February 9, 2004 Padre Island, Texas

Riley and I are now camped on the beach at Padre Island National Seashore, just south of Corpus Christi. We have been here just over a week and have no plan to leave anytime soon. We like being "beach bums." We've been getting our exercise by walking on the beach once or twice (mostly) a day. So much nicer than dodging street traffic or other foot traffic on crowded walkways in town. We are still doing a lot of desultory bird watching. Two tri-colored herons have been around our part of the beach quite a lot and we saw a great blue heron on our walk this morning. They don't seem to be bothered by us sharing their beach--very regal looking, even with their backward knees. Of course, the ornithologist on the whooping crane tour said that joint was their ankle, but it looks like a knee to us.

When we first arrived the beach was littered with both common jellyfish and with the beautiful blue Portuguese Man-o-War. With so many washed up on shore, I don't think I'd be tempted to go swimming even if the water was warmer. The funny thing is the gulls don't seem to eat them--I thought gulls ate anything. We have seen a couple of gulls picking at the jellyfish but mostly they just ignore them, looking for tastier fare, I guess. We had a front come through that swept the beaches clean, and not so many have been washing up since.

We've been into Corpus to visit the USS Lexington which has been turned into a museum and to ogle the aircraft displayed on its deck. Quite impressive. We intend to go back another day to visit the State Aquarium. On the way back to the beach we got off the freeway and drove down Ocean Blvd.--what a beautiful view. The harbor and Corpus Christi Bay are every bit at beautiful as Boston Harbor and Cheasapeake Bay, and one can see them from the road. No tall buildings have been built between the road and the beach as in Boston. If Seattle evers tears down Alaskan Way and puts up buildings, it will be following in Boston's footsteps. There was a full moon Sunday night and the way it lit up the water was just fantastic. Our other favorite thing when living on the beach is the sound of the surf as we go to sleep at night, so restful.


We are having a great time and enjoying life. Hope you all are too.

Love to all,
Margie & Riley

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