A Year on Clear Lake-Nov 11, 2013

Sunset’s Purple Hue Tints the Early Evening–November 10, 2013

A total of 10 Great White Egrets gathered at sun down yesterday on the small  lake of the Dr. Ned and Fay Dudney Nature Center. This promises to be a great site for bird viewing, especially during the migrations.

Spanish moss-draped trees

I’ve been exploring and visiting different locations in the area these last few days. This nature center is named in honor of Dr. Ned Dudney, a family doctor who began his practice in League City in 1954. The 148-acre park is located on the south side of Clear Creek opposite my beloved little Nassau Bay Peninsula. I first visited the center in July when the peninsula was closed for the 4th of July.

A portion of the 148 acre preserve is a coastal prairie habitat.

orange fruit

orange fruit

The reserve  is a combination of coastal prairie, salt marsh, and a bit of coastal flatwood wetlands. The woods are filled with giant, moss-draped trees, and thick undergrowth. As I walked its 1.3 mile nature trail I could hear the high pitch cheep of cardinals, the melodious chatter of mockingbirds, and the soft hooting of owls. A faint  sweet smell hung in the air, as well. No doubt connected to the orange-like trees that grow there. Is it native or left over from an abandoned attempt at raising satsuma oranges? I will have  to investigate more.

Great Blue Heron

On one of my outings I visited an old, familiar haunt–the marina. I found the usual gang – a Great Blue Heron, a Little Blue Heron, a Great White Egret, a Snowy Egret, and even a Green Heron, the first I’ve seen in months.

Green heron

Green Heron down by the marina

Little more than a month ago I would not have been surprised to find as many as eight or more Green Herons lined up and down the marina’s bulkhead. This day it was shocking to see even the one. Most are gone now, enjoying the warm weather in Central and South America. Such fair weather birds. (The other bird that is missing in action is the Yellow-crowned Night Heron. It was nearly a month ago that I noted seeing one. It too has headed south.)

I also had a chance to visit Bay Area Park one morning. There, front and center was an Osprey. Either I am much more attuned to them (quite possible) or there are more of them here this year.  There are several hanging out around the peninsula, which, of course, I’ve also visited. All is well there, as well.

Osprey at Bay Area Park

I have been enjoying the exploration.

Green Thought: “The highest truths a person could discover were rooted in the natural world.”
Anne Rice, The Wolf Gift