Friday, October 21, 2016

Barbecue and Wildflowers

This morning we visited the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, a place of beautiful wild gardens, appealing architecture, and interesting garden sculpture.

Jimson Weed.

Lunch was at the Salt Lick Barbecue near Driftwood, Texas.

Somehow after all that barbecue we managed to try their pecan pie, which has a very nice custard.

The pickle jar.

The smoking pit and prep area. When we were here before, one lined up to get the food right from
the pit masters -- now it's table service, but you can watch the action.    
Dr. Who ate at the Salt Lick, evidently,
and left his Tardis in the parking lot.

In San Antonio, we also ate barbecue at "The County Line" along the river walk.

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Dinner Thursday night: tamales! A gift from our hosts' cleaning lady. Nicely spiced.
This past weekend, our friends organized a cruise around the river walk in San Antonio, including dinner served on the boat.
Here again are all our friends from the reunion, ready to have corn chips and salsa.
The rays of the setting sun illuminated downtown San Antonio.

Café Olé -- the restaurant that provided our meal on the boat.
Smothered tacos, cheese enchiladas, rice, and beans, as served to three of our friends.
A few days later in Rockport on the Gulf, we had a meal at a basic Mexican restaurant called Jalisco.
Gorditas filled with meat and beans, topped with salad. Nice salsa, too.
We also ordered something rather exotic: tacos de lengua (tongue).

Quesadillas. We enjoyed the meal, which was recommended as both good and cheap.
Meanwhile, sightseeing continues. We visited the Blanton Museum on the University of Texas campus, where we enjoyed an exhibit of work by Andy Warhol.
An early work by Warhol, who apparently was quite interested in the fine cooking fad around 1960.

From Herons and Egrets to Key Lime Pie

Herons and egrets are especially beautiful residents of marshes, rivers, and beaches all over the country.
We sometimes overlook them because we see them in so many places. 
On a dock near Goose Island State Park, Rockport, Texas.

Four egrets and herons of different species, and one white ibis with a turned-down beak.
An egret in a duck pond in a park in Rockport.
A white ibis -- often seen in the same marshy habitat as the herons.
Maybe more dramatic: black skimmers, Goose Island State Park. 
And for contrast with the birds:

Oil wells viewed from the car ferry to Mustang Island.
The biggest live-oak in Texas, Goose Island State Park.

Dinner at Charlotte Plummer's seafood restaurant, Rockport.
Key Lime pie was on the menu at several places where we ate.

Birds Along the Road: Rockport to Goliad, Texas

While driving today we especially enjoyed a stretch of Texas country road where the utility wires and fences were nearly crowded with wonderful birds. We saw between 35 and 40 scissors-tailed flycatchers in just a few miles -- we'd noticed others earlier when it wasn't so easy to stop. We think they are gathering in preparation for migration to Mexico.

A red-tailed hawk.
A meadowlark.
A shrike.
A kestrel.
A caracara.
We stopped briefly in Goliad, a small town looking much as it might have
looked a century or more ago (except for the cars). We then continued to
Austin, again on fast roads with much less bird life.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Today we ate lunch at Whataburger in Port Aransas, Texas. We were here to see birds (of course). But we needed lunch, and remembering the enthusiasm for Whataburger expressed in Tony Hillerman's detective novels we came here. It's a very delicious burger! Here are the two menu entries for the burgers we ate:

Here are some bird photos Len took before lunch:
Least Grebe at Paradise Pond.
Neotropic Cormorants at the Turnbull Sanctuary.