Sunday, October 27, 2013

Johnny vs. the Texas Coast

 (Black-crowned Night Heron and Hooded Warbler)
We spent a day on the (Texas) coast last weekend. In 2007 I vowed I'd never return to such a foul place after a particularly horrid experience. I totally lied to myself and have gone back every year since I so loudly pronounced this. Usually multiple times, even working at Padre Island National Seashore for a season. I'm not sure what's wrong with me (well...I could give you a short list but this is probably not the place for that). If you've not ventured to the Texas Coast, you may not know what I mean. If you are familiar with the Texas coast and don't know what I mean, well, then, probably you should pry open your eyes just a bit. (Below: Sunrise doesn't disappoint, just don't look behind you)
I go back because there are heaps of badass national wildlife refuges. They're fantastic, great places! Even after hurricanes tear them to shreds, still cool. And if you're a birder, well then you're well aware of High Island and it's allure during migration (and really, all year long).  It's the grotesque amount of stupidity? ignorance? laziness? general douchebagery and COMPLETE LACK OF RESPECT (whoa), that kills me and rips ME to shreds. (Below: You have absolutely no idea how much I love baby alligators!!)
I know a lot of the sickening amount of trash on the beaches is washed ashore (you couldn't pay me to get in the water off the coast of Texas) but every time I'm there I witness blatant littering and disrespect on so many levels. Fun things like: driving 70 miles an hour down a beach and running over shorebirds or sea turtle nests* (ON PURPOSE or out of apathy), catching rays or sharks and leaving them out to die, literally chucking their empty beer cans and used diapers on the sand or in the water...breathe..I'm getting too worked up. I'll end that now and I'm going to also refrain (more or less) about how I feel about driving on beaches (it's fecking irresponsible and stupid)  but know that this ...takes...much..restraint...Hey guys, let's take some deep breaths! Okay, great. *the turtle nest incident actually happened in North Carolina, probably worth a whole blog entry, really* (Below:  Moonlit tent. Don't be fooled. Looks like a sweet spot, right? I know! Read paragraph below. I may be a hypochondriac but I'm pretty sure I now have tetanus thanks to this tent site)
I always camp on the beach since I'm all poor and stuff, but I sleep in fear of slicing myself with a used syringe, rolling over and cutting my eye out with a rusty piece of metal, jamming broken glass in a butt cheek or something. You get the picture.  (Below: Pied-billed grebe. Or as I like to call them, "grebelets")
Enough of my negativity about the Texas Coast. I love the wildlife refuges (but the fact that there is active and past drilling is a huge bloody bummer) and they do make me happy. I've had lots of positive experiences at the refuges and seen tons of cool stuff over the years. So. I got way off point of what I was going to talk-type about in this one, and you've likely lost interest at this point (or 5 minutes ago) so I'll save that for another day. And on that day, I promise not to smack talk the Texas coast. Fair enough, eh?


Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

On the contrary, you had me to the very end. I am planning my next excursion following the gulf coast line from Texas all they way around down into Florida until I've had enough. So now I know what to expect (at least for Texas) and will not be so shocked, dismayed, angry or in a foul mood as much now being well-prepared by your post. In fact, it'll make good blog fodder as I photograph all this crap destroying the beaches and their residents. Good post.

Seagull Steve said...

Yup...nice place to bird, sure wouldn't want to live there.

Janie said...

I've been to Galveston, and it wasn't too clean. I used to love Destin beach, but it's so built up with condos now that it's hard to find any areas with sand dunes and nesting areas.
The crass behavior you're describing is what I call "redneckedness". And there's plenty of that everywhere, unfortunately.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

I have been there, but did not remember quite the same was a LONG time ago. You gave me a chuckle though and the images shared great as always!

Pam said...

I actually gasped out loud at your description, and like John read to the very end and am thankful for the warning. When we were in Yellowstone we were angered by the amount of drink bottles obviously thrown past the walkways into the natural areas. None of that came in with the tide.

Dominic Gendron said...

Great serie! I really love the Hooded Warbler ;-)