Saturday, October 31, 2009
North Padre Island
I had the long weekend off for this Holiday weekend (Halloween). I decided I would spend it on the beach. I'm also trapping this weekend. More later on my trapping adventures. I grew up going to South Padre Island, were we had relatives, but in my adult years my visits have been to North Padre Island, near Corpus Christi. Those previous visits were with a previous husband, so I wanted to make a memory all my own. I also decided to camp on the beach. It was a fabulous weekend!! Camping in the fall/winter in Texas is a very good thing to do . . . as long as you watch the weather. The daytime temperatures were from the 70s to 80s. The nights, down to the 50s, so no problem, except everything gets very dewey, both inside and out. I slept two nights in the campground, which was just behind the first set of dunes. I could hear the surf all night long. The moon was waxing full, so there was a lot of light. The campground was virtually vacant. A few hardy souls kept to themselves, mostly retirees in campers. I did meet and chat with a man and an exchange student from China who was visiting with him who camped next to me. The ladies decided to sleep in a hotel . . . a shame really, because the beach was glorious! We shared a little breakfast and a walk down the beach looking for sand dollars for the student. The beach currently is experiencing something called "red tide". It is an overgrowth of a micro-organism that causes a lack of oxygen in the water, so kills fish and other wildlife. It is a naturally occurring phenomena, so not man-made. There was a lot of dead fish on the beach at a very high tide mark. But what I found fascinating was an overly large number of sand dollars, live ones, on the beach. I've never seen live sand dollars. I'm not sure if they are exiting the water to survive. Possibly. Many are washed up, and turned over on their backs, so probably die. Quite a few are washed up, and you can watch and see they sift their way back into the moist sand. And if you walk enough of the beach, you'll find some of their skeletons. You can collect the dead ones, and so I took home a goodly amount of "sand change". They are very fragile, but very distinct souvenirs from the beach. The rest of my time there was spent chasing and trapping hawks. It was a really good weekend!