Day 31—Day 10, Port A—Three Scoops

I flew home from Port Aransas today. This morning, before I left, we walked on the beach. It was overcast, foggy, and misty. I took a few photos of the beach today but I was unable to get good exposure in the overcast, fog, and mist.

When I got home to Antelope an hour or so ago, I reviewed my photos and found today’s shots to be a bit lackluster. But one that I took at Scoopy’s, the ice cream shop adjacent to Snoopy’s on South Padre Island, where we had lunch on the way to the Corpus Christi airport, (I had fish and chips; the fish was corvina, a kind of sea trout, and it was wonderful) fits the daily challenge topic which is “three.” It turns out to be the most interesting photo I took today, along with a farewell shot of my wonderful hosts, Susan and Chris.

Day 30—Day 9, Port A — Fishing in Texas

Today is my last full day in Port A. I fly home tomorrow afternoon. We went fishing. Chris and Susan both caught fish, but all were undersize and were returned to the water. Between them, they caught 4 redfish and two sheepshead, as well as a few trash fish, but that is a poor fishing day for them. I caught nothing, but I did document some of the events of the day.

Buddy, walking himself to the boat:

A cormorant taking off near our boat:

Prickly pear growing atop metal moorings:

Susan’s redfish was not legal size so she threw it back:

A dancing great white egret:

Susan holds the sheepshead that Chris caught; check out those teeth; it, too, was returned to the water:

A brown pelican sits on a piling, watching as boaters return to port.

Day 28—Port A, Day 7—Farley Boat

Port Aransas, Texas is a fishing village that in the early 20th century, began to attract anglers and tourists from across America for tarpon fishing. However, because of the choppy waters around Port Aransas, access to the Gulf Coast was restricted because the boats of the day were not designed to handle the rough Gulf Coast waters and storms. The Farley Family began building the Farley boat in 1915 in Port Aransas.

Today, concrete planters made to represent Farley Boats, are everywhere in Port Aransas. The Port Aransas Garden Club created the Farley boat planters as a fund-raising project and to add local landscaping interest to residences, businesses, and public areas. The planters are an artistic reproduction of the original Farley boat and a reminder of historic fishing and boat building in the early 1900’s in Port Aransas, Texas. Today’s daily challenge topic is “craft” and I think the ubiquitous Farley boat planters qualify as craft. This Farley boat, by the Port Aransas Community Center and as yet unplanted, shows a local crafter’s artistic hand.

Focal Length 34mm
ISO 100
f/16
1/60
Levels

Day 27—Port A, Day 6 — Poling Cutter’s Loop

I wish I could say we kayaked Cutter’s Loop but the low tides required us to “pole” our way through the mud flats. The kayak rental guy, Hector, tried to dissuade us from kayaking today because the tides were so low, but we insisted because we wanted to see the shore birds up close in the little shallow areas that we can’t access by Chris’ boat. We spent close to two hours alternating between poling through the mud, being sucked into the mud when we got out of our kayaks to pull them free, and occasionally, actually paddling. We were restricted to one small area across the Port Aransas channel from the launch area. It was the only real paddling we did all afternoon.

I didn’t take many photos today because I was worried that I might get my camera wet. For most of the outing, I kept it in a dry bag in the kayak but did take it out a couple of times. Once, to document our folly of a trip, and once to take a couple of photos of a bird I’d never seen before, a Reddish Egret.

In the first photo, Susan is in the distance, actually paddling through a deep spot of probably 8 inches, Chris is to the right, portaging his kayak across the mud, and I, or more accurately, my Keens, as I sat still, unable to move, stuck in the mud.

This Reddish Egret was not afraid of us and it was delightful to watch as it danced and ran through the shallow water after fish.

Day 26—Port A, Day 5—Sunrise

Today was the first day since my arrival here that broke without fog or overcast. We threw on some clothes and rushed down to the beach to watch the sunrise. It was beautiful and the look of the sunrise changed minute by minute. It was all over in less than 15 minutes.

I have a small problem with my camera. The past two days, some of my photos have been marred with a piece of lint that appears in some of them, including the upper right of the first sunrise photo. I cleaned the mirror and the lenses but didn’t get rid of the lint. It must be on the sensor so I’ll have to try cleaning the sensor next which makes me nervous even though there is a setting on the camera to perform this function.

7:18 AM

7:27AM

7:31AM

Day 25—Port A, Day 4—Jelly Bellies and Other Oddities

We saw an odd variety of creatures and things today. The beach had lots of jellyfish, including Portuguese Men of War, cannonballs, and moon jellyfish. Later, at the Port A birding center, we saw a northern shoveler with an itching problem, an American alligator (my first in the wild) lurking in the reeds, a monarch butterfly, and later, shopping for Bubba Gump’s shrimp, an irritated shop owner’s sign.

Portuguese Man of War:

Cannonball Jellyfish:

Moon Jellyfish:

Northern shoveler with an itching problem:

An American Alligator tail:

Monarch:

And finally, how they do it in Texas:

Day 23—Port A, Day 2 – B-b-b-bird, Bird Bird, Bird Is The Word

Today, bird was certainly the word, for me anyway. We went fishing and I actually caught a fish, a junk fish that was quickly returned to the water. But I was more interested in photographing birds than fishing and I took hundreds of photos today and quite a few were actually in focus. I saw and photographed an incredible variety of birds including brown pelicans, cormorants, laughing gulls, lesser terns, little blue herons, great blue herons, tricolored herons, ibises, lesser yellowlegs, great white egrets, cattle egrets, an osprey, grebes, pintail ducks, and roseate spoonbills.

Here are some of my favorites from today. Some are SOOC, some are cropped, some required exposure adjustments. The sky was overcast today and I had my ISO set to 320 for much of the day, because I forgot to reset it. I used both manual and aperture priority settings and left the white balance at automatic.

A Common Tern looking for something to eat.

A pair of ibis looking searching for food.

A pair of roseate spoonbills, beautifully colored but very goofy looking up close.

A roseate spoonbill flying along side our boat.

A brown pelican who hung around waiting for us to throw him a morsel, including the occasional piggy perch that we caught.

The same pelican, staring intently at me.

Day 22—Port A, Day 1

I’m settling into the Port A routine. Susan, Buddy and I took a morning stroll on the beach as the dense fog lifted. The air is humid and warm despite the deep cloud cover and the fresh salt air is exhilarating. I was happy to see my favorite shore birds, the sanderlings, darting through the surf and a group of brown pelicans flying overhead in a Vee formation. There were willets and laughing gulls and royal terns adding to the beach ambiance. A great blue heron stood vigilant in the surf, waiting for an unsuspecting fish to swim by.

I set the white balance to cloudy but when I downloaded the photos they had a distinct yellow cast so I changed the white balance to daylight. I also cropped the photos and made some curves adjustments to brighten them. Here is the great blue heron waiting, then flying off with his catch, then waiting again. And a royal tern flies overhead.