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A Day at the Beach in Texas

Dune Fence

Strolling on the beach in January here in coastal Texas is a pleasure we reserve for the winter months. We usually have the beach to ourselves along with the shorebirds and the occasional fisherman. If the weather is exceptionally cold and the wind is high, even the fishermen stay home. Saturday was overcast with a light wind; the waves were a steel gray but the shorebirds wandered up and down unconcerned with our presence.

The dunes have begun to recover after Hurricane Ike; the storm surge debris in the trees and fences is mostly gone and a few houses have been rebuilt in Sabine Pass. Some houses are boarded up, others features glassless windows, and there are many vacant lots with the occasional travel trailer. The school is freshly repaired and raised many feet above sea level with a huge parking lot as the ground floor with large grills serving as windows.

Sea Rim Park is open once again but it is little more than a few boardwalks over the dunes, some Porta-potties for the RV’ers and a Ranger truck parked at the entrance to take entrance fees. Before Rita and Ike there was a very nice little museum, picnic tables, facilities for fresh water showering, and a small entrance cabin. We prefer McFadden Beach which is open to the public through an access road through the dunes and features miles of beach.

Photo taking was a bit difficult today and I almost wish for the days of black and white film. I would have had a lot of wasted shots of seed pods twirling in the wind and shorebirds with half a head. There were a few tar balls on the beach but most of them were quite small. I found some lovely sea glass but also found lots of broken glass bits—good thing I was wearing shoes. A cow cookie cutter lay on the sand; a couple appeared with their two dogs that obligingly played fetch the stick and brought the stick back to Glen.

More people seemed to be arriving—all with our fondness for winter beach wandering—and so we headed home. An evening with an Irish balladeer was on our agenda and we didn’t want to miss a minute.

photos will be on smugmug as usual

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