Sunday, February 27, 2011

Don't Drink The Kool-Aid


Looks like Julie is taking a trip to South America. She's been sitting at the harbor for a couple of years...up for sale. The red, yellow and green flag is the national flag of Guyana, most memorable to me for being the country in which Jim Jones convinced or forced some 900 of his followers to drink poisoned Kool-Aid, bringing about one of the largest mass suicide/murders in history. Shrimping is still big business in that part of the world. I drove past the Aransas Marine Ways shipyard and the Carmella Marie was flying the colors too. I guess these old girls have many more years of fishing ahead since they don't give up on a boat down there till they can see through it. Bon Voyage Julie and Carmella Marie! Must have been a good buying trip for the Guyanese...you can see a trailered boat and a Cat diesel engine on the back deck and there's no telling what treasures are in the ice hold.
Minolta 100-200 f4

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Usual Amenities


Conn Brown Harbor offers all the usual amenities and modern conveniences!
I guess I'm the kind of guy that can joke about most things...see the humor in life but in reality, sights like this offend my sense of civic pride...come on people, the city has a collection site for this kind of thing...probably closer to you than the harbor. It's sad but this isn't an isolated incidence...there are tires, furniture and an eclectic mix of refuse...burns me up...almost like they come and dump their junk in my front yard...hope the 'skeeters ate them up while they were doing this! :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Long Train To Nowhere


The sounds of trains used to be pretty common in Aransas Pass but now, after the carbon black plant closed down, they're just one more thing that AP doesn't have anymore. The remaining tracks are just used to stash empty cars till they're needed.


After looking at the idle rail cars, I went on to the harbor and caught this Great Blue Heron as he he landed on a piling.




I was shooting with strong back light so I worked my way around him to try to get a shot with better light.



As I moved around him, he moved too so he could keep a wary eye on me.



The birds weren't the only things flying overhead but, to me, they were much more interesting than the plane.
The rail cars were shot with the Sigma 12-24 all others with the Sony 70-300 G




Thursday, February 24, 2011

Strange Building And Another One Bites The Dust


After yesterday's post about "The Rattle", my old friend John inquired about the building in the background. I explained that it was actually a boat...the Deep Sea Champion is a tender for a commercial diving company...she hasn't been too busy lately.


Meanwhile, across the harbor, The Carmella Marie went under the torch today



They cut all the rigging off of her and I guess it's just a matter of time till she's gone.



Guess I'll post one last picture and sign out before I get off on a rant!



My lenses for today were the Minolta 24-105 and the Minolta 100-200...two oldies but goodies.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Rattle


Photographs are such wonderful, descriptive things. Not only does the graphic depiction of a person, place or thing give us a visual account of the way things are, they also give us the vehicle for drawing inferences and coming to conclusions. By looking at today's photograph, for example, we may infer several things:
#1- It was a very cloudy,dreary looking, overcast afternoon in Aransas Pass, Texas.
#2- John's creative juices weren't exactly overflowing today. (possibly influenced by #1, above)
#3- John REALLY needs to wash his truck!
#4- Some people will stoop to any level just to find material for a post.
And, perhaps, most important:
#5- Country boys really love their trucks...even when it's a 15 year old gas guzzling, oil burning, banged-up old Dodge that I call "The Rattle"...she starts every morning and gets me "there and back"...what else could a guy ask?
You can probably look at this photo and draw some conclusions of your own...feel free to share! :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

the Wind Was Not My Friend


I found these on a tree in front of the senior center...on 13th street in Aransas Pass. People tell me this is Ornamental Pear but I don't really know. The blossoms are beautiful but the wind was blowing so hard that I had a real hard time chasing focus. I'll try again on a calmer day.
Minolta 70-210/4


Sigma 70/2.8 macro



I'm seeing more and more of these little yellow flowers and the bugs are finding them too...Spring  is just around the corner!
Sigma 70/2.8 macro

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Meter Is Running


This sign is a fairly recent addition at the City Docks at Conn Brown Harbor. It's a very good indication of how things have changed in Aransas Pass...the shrimpers I used to know would have torn it down and hung it in a bar somewhere.


This is one of those 6.00/hr. parking slots. You'd think for $144.00 per day, you'd at least get a pier that would support a man's weight.



It was a beautiful day though and I got some shots to prove it!







This is a stabiliser...when the outriggers are down, these are lowered into the water, one on each side...they run just below the surface of the water and pull down on the boat...really helps to keep the boat from rolling side to side. With that little tidbit of trawler wisdom, I'll bid y'all adios!
Sigma 12-24/4.5-5.6

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Is It? ...Could It Be? ...


Could it be a sign of impending Spring?...or is it just one of those tough little specimens that refused to die on schedule? I think it's probably the latter but I can always hope.


I don't always title my photos but I call this one "Happy Tug"! No, I haven't reverted to childhood, with happy boats and little engines that could. Something about this boat just looked happy to me...maybe the yellow trim did it or maybe it was just too beautiful of a day to be anything but happy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

6599


It must be my week for helicopters. I was down at the bay front late this afternoon and this Coast Guard bird...tail number 6599, was doing a pattern search over Aransas Bay. I don't have a clue what they were looking for but they made a lot of passes. Whatever it was, I hope there was a positive outcome.


Unless there's been a change, the Coast Guard aviation unit flies out of NAS Corpus Christi and they cover a large area of the coast and the Gulf. Just above the tail number the phrase "Lone Star SAR" is painted on the tail...SAR being Search and Rescue, of course. These men and women do a great job and their courage and selfless service are greatly appreciated!
Sony 70-300 G

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Angels From Above


I was at the harbor today (hard to believe, huh?)...up on Allen, on the North end. I kept hearing sirens close by and went to investigate. When I got to the South end, down by the boat ramps, there were a lot of emergency vehicles there. I learned that an unfortunate soul had fallen out of a boat, had been run over by the boat and that the spinning prop had hit him and caused really serious injury. Halo Flight was on the way.


The Police and Fire department personnel had cleared an LZ right at the head of the ramps.




The pilot showed a lot of skill and a lot of nerve by threading his way between power lines and cars. He sat the chopper down just as slick as a button.





They wheeled the poor guy  out and loaded him up...quickly!



Lift off...yeah, I was pretty close!




Just as quickly as they had come, they were gone! These people are honest to goodness heroes. I wish them all the best...and prayers for the poor guy from the boat.
Minolta 100-200/4.5



Saturday, February 12, 2011

Today's Meeting At Key Allegro


It was such a beautiful Saturday afternoon and I took advantage of it. I started my travels at the harbor but things were pretty dead there...so I headed over to Rockport and Fulton and was rewarded with lots of birds. This group was between Fulton Beach Road and Key Allegro.


The sun was exceptionally bright and there wasn't a cloud in sight.



I love the pelicans and it's not often that I can get the browns and the whites in the same shot but there were plenty of both varieties on hand today.



There were a lot of skimmers there too and I was able to catch one doing what they're named for...skimming. They are fast and hard to catch in action.



Here's another Skimmer...flying over and looking for dinner. Hopefully, with more good weather in the forecast, I can catch up with my photo-therapy...cold and wet weather have had me housebound far too long!
Sony 70-300 G

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cove Harbor


I went to Cove Harbor today. It's just south of Rockport on "old 35" and just a short drive from home. You can usually see a good variety of birds there but the "pickins" were pretty slim today.
Minolta 500/8

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Brrr


Why is this pigeon all hunkered down and puffed up? Doesn't he know he's in the sub-tropical paradise of south Texas? After all...it was a balmy 33 degrees at 4:00 PM, when I captured his portrait...wind chill 20! I guess we're in for another little stretch of cold weather...just as I was about to thaw out from the last go 'round.
Sony 70-300 G

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Office With A View


The name of this boat sounds more appropriate for a catholic church in a depressed neighborhood than it does for a tow boat...but she sure has a lot of nice windows in the wheelhouse.
Minolta 500/8

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Big Thaw


Woo Hoo, two posts in one day...must have something to do with cabin fever! We actually got up to 42 degrees this afternoon. Another hard freeze tonight...then back to business as usual.
Minolta 500/8

Nanook Of The North


Aransas Pass is still in the deep freeze...we didn't get the snow that was predicted but a freezing rain left everything covered with ice. I stepped out onto my back porch this morning and discovered something I had apparently forgotten; ...ice is slick...I didn't fall but the little dance I performed would not have been out of place on one of those TV dance competitions! Later in the morning, I had some things to attend to at the office and at the barn so I snapped a quick self-portrait.
cell phone camera

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Annie


It's still very cold in south Texas...I asked Annie if she would consider posing for me so I wouldn't have to get out in the weather to get a shot for a post...this is the sideways look she gave me. Hey, she's 13 years old...she's entitled.
Sigma 50/1.4

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

No Bizness Today


We started our day at 24 degrees, 20 mph Northerly winds and a wind chill of 10...it went downhill from there! The temps did rise by about 10 degrees in the course of the day but the Texas utility commission decided the electrical power grid was "unbalanced" so they imposed a Rolling Brownout. At one time or another, the whole town was without electrical power on the coldest day (so far) of the winter. Then two water mains broke leaving the town without water...If our Northern friends (Yankees) ever hear that one little cold snap shut down the whole town, We'll never hear the end of it! :) It's no wonder that the bait shop was locked up in the middle of the day...I don't think many folks were too interested in fishing. Y'all stay warm now, ya hear?
Sigma 50/1.4