Well decided that today’s photograph was going to be in the style of the #TBT or throwback Thursday mode. The cold Arctic air has pushed down into the southern plains again, and it was frigid today. It was a little sad that the nicest temperature we had today was the early morning temperatures–it fell steadily throughout the day.

Gulls in Flight

This photo was taken several years ago on vacation with my parents down at South Padre Island, Texas. It was a nice warm day, perfect for being on the beach and watching the waves, birds, and other people. I enjoy going to the beach, mainly because its being out in nature (even though there are numerous other people around you) and it can be calm or it can be quite wavy.

I was actually quite happy with myself when I saw how well this photograph turned out–I clicked it just as the three gulls launched themselves into the air.  You can see the shadow of one of them on the beach and then a little sandpiper slightly up on the beach looking for the small crustaceans that it enjoys eating.

South Padre Island was a cool place to vacation–though I wouldn’t want to go on spring break–the end of July was perfect. Yes it was hot, but there was water to both sides of the small island, therefore you sit on a beach at almost any point on the island.

Double Crested caracara at the Laguna Atasosa National Wildlife Refuge

We took one afternoon and drove through the Laguna Atasosa National Wildlife Refuge and saw several double crested caracaras sitting on top of very tall yuccas.

Brown Pelicans flying over the bay

I actually got up early in the mornings to go down to the beach and try to catch the sunrise. This particular morning, I got the surprise of the flock of brown pelicans flying over the bay. No sunrise due to the fog that was rolling through, but it gave a great backdrop to the birds.

Hermit crab on the move

I was fascinated by all the different mulluscs that I was seeing. I even managed to capture a picture of a nautilus, which will probably getting posted at a latter date, in a page dedicated to the trip to South Padre Island.

Heron at sunset

One night we drove to the cove that faced the Texas shore to catch the sunset, and I managed to get this picture of a lone heron fishing on the sand barge.

Goes to show that life is rough for everyone–even if you fly, you can still be prey.

While I felt sorry for this little guy (unless he does yoga), but was also impressed that (s)he’d made it to adulthood having lost a leg (and I’m betting it was to a shark further out in the ocean or wherever he winters).

We took an afternoon to go the Padre Island Birding center to see what type  of birds and other wildlife we could see there. I spotted:

Ibis on the boardwalk at the Padre Island birding center
American alligator looking around in the lagoon at the birding center.

It was cool seeing the alligator–the people behind us missed seeing him by like less than a minute. One second he was up and the next second I had no idea where he went. For all I know he was just laying at the bottom of the lagoon waiting for us to continue walking away so he could pop back up and look around.

Heron at the birding center

There were several herons scattered throughout the area around the birding center.

A flock of birds at the birding center


One place that people need to go to is Sea Turtles Inc. which is the sea turtle rehabilitation center that helps to rehabilitate sea turtles and release them back to the ocean. They also keep an eye on all nesting sea turtles to ensure that the nests aren’t destroyed and the baby turtles can hatch and make their way to the ocean. That is one thing I would love to go and see–is the release of the young sea turtles as they race to the ocean.

Sea turtle at the rehabilitation center

I think that there will be another page being created under travels, dedicated to this past trip to South Padre Island. I have other picture of birds, waves, turtles, sunsets, and flowers. It will also be nice to bask in the warm memories during the winter.