“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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Pickin' Cotton - Pacing Birding Spots - Pico Salsa Potatoes

Not much happened here over the weekend...tho time flew by so quickly!!

I went walking early Sunday Morning after driving to Mustang Island and traipsing the popular birding areas. Boy, was I ever speechless when I walked the trail at Charlie's Pasture North!! There is a pavilion at the beginning of the walkway. It's built in front of the lake for a pretty view....at least when it's a much 'wetter' season. As I approached the pavilion, to check on the swallow nests...the lake was no longer in existence! The drought...well, the lake was completely dry! I couldn't believe it. I was there just about a month ago, and there was water. Now...sadly, the land is parched. I walked the entire boardwalk [about 3 miles* round trip *on the boardwalk] and the salt flats are barren. Way off toward the western horizon, there was a patch of water. I decided to get off the boardwalk and walk the flats toward the water to see if I could stir up some bird life without scaring up any rattlesnakes. Besides, getting off the elevated walk, I'd acquire MORE steps to my tally.


THIS USED TO BE A LAKE!
Abundant with Water birds/Waders



OFF THE BEATEN PATH - Salt Flats
Once I hit the little water...
Many Terns scolded me as they took to flight!

Paradise pond was completely dry too! There was a little bit of mud in the center, busy with a few Lesser Yellowlegs [a sandpiper-like bird] and several Killdeer.


KILLDEER [male in front to the left, female in back]
What used to be filled with pond water - now only a muddy patch!

As I was so disheartened by all this that I saw, it's such a pretty spot with only 2 acres of 'paradise' banked with willow trees and filled birdsong. I decided to just head back home. Besides it was getting on in the morning and the island traffic builds up quickly for those beach revelers heading in with their boats and fishing equipment. As I left the birding areas and turned on the highway, the large overhanging digital signal noted a 45 minute wait for the vehicle transport on the ferries!! Normally it's a five minute wait. Yep, too many on the island for my taste. Home is where the heart is!!


- - -

I took the long way around town to check out the nearby cotton crop. A few weeks ago I posted the flowers and the bolls readying to ripen - "ripe for the pickin'!" I pulled off onto the access road and stopped, taking out my cellphone and walked over to snap a few photos for the update. I'm sure very soon there will be a pretty good harvest from this few acres as with all the huge crops in the back country!!





- - -

Once home, a plate of fresh fruit [cantaloupe, blueberries, strawberries and kiwi] was devoured for lunch. I then sat down with my sketch pad. If I can't SEE very many birds, I grab my pencil and SKETCH birds!! For this work, I chose one that I would LOVE to sight and photograph. It's not a land bird tho. For the most part, around the Texas Gulf Coast, they're usually spotted out to sea; rarely ashore. So, of course, for me it'd be a 'lifer' to find one along the coast shoreline, resting its weary wings from a long flight! 


NORTHERN GANNET

- - -

Keeping myself occupied for the remaining afternoon hours, I then read some and soon it was time to make dinner. Usually this meal is more on the lines of vegetarian, but this time I added some ground, Mexican seasoned turkey. It was delicious. And so very simple to make; yet very filling. I served along with it orange jello with banana slices. For dessert Bud and I shared a double fudge chocolate muffin. [chocolate with chocolate chips!]


SALSA SPUD

It's easy peasy!

Peel and dice into large portions, fresh avacado - set aside
Chop fresh tomato and jalapeno peppers
Dice a slice of white onion
...mix together, tomato, peppers and onion for Pico Salsa
Brown turkey [beef can be used - or go completely vegetarian]
Grated sharp cheddar cheese
Shredded lettuce
Wash and clean baking potato [size I use is large]
Pierce potato and bake in microwave according to size = 2 Large/10-12 minutes

WHEN POTATO IS DONE top with above ingredients, serve piping hot!
One potato per serving.

48 comments :

  1. Wonderful sketch, I just love it when you post them. How long HAS it been since it rained there anyway? A whole disappearing lake so quickly is just awful.I guess all the fish died, it's a wonder you didn't see them. And the poor birds. I hope it rains soon! You can come over and get some of ours!

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    1. I'll take all the rain I can get 'bout now...as long as it doesn't do flood damage. The last time it rained to do any good for our area was mid-may. Since then, triple digit temps.

      Thanks for the compliment Ginny.

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  2. Amazing to see dry soil in place of a large lake. Hopefully you'll get some rain soon. In my country there's always enough water, more than enough...If only we could divide the amount of water with other countries!!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, I'm happy to meet you.

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  3. Gosh Anni everything is so dry and just 3 months ago things were flooding. Crazy summer and too hot. That is one delicious salsa spud supper plate.
    Of course as always your photos and sketches are beautiful
    How is Winnie doing
    Hugs Cecilia and Madi

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    1. Winnie is doing well. texas summers are getting brutal.

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  4. Sigh, we are under a severe drought here in western NY....everything is brown. Enjoyed your post and thank you for posting a comment on blog. smiles.

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    1. drought for you too? as for the comment I left for you...I truly meant it!

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  5. Sad to see the dried areas. Loved the cotton photos and the food you made is something i have never tried but it sure looks delicious. Sketch away - you're very talented!!!

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    1. thanks Ms. G...it is VERY good.

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  6. Oh my! It's very sad to see everything so dry. Praying you get some rain soon.
    Your talent at drawing never fails to amaze me.
    That supper looks very good!

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    1. thanks Mari...I pray for rain too.

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  7. Oh my!!! So dry. I sure hope you get some rain soon. As for me, we've been having a bit of a rainy summer. About 10 days more than the norm for this time of year but I do not mind. Last summer was so very hot and parched here too and I live in the rain forest area of North America.

    I'm sorry you didn't get to see all the birds you normally see but it sounds like you kept yourself occupied anyway. I didn't realize you were an artist too (beyond the camera images). You do some very nice work. Your salad also looks creative and tasty!

    Have a wonderful week ahead and hopefully soon there will be rain. xx

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  8. Even though it's all dry in those pictures it's still pretty.
    Love your drawing. You are so talented.
    I'm kind of drooling over your dinner. It looks really good

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    1. It's delicious and so simple to prepare....good for a tired bakery manager to fix on a grueling day.
      Thanks Ann

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  9. Too bad everything is so dry there. It was here too but lately we have gotten some rain. That dinner looks so yummy. Thanks for the recipe.

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    1. I do hope we get some rain as you did...it's needed desperately.

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  10. Oh boy... That is so sad for the wildlife... We are in an historic drought for our area... Michelle

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    1. I just hope that areas affected by drought will get much rain sooner than later.

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  11. There is something so sad about the dried up lakes and water ways.
    You are getting in a LOT of steps! I will soon be back to walking,too, but it is so HOT to be doing it!
    Love your sketching - as always. Your talents are amazing. And thank you for the easy peasy dinner dish! That's right up my alley and I will be serving it up tomorrow night for art class!

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    1. Thanks Linda....let me know what your art class thinks of the salsa spuds.

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  12. Birds feel tired in search of water all around to see these dried up lakes. Your drawing looks nice.Yummy food!

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    1. Indeed. Birds NEED the water as we humans do. Thanks for the compliments.

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  13. Too bad your birding spot was all dried up like that Anni. Still, you did the right thing when all those folk heeaded your way. I hate birding when there's too many people around. They just get in the way. I'm an "antisocial birder" for sure.

    That lunch of fruit sounds so good. It's hard to beat a didh of fruit - every morning for me. Grapes, Strawberry and banana + porridge oats (dried).

    Hope you see that Gannetsoon. But you certainly know what one looks likie.

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    1. You and I....antisocial birders! Yes, indeed. Gimme a quiet area, with no people and I see a LOT more birds and get chances to learn and see them in a whole different perspective.

      We both love fruit!! Yummy stuff. I eat the oats for breakfast.

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  14. Hello Anni!:)So sad to see the dried up lake. Our pond has also dried up, because of the very high temperaturas we have been getting, 38C and rising to 40C this week. Forest fires are also a worry,..one near us last night. Glad you were at least able to see the Terns and Killdeer. Lovely drawing, and a healthy delicious looking meal that I know I would enjoy, ..love baked potatoes especially with a salad.

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    1. The summer days have really been scorchers for the most part. I'm looking forward to cool and rain!!
      Me too...a baked potato with different toppings is a perfect meal.

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  15. Hoi Annie. Is that cotton? Thank you so much. I have never see it!

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  16. Great photos. Love the cotton pics. I have never seen anything like that in real life.

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    1. Lots o' cotton farms in my area!! Thanks Maria.

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  17. I smiled at the thought of getting off the boardwalk to garner more steps. I make decisions like that all the time. And even though it's dry, the pictures show that it's still very pretty. And you're making me hungry. :-)

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    1. The potato made this way is so easy and so tasty1!!

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  18. Lots of good looking food here. I went up to a puddle at a dried up pond that looked hard enough to walk on. I sunk to my knee on one leg and couldn't get out. My tennis shoe is still there. Thank goodness I wasn't alone. We laugh about it now.

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    1. Our daughter lost a sandal in a bog....just like you described!

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  19. What a post. An outing and a snack. Thank you

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    1. A snack? Whoa....it's huge.

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  20. The salsa spud looks/sounds great! I am always searching for something new to make. I feel like I cook the same things over and over again.

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    1. Hope you try it....they are quite delicious Michelle.

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  21. Always scary when a lake just disappears. Nice picture none the less.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Ya, I was so surprised at this since it seemed like a short time in happening. Thanks for hosting Stewart

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  22. Cotton trees intrigue me, mainly 'cause I haven't seen one in real life.
    And now I'm hungry. And it's nearly lunchtime... thanks for the recipe too, I'll give that a try, sounds yummmmmy

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    1. I bet you'd like the potato Ms. V!!!
      Try it...

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  23. Love your sketch!

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  24. Wonderful Sketch Anni. Such a talent.

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