Tuesday, June 30, 2009



I have it on good authority that this shark from yesterday’s trip report is a type of hammerhead called a bonnethead shark (or shovelhead shark).  It only gets 4 feet long and is harmless to humans.  Other kinds of hammerheads can grow to 20 feet…



Monday, June 29, 2009

Horace Caldwell Pier


The migration went away when May did.  We haven’t birded much since then.  It’s not like there aren’t still birds around.  We’re just spoiled.  We watch and enjoy the birds at our pond, but we don’t really go after anything.  But Sunday, we heard there was a brown noddy at Horace Caldwell Pier.  A brown noddy and a sooty tern too.  Both accidentals here.  Very few records.  Both lifers for us.  We went.  We saw.


We saw brown pelicans, laughing gulls, royal terns, least terns, pigeons, grackles, surfers, fisherpeople, a small hammerhead shark (They called it a hammerhead, but it didn’t really look like a hammerhead to me.  The head looked more shovelish.), trout, blue sky.  Didn’t see any noddies or sooty terns.  Nice day on the pier though.



Saturday, June 27, 2009

I've been thinking.


…about food.  More specifically, I’ve been wondering about what our ancestors ate.  Not our immediate ancestors like the ones from before there was a McDonalds on the corner, or the generations before that, the farmers who ate what they grew, but the ones we really evolved from.  The hunter/gatherers that lived for hundreds of thousands of years, thousands of generations, with essentially no change.  What did they eat?


They probably ate anything they could get their hands on, pull from the ground, pick from a tree, chase down and kill with a stick, or find dead lying along the road.  They were probably hunter/gatherer/scavengers.  Fruits, vegetables, animals, bugs.  I wonder if they ate any beans or grains.  Could they eat anything that had to be soaked or boiled before it was palatable?  Can you walk through a field of wheat, nibbling off seeds from the top of the stalks?  Is there any nutrition in that?



Friday, June 26, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Poor Annie


Mom put this on her for no reason…


Well, actually, Annie had some surgery.  The Elizabethan collar helps the stitches stay in as long as they’re supposed to.



Tuesday, June 23, 2009



Our kayaks have been idle for a long time, so a couple weekends ago we got the boats out, loaded them on the car, crossed the ferry, met up with Jeff and Carol, put in, and paddled at Lighthouse Trails Kayak Park.  The park is really simple; it’s some tidal flats filled with small islands and mangroves, with the Lydia Ann Lighthouse on the other side.  Nothing grows very high there, but from kayak level you can’t see over the brush, so you need a map.


We have a map of the park.  It’s an aerial photograph of the area with kayak trails drawn over it.  Funny how the view from three feet off the water looks so different from the view from straight above though.  We never got anywhere near the lighthouse; that challenge remains; but we had a great time exploring the mangrove flats and watching the wildlife.



Monday, June 22, 2009

Gulf Waters


A splash of color from our yard.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009


The new fountain.  It looks just like Judy imagined.


Thursday, June 18, 2009

We got slimed


We bank online.  The balance changed too much one morning, so I checked the pending transactions.  There were two we didn’t recognize.  Judy called the bank.  Turns out we bought a couple plane tickets the day before.  Flights from Chicago to San Antonio.  Didn’t know anything about that, so the bank voided the transactions for us and cancelled our bank card.  By the time we got off the phone with the bank, United Airlines had called and left a message to say they had detected a fraudulent transaction and had cancelled it already.


We know the source of the problem.  I bought some batteries online a year ago, and used my bank card.  The company we bought from just recently sent out a letter of warning and apology.  Their server got hacked.  That was our exposure.


The bank and the vendor were both right on top of it.  There were only two bad charges and those were immediately reversed.  The card can’t be used again.  A replacement card is on its way.  So far, Citizens – 1;  Credit Card Thieves – 0.



A new Hibiscus Flower today



Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Side Patio


At the same time, progress on the side patio.  Pavers partly in.  The ground built up around the retaining wall.  Some Hibiscus underneath the palms.



Serious progress


Plants!  Great expanses of landscaping almost done.  Small spots completely done.  Rosemary behind the wall.  The centerpiece tree, Enrique (He’s a Foxtail Palm).  Fanflowers at his feet.



Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gulf Waters


We added a cool Gadget to our travel blog (Thanks to help from Jim Beck).  If you look at the top left, now there is a link to click to get a Google Map of exactly where we are.  It might be a boring link right now; we haven’t moved lately.  It should get more interesting once we move on for the summer though.  Check it out:




For the sadistic few of you who would have us send a photo of a red-eared slider hanging from a finger, we’re not going to repeat that exercise on purpose.  The seven year old kid next door who demonstrated the technique for us certainly doesn’t want to do it again.  No serious damage.  A band-aid took care of the finger.  The turtle didn’t need any treatment at all.


More of the same on the yard.  They came.  They dug.  They did stuff.  They filled it back in.  The infrastructure is about done.  Tomorrow:  Plants!



Monday, June 15, 2009

Gulf Waters


Met Paul and Linda tonight.  They have been staying at The Lagoons up by Rockport.  A friend told them about Gulf Waters, so they came down here for a week.  They got Dan and Pam’s site on the big pond.  They are so happy with that spot, clearly the best one in the entire park.  It was great fun to listen to them tell us how great our park is.  They’ve never seen anything like it.


It’s pretty much like that every day.  We thought it was going to be empty here in the summer, but it’s not.  The motorhome pull-in sites don’t fill up, but the back-in sites almost fill up every weekend.  Travel trailers and young families mostly.  Some fifth wheels.  A few motorhomes.  Lots of weeklong visitors.  Some visitors are here for months.  Busy all the time, even during the week.  I think all three of Bear and Shorty’s sites are occupied right now.


Lots of people to talk to.  We keep ending up with all the kids and turtles in our yard.  Our yard, by the way, got a lot of attention from the landscaper today.  An infrastructure day.  They took out all the old pipes and sprinklers, strung all new irrigation, wiring for the landscape lighting, plus water and electricity for the new fountain.  We’ve got irrigation out on the end where there wasn’t any before.  A crew of three.  Twenty-four man hours.  By the end of the day they managed to cover everything back up and make it look like they hadn’t done anything at all.



Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bite-force update


After further research, we now know that the bite-force of a red-eared slider is sufficient for it to hang fully suspended by one finger.



Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Milestone


It’s nothing we did.  It something our daughter did.  She turned forty today.


Happy Birthday Becky.



Friday, June 12, 2009



And Annie makes her mark.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

We have concrete!


From the truck.  To the wheelbarrow.  To the tub.  To the forms.  Now we have a footer for the retaining wall blocks.  After the concrete cures for a couple days Forrest and his crew can come back and really do the landscaping.