Monday, February 16, 2015

A Trip to Port Aransas Birding Center (Rockport, TX)

We took the ferry to Port Aransas last week.  The ferry is free and such a short ride that it isn't worth while to get out of the car.
Port Aransas attracts the sun & sand crowd so there wasn't a whole lot for us to find interesting.  Lots of shops for beach wear and fishing gear.  There's even an entrance to one shop that you need to walk through the mouth of a huge shark.  No shopping for us today.  We wanted to enjoy the sunshine.  We wandered around the harbor near the ferry landing for a short walk.  Of course, I found the Pirate ship the most interesting attraction.  We could have signed up for a Pirate Cruise.....hmmm
Instead, we watched the ferries crossing through the busy waterway for awhile.  Spotting dolphins every once in awhile.
We did not go to the beach because of parking fees.  It wasn't worthwhile for us since we would only be on the beach this one time to walk for less than two hours.

After lunch, we visited the Birding Center and hit the jackpot!  There were so many species of birds.  Ducks were quacking and splashing while other birds were hunting through the marsh for food.

There were Roseate Spoonbills and..........

turtles and.....

Little Blue Herons and....
ducks and.....
more ducks......
And this guy that I have never seen before, but I have heard of them - river rats.  This is not how I pictured a river rat.  The Center's sign says they are Nutrias or river rats and they are considered a pest because they can eat up all the vegetation.
marsh grass! yummy....nom! nom! nom!
They try to keep them under control.
yawn!  check out the big teeth
Controlling them doesn't seem to be working too well since we saw two nests of little ones sleeping with the turtles and there were several larger ones moving around the marsh.  We weren't the only ones that found them entertaining to watch.  Many of the visitors were getting photos and watching the river rats through their binoculars.
baby Nutrias
So, we were not disappointed after all.  Our day trip turned into a wonderful visit thanks to the Birding Center.

On The Cutting Board
I have been working on my quilt kits with the Crazy 8 design.  I plan to donate these scrappy quilts.  We plan to return to Patagonia, AZ for next winter to work at the Preserve.  Which means we will be passing through Albuquerque.  Hopefully, I will be there for a Saturday meeting with my quilting friends from Project Linus with a few finished quilts.
This one's theme is bees in the garden so I appliqued a big yellow flower.  Now, I wish I had made it large enough to cover from top to bottom.  Next time..
Recently, I have discovered Leanne Beasley's website.  She is a unique quilter that incorporates quilting and embroidery in a different way.  She has some great photos of her quilts here.  I would like to get one or two of her magazines, but they are only sold in a dozen quilt shops across the US.  I am in love with her designs, but I want to come up with my own.  It is going to take some practice.  I use a lot of dark fabrics while Leanne uses pastels or blocks of white making it easier to embroider.
I decided to practice this new idea by finding some bees and garden clipart to embroider into some of the lighter colored blocks.  I did not embroider a lot to the top this time since I am crunched for time and I have so many more that I would like to finish.
I have three more tops ready for applique or embroidery and at least three more quilts to sew together before we arrive in Albuquerque. 
Christmas, Travel, and Baby Bears quilt tops
I promised a full view of Laurel Burch's cat quilt a couple of posts ago.  Now that I am seeing the whole top, I am thinking there should be more cats or bigger cats on this top.  The four cats seem to be lost on the big blue top.  When it is done, I'm not sure what I will do with this one.  I love this fabric so much that I might keep it for myself instead of selling it on Etsy.
Decisions!  Decisions!  Right now, I believe I am ready for less thinking and more sewing.  Yea, that sounds like a good plan.
Happy Quilting!


  1. Beautiful wildlife! The blue herons are so exquisite, like antique Chinese figurines.

    1. Hi Eugenie, Lovely description! The Herons and Egrets are in my top 10 favorites list of birds I have seen.


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