Waterlogged Texas

Waterlogged Texas

No, I am fine so far - as I write this on Thursday morning. It just won't stop raining.  If you are local, you know we have gotten all that water from North and Central Texas in our creeks and rivers plus a huge amounts of rainfall as well. The little town of Brenham got an unbelievable 16 inches of rain on May 27th. The Brazos River is at record breaking levels, we have major freeways shut down and lots of houses underwater or isolated. The Ft Bend County Sheriff's Office Facebook page has a good information and drone videos on my area, but the flooding is widespread. Dallas and Ft Worth are also getting record amounts of rain. This is a typical day's radar:

Accuweather for May 31 with storms moving west to Houston area

Accuweather for May 31 with storms moving west to Houston area

It is hard to predict. Sometimes we have mild mornings and as the day heats up, torrential thunderstorms by afternoon. Or it rains all night. Or it rains early and might even clear off later. I am high and dry but it has limited my time out taking photos. Either it is pouring down rain or a Blinding Sunstorm.  And this much water has spread out the shorebirds and waders that I so prefer to photograph. They can find food almost anywhere these days.

Tuesday Bill Maroldo and I went south to Brazoria County, then up Galveston Island finally ending up at Texas City Dike. We saw a few birds along the way, but only when the sun came out. There are large puddles on the beach in one area of Texas City Dike and we did find some Snowy Egrets looking for tiny fish.

Snowy Egret on the prowl at Texas City Dike Sony A77II with Sony f/4 500 G f/6.3 1/2000 sec ISO 640; tripod

Snowy Egret on the prowl at Texas City Dike
Sony A77II with Sony f/4 500 G f/6.3 1/2000 sec ISO 640; tripod

There was a Reddish Egret nearby but he refused to come closer and generally flew away whenever we got close. Others have seen flocks of American Avocets in the puddles but we saw only one; a one-legged guy at that. As we were leaving, we saw a crowd near the pavilion. Seems the SouthEast Texas Sport Fishing Association was having a big tournament and I think this might have been the winner.

Texas-sized catch Sony A77II with Sony 70-400 G2 f/5.6 1/1000 sec ISO 1250

Texas-sized catch
Sony A77II with Sony 70-400 G2 f/5.6 1/1000 sec ISO 1250

This is a 755-lb Tiger Shark. I didn't get any of the particulars; we drove up after they had it hanging from the weighing station. I would have loved to see how they did that and the boat that brought it in. And whatever do they do with it now?  

Roseate Spoonbill chicks Sony A77II with Sony f/4 500 G f/8.0 1/500 sec ISO 1250; tripod

Roseate Spoonbill chicks
Sony A77II with Sony f/4 500 G f/8.0 1/500 sec ISO 1250; tripod

One sunny afternoon between showers we stopped at Resoft Park. There are a few Roseate Spoonbill nests; this one had the best visibility. Maybe it is the pink round heads, but Spoonbill babies are just adorable. With all this weather, I doubt I will get back to High Island in time to see the Spoonbills there.

Little Blue Heron and wayward chicks Sony A77II with Sony f/4 500 G f/7.1 1/800 sec ISO 1250; tripod

Little Blue Heron and wayward chicks
Sony A77II with Sony f/4 500 G f/7.1 1/800 sec ISO 1250; tripod

Resoft Park rookery is crowded with nesting Great Egrets, Cattle Egrets, Roseate Spoonbills and a few Little Blue Herons. Here is a besieged parent trying to feed TWO chicks that are out of the nest. They are pretty well along and perhaps can survive if a predator doesn't get them. Maybe the nest collapsed, it is hard to think both fell out of the nest. These little guys can't fly yet, but were quite active hopping around and following the adult.

Kaufman, Texas storefront on the square - HDR and composite

Kaufman, Texas storefront on the square - HDR and composite

And a bit of fantasy Photo Art to wind it up. Who knows what this old store in Kaufman, Texas once sold? The courthouse has been replaced with a bland structure, but a quite a few empty stores encircle the square. One old bank building has been retrofitted as a night-spot, and they were blocking off the side street for live music the afternoon we were there. But the old vacant stores intrigue me. I doubt they could have imagined a future with electric trains, fountains and glass skyscrapers.

What is going on with you? Are you sick of the rain? Do your flowerbeds have mushrooms? Let me know in the comments below.

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