Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars

Photo Sunday

with 2 comments

The luckiest woman in Flour Bluff, who is also a real Renaissance Man, took a hankering to include photographic images with a craft project she’s cooking up. As you students of art and observers of the human condition have learned, “desire” (hankering) is a powerful force.
Since we hadn’t been out on the scoot for a couple of days I offered to ferry her around to places she figured she’d find subjects.

Our first stop was Packery Channel County Park, so named because a meat packing concern used the channel to ship its product back in the day when that was an important industry on this part of the coast. Even though this area is seeing heavy development, partially because the channel connects the Laguna Madre with the Gulf of Mexico, the park is, pretty much, unspoiled.

The bays and estuaries is where basic elements of the marine food chain get their starts. Combing along the tide line we ran across a lot of hermit crabs living in these shells, called “Sharks Eye”. In the upper right-hand corner you can see one of the critters peeking out.

The seaweed is called, “Sargassum”. Tiny creatures live in it and once it washes up on the beach, sand collects on it and dunes are born. It’s yellow, when it first gets here.

Our next stop was the Padre Balli County Park (Nueces County Park), home of Bob Hall Pier. This part of the island is very popular with families, both local and tourist and, of course, fishermen.

This is the third incarnation of the pier, hurricanes “Carla” and “Beulah” both having done extensive damage to it when they blew through.

About the time we got our helmets off, an admirer of fine motorcyclry approached, complimented my ride, and we commence to blowing smoke about road bikes and wives while Jill wandered off to take pictures.

From Padre Island we rode into town to the Hans and Pat Suter Wildlife Refuge. Named for a couple who were environmentalists before environmentalism was cool, the Refuge is considered to be one of the best sea bird watching areas in the world.
The park wasn’t such a hot spot for birds, the time of the year being what it is, but we did manage to spot Brown Pelicans, skimmers and a roseate Spoonbill (sometimes mistaken for pink Flamingos) seining for his supper. A look over the edge of the nature walk revealed fiddler crabs fiddling for food and doing a little people watching from a safe distance.

We wandered through the park and checked out the local flowers.

These Mexican Hats looked like they were stripping off for a little skinny-dipping.

The Jerusalem Thorn was still wearing some of its spring finery.

This park is not only important as a refuge for plants and wildlife. Oso Bay and Oso Creek were home to the Karankawa and other Native people. This land holds the second largest Native American burial ground in Texas. The Gulf Coast Indian Confederation is working toward placing a monument here.

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Written by fiddle mike

June 8, 2010 at 2:12 am

2 Responses

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  1. You almost feel like you are there when looking at your pictures. Thank you for sharing your “bike tour experiences.”

    Patty Dubats

    June 8, 2010 at 7:19 am

  2. Mike I like the way you write and I would love to attend some of the music events with you and “the luckiest woman in Flour Bluff”, I now have a good few friends in Texas as well as in other parts of the USA and should the Gods smile on me and Jan one day we will ride around that fine country and call on you.

    Andrew aka the Rider

    June 9, 2010 at 2:50 pm


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