Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Where the heck have I been?

Work, travel and illness has caused me to neglect my blog the past few weeks. It is time to get back in the saddle and start sharing again.

A few weeks ago, I did spend some time at the CDR. I awoke early that Sunday morning and looked out of my window to a wonderous sight! Two beautiful deer less than fifty feet from my house. I quietly crept into the kitchen to retrieve my camera and then had to shoot through the partially opened blinds. Since the window was open, I had to be very silent and not scare them off. They heard me (or at least the camera shutter) any way and moved on. But not before I managed to fire off a few frames.

Deer @ the CDR

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Green Parakeets

The University of Texas-Brownsville campus is a known evening roosting place for green parakeets. While the numbers of birds may be smaller in the summer, there were still quite a few when I was there. I was entertained by this pair.

These are not your typical size parakeets that you might see in a pet store. They are much larger. For more information on them, click here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Birds of Brownsville

Here are some more birds from my recent trip to Brownsville, Texas.

Spotted on the grounds of the University of Texas - Brownsville:

Golden-Fronted Woodpecker
Great Egret
Tropical Kingbird

From the Sabal Palm Sanctuary:

Juvenile Moorhens

Birding is fun in Texas!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Stations of the Cross

If you are in the Rio Grande Valley and are looking to take a nice stroll, visit the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan Del Valle National Shrine in San Juan, Texas. There you can leisurely wander the path around the beautifully landscaped grounds, passing the fourteen life-sized Stations of the Cross statues.

 Jesus Takes His Cross

 Jesus Falls for the First Time

Jesus Dies on the Cross

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Green Anole

Often mistaken for chameleons, the green anole is a tree-dwelling lizard that is native to the southeastern United States and Caribbean islands. Green anoles are also found in warm climates throughout North and South America.

Often seen in parks and residential areas on walls, fences, trees, and low bushes, green anoles reach a maximum length of six to eight inches. Their bodies are slender, with a long, thin tail. Like true chameleons, green anoles have the ability to change color; this ability is limited in anoles, however--coloration is usually green, yellow, brown, gray, or a mixture. Most healthy, non-threatened anoles are bright green in appearance. The male anole has a large pink fan of skin on its neck, called a dewlap, which can be extended for courtship or territorial display.

Active and agile creatures, anoles have specially adapted pads on their feet which permit them to climb, cling, and run on virtually any surface. Another adaptation of the anole is its extremely fragile tail which drops off its body when grabbed, allowing the anole to escape from predators; in time, the anole will regrow a new (although generally shorter) tail. Anoles feed on small insects such as crickets, cockroaches, spiders, moths, and grubs.

I spotted this green anole at the Sabal Palm Sanctuary near Brownsville, Texas.

Green Anole

Information courtesy of Wild Texas.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Texas Taxi

I am not sure if he's waiting for a ride, or perhaps a rider. I didn't see a lot of traffic on this road which runs near the Texas / Mexico border. In fact, it may be one the southern-est roads in all of Texas! Guess that is why it is called Southmost Road.

Waiting for ???

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Best Fried Shrimp

Another favorite restaurant of mine in South Texas is Dirty Al's. Boy oh boy do they serve up some of the best Gulf fried shrimp ever! I have eaten at two of their locations - the one on South Padre Island and a couple of weeks ago Mom and I checked out their newest location at Pelican Station in Port Isabel. It is definitely worth the trip if you are ever in the area.

Lunch at Dirty Al's

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pelican Station

Mom and I ate at Dirty Al's at Pelican Station in Port Isabel, Texas recently. I think this in an aptly named place. The restaurant building is an old railroad station. We watched these guys while we had lunch.

Pelicans @ Pelican Station

Monday, August 1, 2011

Field & Fence

When my mom and I visited the Sabal Palm Sanctuary outside of Brownsville the other week, I was captivated by the fairly new border fence. While I've read stories about the border fence being built along the U.S. / Mexico border, I hadn't seen any pictures of it. Then I got up close and personal with it. You drive through an opening in the fence to reach the Sanctuary. Sabal Palm is in the strip of land between the fence and the Rio Grande River which of course is our southern border. Behind the fence is a dyke that the Border Patrol drives along. This fence is about eighteen feet high with openings every five hundred feet or so. I am not sure how I feel about this fence. I understand the reasoning behind it, but feel for the animals and people whose property is trapped on the "Mexican" side of the fence.