2009 Spring 2 Fall travel blog

our campsite on the Arroyo Colorado channel

a perky little kingfisher watches for an opportunity

which way did they go?

passing heron

circling ospreys

 

every few minutes he would fly down and dip into the water...

with his hair slicked down like a '40s Pachuco

then he would gradually dry out

and get his crest back just before he did it again

 

he sure was fun to watch

then this beautiful raptor flew over and we think it may have...

this picture is blurred but you can see the color on his...

a distinctive burnt sienna color

a different raptor

then an osprey

a pelican

and a variety of gulls, kites and such

now two of the strangest birds of all

the fishermen without wings just aren't having any luck at all

three fat fishermen - but the two on the dock got their...

the kingfisher has found another perch

no action

maybe we should try something else

this guy just stared wistfully at the water and watched the fish...

two lines in the water and still can't get a bite

those damned ospreys are getting all the fish!

 

look at him sitting over there all smug and well fed

hey Bud, want me to show you how it's done?

yuk yuk

watching those guys is getting really boring

there goes another boat

I suppose I should go back out on the water . .

but a guy can only eat so much fish!

a flight of white pelicans

 

elegant birds

 

 

down this trail we saw another fisherman - this one had the...

 

or maybe he's praying to the fishing gods

is that the fishing god?

down the bank from him these stilts were doing pretty well

without the need to do any praying

or bring a book or any of that stuff

stilts fly with their legs stretched out behind them like herons -...

gull heading home after a good day of fishing

meanwhile - on the human scene . .

nothing is going well

 

I watched for a while - hoping that boat wake would tip...

this time of year wildflowers are few and far between - but...

the fishermen are decorating the bushes for Christmas

good thing they can go to the store and buy a turkey...

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 3.03 MB)

Osprey

(MP4 - 2.06 MB)

Kingfisher

(MP4 - 1.67 MB)

Kingfisher diving

(MP4 - 3.24 MB)

Kingfisher preening

(MP4 - 1.65 MB)

White Pelicans


A haven for two legged fishermen - as long as they have wings - Thursday, October 29

We spent two nights, and the included day, camped at the Adolph Thomae Jr. County Park in Arroyo City. Both the park and the city are strung out for several miles along a wide channel of water that connects one of the local rivers called the Arroyo Colorado to the Laguna Madre. The channel is a brackish estuary that ranges from fresh water to salt, and it’s full of fish that attract both men and birds.

For two days we watched while gulls, kites, kingfishers, and stilts - egrets, herons, ospreys, and hawks, pelicans and even vultures plucked their livelihood freely from the waters, while dozens of men fished those same waters without so much as a nibble on their lines. It got almost comical because fish were jumping all around them - jumping so high it’s a wonder they didn’t land on the docks or in the boats. Fish a foot long were jumping three feet out of the water, but do you think one of those fish would take someone’s bait?

In two days we never saw one man pull a fish from the water, but the birds looked sleek and well fed. The men kept trying and the birds kept succeeding. Bushes along the banks were decorated with lost lures and tackle, testimony to the failure of the well equipped men. Of course birds lose a feather sometimes too. The difference is they don’t swear about it when it happens.

Fortunately there are a couple of restaurants in town so the men don’t starve. There are also a couple of 'sports bars' where they can drown their sorrows and lie to each other about ‘the one that got away’.

It’s fortunate that fish don’t laugh and birds don’t smirk - or a chorus of tiny giggles would surely add insult to the injury of coming home empty. Coming home empty we might add, with a thousand dollars worth of fishing tackle and a $15,000 boat! And that’s enough to drive any man to drink!



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