Friday, February 27, 2015

People and Pelicans Fishing in Port Aransas

We will be heading on to our next adventure in a couple of days but have really enjoyed our time here as we usually do wherever we are.  The Rockport area has a lot to offer if you like fishing, walking, biking, birding or driving the coast hoping to see some new bird or maybe dolphins!  Yes, I have not talked about them, but we have seen a lot of Bottle Nosed Dolphins.  I will do a post of dolphin pics.

We have eaten at some nice places right on the water and seen some wonderful sights right from our table from wildlife to beautiful sunsets!  There are some beautiful beaches in the area, just a bit to cold this time of year!

On this particular day, a few days ago in Port "A", as it is referred to around here, we took the ferry over to the island hoping to see dolphins in the channel.  We did not, of course, because we were hoping to;)  However, there were lots of folks out fishing even with the gusty wind conditions and we saw some great catches!

The pelicans were having a great fishing day and this guy had quite the time "encouraging" the long fish he caught into his bill:

gotcha, now how to eat you!

ok, this is not working......

i'm not giving up so I'm going to.....

flip you up in the air to reposition you......

and in you go.....

This man caught a Sheephead fish
measuring a Sheephead, had to toss it back, too small
And this man caught a baby ray
yep, you have to go back as well.....
We walked by a couple fishing and the guy had already caught this Redfish, big fish!!
what a catch!

 As we walked back along the jetty, the wife of the guy who caught that Redfish was reeling in another one!  It took her ten minutes of working the fish in.  I was tired watching her.  She was determined to do it alone and finally, happily did!
Mike videos the couple using the guys phone while his wife reels in a Redfish

Wow, is this fish larger than the first one????

Yep! A happy couple with a lot of good eating to come!
We had dinner that evening at Virginia's on the was good.....
Sunset was beautiful....
 And we got to watch the pirate ship return from a hard day of partying;)

nice day:)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Padre Island National Seashore

Just before this last cold spell, we spent a lovely day on Padre Island.  We were able to enjoy a drive in the jeep right on the beach and a picnic lunch, birdwatching and some reading without the crowds that will be appearing next week with spring break....and it was nice!

We began the day by stopping by JB's German Bakery in the town of Padre Island.  This is the second stop for us at this bakery because it is "sehr gut"!!!  I love German baking:) Mike loves it too even though it is not as sweet as most American pastries.

On our way back to Rockport, we stopped at another bird watching site in Aransas Pass where we got to see a couple birds we had not seen elsewhere here!

if this was in your neighborhood?!

Yum, yum!!
we pigged out and took some home;)

Stopped for a beer on the pier before heading back to Rockport;)

night heron

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Goliad....a Little History

In addition to the Mission Espiritu Santo in Goliad we visited the Presidio La Bahia which houses the  Our Lady of Loreto Chapel and, just outside the presidio, the birth place of General Ignacio Zaragoza. Important place in the Mexican-American timeline.  Why, you ask????

In December of 1835 the Our Lady of Loreto Chapel in the preisdio was the site of the signing of the first declaration of independence from Mexico.  In addition to that....

General Ignacio Zaragoza, who was born just outside the presidio when his father was stationed there, led the victorious battle which determined the beginning of the end of French rule in Mexico when his army defeated the French in the battle of Puebla on May 5th, 1862, Cinco de Mayo.

The entrance to the Presidip La Bahia with the Our Lady of Loreto Chapel in the north corner:

looking across the grounds inside the presidio

 a room in the barracks of the presidio
from inside the presidio, the entrance doors

There are two notable works of art in the Our Lady of Loreto Chapel.  The fresco behind the altar was painted in 1946 by Antonio Garcia of Corpus Christi, known as the Michelangelo of South Texas.  The statue of Our Lady of Loreto, located in the niche above the entrance to the chapel (shown below), was sculpted by Lincoln Borglum, son of Gutzon Borglum of Mount Rushmore fame.

Antonio Garcia's fresco

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Goliad, Mission Espiritu Santo and the Northern Crested Caracara

We drove about an hour and a half west to the town of Goliad to check out an arts and crafts festival.  Goliad State Park houses the Mission Espiritu Santo and the area also has a couple of other noteworthy historical places which I will touch on in my next post.

On the way, we saw a beautiful new (to us) bird in a tree near the road and then on the way back saw a couple of the same birds with buzzards enjoying a fresh javelina road kill.  Very curious, I looked it up to find out it is the Northern Crested Caracara, found in South America and this lower southeast part of Texas!  No wonder he looks so tropical!  Though a raptor, the Caracara is primarily a carrion bird.  We also saw a Bald Eagle on the same kill!

Northern Crested Caracara

 Goliad and the fair:

Mission Espiritu Santo, also located on the San Antonio River:

 Could not get a clear pic of the eagle

Yes the javelina in this area are black....and big!  We saw several at the Aransas Preserve but no good pics.  Too far away and too fast!  Look at tusk on this one!  Isn't the Caracara beautiful!

US Army Corp of Engineers Park, Iowa City, IA

Mike and I love it when we can find a COE park because they are always on water and our last stop at Coralville Lake was no exception.  A bi...