Sunday, November 20, 2011

Moving islands

We’re on Mustang Island, one of the 9 barrier islands off the coast of Texas in the Gulf of Mexico.  It's right next to what I think of as the most well known of the barrier islands -- Padre Island, the longest barrier island in the world.
To quote the Mustang Island park brochure "Barrier islands are living natural systems, constantly moving, re-forming, expanding and contracting, responding to the winds, waves and storms."
Below are photos taken this morning. 
Another birds on the beach photo.    Mustang Island has experienced harmful algae concentrations called "Red Tide" as recently as last week.  Red Tide can kill fish, birds, and other animals.  In people, it can cause burning in the eyes, coughing, and sneezing, and is especially bad for people with respiratory problems. 
The campground at Mustang island State Park is basically a big parking lot with 48 campsites around the edges.  That's our rig at the far left.  Since we have the site on the very end, we have a wonderful view of the sea grass on the dunes and our site seems remote -- which we like. 

A beached Portuguese Man O War.   There were a lot of them on the beach, but this was the biggest one we saw.  
A read a review of the park in which someone criticized the fact that there is sea weed on the beach.  Seems that's like someone saying "I hate Salt Lake City because the mountains obstruct the view."   
Jim carrying his ever present I'm-pickin- up-the-trash-on-the-beach bag.
The surf here seems a lot rougher (and the big waves begin further out) than on Galveston Island.  I'm not sure why that is, as the weather is calm today. Those are pelicans at the bottom left and right.

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