I’m back in Port Aransas, TX with my friend Susan for my eleventh annual visit. We’re staying with our friends Rose and Dave in a rental home just a few yards from the beach. Port A was Ground Zero for Hurricane Harvey and the devastation from that storm is evident everywhere. There are fewer Winter Texans here than in past years because many of the rental houses are either being rebuilt or are inhabited by locals whose homes were destroyed. Every street sports gigantic piles of construction debris and there are vacant lots where in past years, homes or businesses stood. But Port A residents are strong and they are rebuilding with positive outlooks for the future. Port A Strong is their motto and flags sporting the motto hang everywhere.
Susan and I walked on the beach for the first time Sunday morning. Dense fog advisories warned that visibility was minimal. The beach was shrouded in a foggy curtain as we strolled down the nearly vacant beach. The beach was flat and hard, quite a change from past years. The piles of loose sand and parts of the dunes were washed away when the 12 foot tidal surge that hit following the hurricane washed back out to sea, taking the loose sand with it.
Despite the changes on the beach, shore birds were visible through the mists and seemed undeterred by the changes on the beach.. Flocks of Willets waded in the surf and my favorite shore birds, the adorable little Sanderlings, raced from wave to wave looking for delicacies to eat. We also saw a Ruddy Turnstone and flocks of Royal Terns. It’s good to be back and we’re happy to see the unwavering spirit of the locals. Port A Strong!
For me, Sanderlings represent Port Aransas so I’m posting a photograph of a Sanderling as my first photograph from this visit.