A Travellerspoint blog

Day 147 - Visiting at Lake Jackson, TX

We rested a bit, then visited an Aquarium with outside fish ponds and a Jetty at Surf Side Beach

overcast 50 °F

Robert and Kathy took Mom to the Brazoria Seventh Day Adventist Church today. Kathy played a flute solo and also played the piano for the service. I stayed behind to get some much needed rest and also catch up a little on the blog and a couple of chores.

When they got back, they took us to Sea Center Texas.

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We went through the Aquarium first. They had several tanks, including a very large one with a Grouper and two large nurse sharks. My pictures didn't come out very well, but the nurse sharks just lay on the bottom of the tank. Many people think there's something wrong with them so they put a sign up explaining that this is normal behavior for this type of shark.

Outside was the real treat however. There are several large fish ponds and a couple of marshes. Some are fresh water and some salt water. In the salt water marsh, we saw a couple of Moorhen's, which are related to coots.

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We also saw Ibis's, a Great Egret and several ducks. At the far end we finally saw Roseate Spoonbills that I could actually photograph!

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These are listed as a common bird in East Texas, but seem to be less common as more wetlands are lost to development. We certainly haven't seen very many, so this was quite a treat (and they are beautiful birds).

Then Robert decided to take us out to a place called Surf Side Beach where there is a jetty from which you can often see dolphins. It took awhile to get there and we saw miles and miles of Dow Chemical facilities along the drive. (Note: these are not oil refineries.)

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We got to the jetty eventually and it was a pretty cool place. It runs along the Brazos Rover. This is an old, abandoned oil drilling rig that is just stuck there. The company who owned it went bankrupt, so the state may have to step in and spent the money to cut it up. In the far background are more facilities from Dow Chemical. (That is just water vapor or steam clouds - if anything else escaped they'd be shut down pretty quickly.)

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Robert, Kathy and I walked out to the end of the jetty with their dog. We saw quite a few dolphins swimming off the end of the jetty. Given how hard it has been to photograph moving targets such as dolphins, I set the camera to Movie and tried just pointing it in the area. These shots were frames captured from the video, not great quality but at least you can see them a bit.

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I also took the opportunity to take a picture of Robert & Kathy and their dog,bubby.

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It turns out the Brazos river is used for more than just feeding dolphins and storing old oil rigs. While we were out on the Jetty, a couple of large container ships came by. One was from Chiquita Banana - Robert says a couple of these come in every week from both Dole and Chiquita - the area is a big banana importing site.

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We also saw this shrimp boat heading out to the gulf for his next catch.

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We headed back to the park area where Mom had been waiting and found that she had struck up a quick acquaintance with a 92 years young lady visiting her daughter from Sweden. Inga had also been a bit chilly, so Mom shared her blanket with her and the two really hit it off.

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As we started to leave the beach area, I couldn't help but notice that almost all of the houses and many businesses along the coast area here are built on stilts. We don't think they'd survive a direct hit from a major hurricane, but maybe could survive a glancing blow or tropical storm better than a regular house. Still, it seems a lot of people are building all along the gulf coast knowing that someday, some of their homes aren't going to survive.

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It was getting pretty late by this point, but Robert took a route back to their house that took us along a canal. We saw many more Ibis and some ducks, but also Nutria's. These are very large rodents from South America that were unfortunately brought to the US to try to raise for their fur. The fur farms didn't succeed and now the animals are in the wild and causing problems. There were quite a lot along the canal.

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By this point it really was getting dark, so I figured we were done sightseeing for the night - but we found one more place to stop (Robert's been reading too many of my blog entries!) They took us to the historic Gulf Prarie Cemetery. This is where Stephen F. Austin was originally buried, the founder of the first American settlement in Texas. However, the buriel site is just a marker now, as Mr. Austin's remains were moved to the state capital in 1982. I wonder if he ever gets homesick?

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I guess we were homesick (or tired), since we finally headed back to my cousins house in Lake Jackson. Mom & I taught Robert and Kathy our favorite game, Rummy Cubes (Robert seemed to catch on a little too fast for Mom's taste). Mom went to bed at a reasonable hour, but the rest of us stayed up talking so late I didn't leave time to finish the blog. Ugh - why aren't there more hours in the day? Oh, nevermind - I'd probably overfill them no matter how many hours they gave me.

Logistics:

Miles Driven - 0, Cumulative 14,241
Camped at - Still at My Cousins house in Lake Jackson, TX

Provisions Secured:

Temporary med's for Mom (just three pills to tide her over until she can get the full prescription filled)

Animals Sited:

Domestic - Cousins Dog & Cat, Cattle and Longhorned Cattle, Horses,
Wild - Squirrel (Heard an Owl several times last night), Nutria, Roseate Spoonbills, Ibis, Moorhen, Great Egret

Other Observations:

Dow Chemical - extensive facilities in the area

Posted by jl98584 10:08 Archived in USA Tagged family_travel

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