Saturday, November 9, 2013

No sir, I do not want mosquitoes with my black beans.

 (Above: Crested Caracara and big ol' mama alligator)
Well then, back to the Texas Coast.  We were only there for a day and tried out a wildlife refuge we hadn't been to yet. It was decent, though not as cool as Anahuac. It's likely that one of us obtained  West Nile virus while we were there, because I have never, ever encountered mosquitoes like that in my life. We made a real fancy dinner (see photo) and had to retreat to Vladimir (my car) to eat because who wants a burrito-type-thing full of skeeters? I do not, but thanks for asking. In the end, the mosquito brigade showed no mercy and quite violently attacked the inside of my car. It was a disaster zone, and I don't even want to talk about it. (luckily, I have no reaction to mosquito bites...)
 (Above: Fine dining and Green Heron)
We saw 50 something species of birds, but only one warbler species?? It was a Hooded Warbler though, so she should count for at least 4 species, right? We also encountered what I *think* was an Africanized honey bee colony, which was pushing four feet high. I can't go into much detail because there's a chance we weren't really supposed to be where we were but ohshit ohshit. Someone is allergic to bees and failed to bring along his freaking epi-pen.  I'm not allergic (knock on wood) but who are we kidding!??  If you get swarmed, you die. We escaped death but that silly old wives' tail about bees smelling fear is bullshit, because I was in the midst of a pretty severe panic attack when I noticed the hive. But hey, we saw one of the biggest live oaks in Texas, so it was all worth it.
 (Above: Turkey Vulture, Baby American Alligator)
Alligators! I was happy that they were out and about. And, and and! The baby gators. Ya don't even know how much I love these guys. We saw three different sets of them and while lying in wait to take their photo in some tall grass and reeds, I managed to get annihilated by chiggers. But that's okay. Chiggers for baby alligator photos? I'll take that deal....Last year around this same time, I got struck at by a cottonmouth while lying in wait for baby gators. If you want to know about it, read it here! There are more cute baby alligator photos, too.  (Below: Pied-billed Grebe)


biobabbler said...

Dood, I have no desire to brave the things that you have, but I've got SUCH ISSUES re: baby gators. I think they're SUPER adorable, and can even imitate them (their MAMA! call) at a cocktail party, if asked. SO so FREAKIN CUTE! Delightful shots, per usual. =)

Pam said...

I do a lot to get photos, but being bit by snakes is not something I'll risk. Your shots are gorgeous, glad you're taking the risks instead of me though!

Steve Borichevsky said...

It's always an adventure here. I'd swear you were in my yard with all of the mosquitos. We don't have much for chiggers, but we have midges, greenheads, deer flies and ticks up the wazoo. On the bright side, we don't have any copperheads or gaters. No Caracaras either.

Steven Scott said...

Great post. Really like the grebe pic! Nice supper....the Patagonia mug is classic, but the de rigueur pocket knife would be an Opinel!

Janie said...

The mosquitos sound voracious and the Africanized bees would be very scary, but the wildlife was very cool!

Mary Howell Cromer said...

These are wonderful Jill!