...you know? They say the grass is always greener on the other side....I say this 'cause I envy YOU with your cypress and swamps!!!

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  24. Looks rather dense and scary, you were brave. The jay is awesome!!! We do not have any here, we have the blue jays. Your first photo...I thought there were giant blocks across the river back!!! But it was your logo.

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    1. ....well, there ARE giant blocks on the other side. LOL

      It wasn't scary at all...actually quite beautiful...misty at first then the sun came out and the light was filtering through the palm fronds. Wish we had blue jays HERE.

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  25. WoW-zers, what an action packed post, it sounds like you had an amazing time!! i LOVE the green jay, what a gorgeous bird and 2 beautiful images!!

    i enjoyed all the pictures, looks like a fun place to visit and bird watch!!

    ps...i don't watch grimm but have heard good things about the show ;)

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    1. ...thanks Debbie! And I LIKE Grimm a lot.

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  26. Great post Anni, seems like a very fun trip for you. Yes, I'm a GRIMM fan. That was actually the first time I pitied Adalind. I'm glad they didn't write out Officer Wu after the aswang trauma since we like him.

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    1. Oh I really like Wu in this program.

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  27. The green jay parades extraordinary colour contrasts. So cute. Loved your walk among the palms and so enjoyed all the chatty extras in this post. Most entertaining and informative - even if I have no idea what show you are talking about in the last part.

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  28. It looks like a wonderful trip! I love those green jays. I think the Indiana Jones theme would be quite fitting in that area.

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  29. We used to like going to South Padre Island. Very convenient with flights on Southwest but last time we went it had really gone downhill.
    We liked Port Isbel also. The lighthouse has a virtual cache. We found a shrimp place to buy to take home and the people really are friendly.

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    1. extremely friendly they are...almost to a 'culture shock' after Corpus Christi's populace.

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  30. Enjoyed the trip with you. I've been to the light house but didn't go up.

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    1. I was wishing I coulda gone out on the 'widow walk' on the tower to get photos. Maybe next time.

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  31. HI Anni Brilliant bird shots during your walk in the forest.

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  32. Happy to read your wonderful day out!
    I get inspired by your posts and i am a follower of your blog. I wish you also to be a follower of mine!

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  33. wonderful post. like all the facts about the sabal palm - who knew!?

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  34. the sabal forest is amazing. our back yard looks a lot like this but not with Sabals, but all the other trees and plants... we have many Sabals here but not that old and i am sure they were planted there maybe a hundred years ago... the birds are gorgeous, love their colors.... have not heard of Grimm

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    1. ...it WAS an amazing trek. Especially with the morning mist and then the warming sun rays filtering through.

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  35. Replies
    1. Hi, Denise...you're always such a positive one!!

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  36. Very interesting post and beautiful birds, the green jay is unusual. Have a great week.

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  37. Great trip. I would love to visit that area and have never even heard of a green jay... Michelle

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  38. What wonderful photos, and the closeup of the bird is remarkable!!

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