Sunday, December 22, 2013


Our last morning at Goose Island and we are surprised by a visiting flock of Roseate Spoonbills.  Luckily they stayed around until I ran for my camera.  Fascinating to watch. Their heads are down most of the time while they move their head from side to side sort of sweeping for food.

Not easy to get a picture of the "spoon" bill, but if you enlarge the picture to the left , you can see the shovel shape on the bird in the center.

Airboats were a constant from early morning to late in the day.  Not too loud from our spot, but close up , exactly like being next to a small airplane.

Thanks Eustis!

Always have to be on the lookout, especially on park roads. 

They did post reflectors on the tree ahead on the right.  But , you have to be observant on your own and pull into the center.  You do not want to hear that horrible scraping sound of your motorhome against a solid tree branch.

It's not all state parks, national forest, national parks, and corps of engineer parks. 

Sometimes we pull into a private park to keep a shorter mileage day or sometimes, just to do laundry.

Like many others, this is a Passport America park. This one is in Aransas Pass and being a PA park we pay half price.  The park is extremely well kept and the staff and campers are very friendly. If you have followed our blog, you note that the sites here are much closer together than in our other parks.

A plus of this park, in addition to a very neat laundry, is Mickey's Bar and Grill. It is a great little restaurant within a short walking distance at the marina.

We had to try the fresh raw and fried oysters as well as some wonderful shrimp.

A short stay in Aransas Pass and we are on our way to Padre Island National Seashore.

Surprise, surprise!

We should have known, but we missed it on the map(tiny letters) and the gps(late).  Suddenly, we are funneled onto a ferry boat.
No problem though.  Free and a very short ride---but fun.


Had to keep an eye on Eustis.  He got all excited.

Easy , Eustis.

We exit the ferry at Port Aransas and head south to Mustang Island and then Padre Island.

We are on Padre Island.

This is the national seashore , which is just miles and miles of beach and a visitor's center, and dry camping.

South Padre is that famous college spring break stop--whole different thing.

First stop is the visitor's center to check on camping spots.

Very good rangers and hosts inside to give us all kinds of information.  Plenty of camping sites at the Malaquite campground.

Just as we walk up the steps, a ranger informs us that we are just in time for a turtle release.

Down to the beach and here comes a parade of vehicles.

From the Marine Science Institute.  There are 100 turtles to be released today.

The cold weather a while ago has left many turtles dazed and floating on the water or beached.

The rangers, volunteers, and institute workers collect them and nurse them back to health until the water warms up.

Some volunteers are young and obviously extremely happy to be releasing some of the turtles.

These are green turtles.  In the spring and summer there might be the Kemp's Ridley turtles that beach themselves.

The flippers are all excited to get into the water.

One of the institute workers even has an underwater camera to record their return to the sea.

Some of the Green Turtles are fairly large, but they do grow a bit larger than this.  His t-shirt says Animal Rehabilitation Keep or Ark for short.
Handsome turtle----right?

This beach sign is for the Kemp's ridley turtles. You will note what a difference from the counts in 1947 (40,000 on one beach in Mexico) to 1985 (fewer than 800 worldwide) 

One of a number of species that would be gone without some kind of intervention.  Just back up at Goose Island was the evidence of the Whooping Cranes that would be gone except for intervention.

Lady Blue loves her site at Padre Malaquite campground.

As a national park, we use our America the Beautiful Pass.  There are no hookups, but there is fresh water and a dump station close by.

The cost is   $4.00 per night.

Not sure if we can follow all------of these rules.
I guess we can.
You knew it was coming.   The view out Lady Blue's back window.  Now one of our favorite spots.

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