Waiting for Nicholas

That wonderful tropical sky

Newly arrived in hurricane country, it took time for me to recognize one of the quirkier realities of life on the Texas coast. Prior to a tropical system’s arrival, the weather often is glorious. Good weather provides time to slap plywood on windows or make a final trip for supplies; while it may tempt the unwary into a false sense of security, it gives the already-prepared a bit of breathing room ahead of the storm.

Yesterday was a day to breathe: not only to breathe in the color-rich sunrise and sunset, but also to delight in a blue-sky day arching above the treasures of the beach.

Beach morning glory (Ipomoea imperati)
A Laughing Gull (Leucophaeus atricilla) enjoying the surf
A Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus) sipping from Beach Tea (Croton punctatus)
Washed up ~ perhaps soon to be washed out

Now, the rain bands have arrived, while offshore winds and wave heights are increasing.  It’s time to pause, to go inside, and wait to see what will be left in Nicholas’s wake.

Comments always are welcome.

Sunday Solitude

 

On pleasant days — any day with blue skies, sunshine, calm winds, and moderate temperatures — the beaches of the upper Texas coast range from crowded to over-crowded.

When the weather turns, as it did this weekend, strong southerlies, roiling water, and cloud-shrouded skies empty the beaches. On Sunday, the Kelly Hamby Nature Trail beachfront was empty, apart from a few pelicans patrolling offshore waves and a flutter of songbirds sheltering behind the dunes.

It was, in short, a perfect time to visit its beach.

The force of waves reaching nearly to the dunes had washed the shore clean of debris. Only the heaviest logs rolled and tumbled at the water’s edge.

 

Covered by a thin layer of receding water, the coarse-grained sand reflected sun, sky, and clouds with a pearl-like sheen.

 

Pushed ashore by strong winds, receding waves carved shallow, intricate channels into the sand. Watching the movement of the waves, words from John Steinbeck’s Tortilla Flats came to mind:

Time is more complex near the sea than in any other place, for in addition to the circling of the sun and the turning of the seasons, the waves beat out the passage of time on the rocks, and the tides rise and fall as a great clepsydra.

 

Comments always are welcome.
Click any image for a larger size and more detail.