February 26, 2021

The Big Freeze

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As most of you already know, Texas had one of its worst cold spells in history. We thought, how cold could it possibly get in Southern Texas? Well, when I woke up last Monday, the temperature was 17 degrees, ice covering everything, no power, no water, everything was closed, and we had no idea how our RV was going to take the cold.

Our RV did well; we're self-contained with a generator for power and a propane furnace. The night before we filled our water tank and unhooked the water hose. The furnace and tank heaters kept everything from freezing. We were a lot better off than the people with homes living in the area. It was a mess with broken water mains, pipes, and power failures everywhere. It took almost a week for the temperatures to get back to normal. The major stores are still struggling to keep up with the demand for perishable items. Our park is back to normal, so we feel blessed.

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The cold affected the wildlife in the area also. Dead fish, no shrimp for fishing, and the Blue Herons at the Rookery were gone for almost a week. I was beginning to wonder if they would return to the nest.

We are heading home in just a few days, so I decided to take one last trip to the Rookery. To my surprise, the Herons we back active building nest and even a few Great Egrets we starting to nest.

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I proceeded along the Rockport and Fulton coastline, over the bridge to The Big Tree. Driving up, I noticed an Osprey just sitting at the top of a tree watching the area's activity. There we're Ducks, Egrets, Sandhills, and Spoonbills in the pond. I didn't see any Whooping Cranes. 

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I drove past the pond and parked at the water's edge. I sat a watched for a while. It was good to see the wildlife back to regular feeding along the shoreline. It was cloudy, so the light was not perfect, but it was my last time in the area, and I tried to make the best of it.

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Just past the Big Tree on 4th street, there's a small secluded pond just off the road. I parked at a small boat launch area and walked to the pond. It's hard to photograph as the growth around the pond is thick. I found a pair of Egrets that I think were nesting and got a few pictures. I startled a few birds at the edge that I could not see. After standing still for a while, I noticed something on the other side of the pond. There we a pair of Black-crowned Night-Herons. It looked like one was on a nest, but I couldn't get a clear picture of both birds. It was my first time seeing these Herons, so it was worth the trip.
 
Photography should be fun! It's not about the phone or camera brand you're using. Always remember, your best photographs are the result of one thing, making an effort to get out and shoot.

Comments always welcomed.
Mark