My friend, Wendy, and I hardly ever see each other, hardly ever speak on the phone but we stay in touch by e-mail, Face book and through our respective blogs. We share a love of photography, a love of nature and a special fondness for The Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. A couple of weeks ago, I commented that I was curious about what the refuge was like after all the rains and that I was getting the itch to go up and see. She replied: "Are you crazy? The mosquitoes will eat you alive!" I pondered that for a while and decided that, as usual, she was right. I had a health workshop to attend today in Corpus but the presentation group got hung up and cancelled so I found myself with the afternoon free. I decided to brave the "skeeters" and go to the refuge...Wendy was right, the mosquitoes were fierce...but hey Wendy...I survived! All it took was 'bout a half gallon of "Deep Woods Off" and a Banzai attitude. Turned out to be a great afternoon.
This is Jones Lake...last time I was here, it was bone dry...not even muddy.
Now, besides being full of water and lily pads, the lake is full of these.
Not far from Jones Lake, is Hog Lake. There I found these guys having a serious discussion while sitting on the rail of the observation deck...I shifted into stealth mode and was able to get pretty close.
Stealth mode didn't last too long...they heard my shutter and took to the safety of the water...not too sure how safe that was since the lake is full of 'gators.
Closer to the front gate, I was shooting wildflowers when this guy came crashing out of the brush...He ran for a while then stopped, looked over his shoulder at me then casually stepped back into the brush.
This was on the Heron Flats Trail.
Of course, it IS the ANWR so you can count on seeing a few of these guys.
All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon even though I didn't see as many animals as I normally do. The old rule of thumb for predators, hunters and crazy photographers is... stake out the watering holes and the animals will come to you...that didn't work for me today because the whole place is a watering hole! We had so much rain lately and any place low enough to hold water is holding water. I'm happy though...I was really worried about the inhabitants of this wonderful resource. The draught is broken though and I look forward to many more rewarding visits.