Aransas National Wildlife Reserve
The more we travel, the more I am reminded that most of the country is still country. Saturday morning, cold and raining in Austin, with thunderstorms predicted, we set out anyway, on a trip through the Texas countryside to the coast. The interstate is faster, but as always we went our way through Lockhart, Luling, Cuero, Gonzales, through the edge of Victoria and across the great flat fields of the coastal plains, where fields of every kind of cattle are punctuated with refineries and chemical plants. Vulture Roost, Palmetto State Park, Texas
First stop, lunch with vultures at Palmetto State Park. We admired the pools surrounded by palmettos from the car; it was drizzling.

Another in a series of gas-station photos

With the wind whipping the palm trees and still raining and below fifty, it didn’t seem auspicious for a camping trip, but we had faith. Just south of Gonzales, the windshield and all the windows fogged. I rolled down my window, and it was warm – we had driven past the cold front.

Goose Island State Park, Live Oak LoopBy the time we arrived at Goose Island State Park, to a campsite in a little live oak grove in the center of the wooded area, it was gorgeous – but there were still thunderstorms predicted to move in. We ate supper in the dark and a misty drizzle. As soon as we had tucked in, it rained harder. There is nothing as cozy as a warm sleeping bag, in a dry tent, in the rain.
Campsite

 

Sourdough Pancakes

We woke up to clear blue skies, and cooked up a batch of sourdough pancakes, one of our camping staples for decades. Somehow they are much better cooked on a campfire or camp stove and eaten outdoors.

Live oaks

The oak grove was alive with birds, mostly the ones familiar from our back yard, cardinals, titmice, cardinals, but with a pack of unseen but heard warblers. A great blue heron rose from the pond.

Our plan for the day was to drive south to Mustang Island State Park and walk the beach. To get there, first a bridge across Copano Bay, through Rockport and Fulton, and take the ferry from Aransas Pass to Port Aransas.

We saw dolphins from the ferry (sorry, no pictures of the dolphins.Aransas Ferry

Brids on the beachAnd gulls lined up along the beach.

Mustang Island State Park Beach

Find the Ghost Crabs

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