Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tedium at Riverfront Park, Christmas Mountains Update

Rain rain rain. This is no fun. We're in the middle of Blackest Saturday, the not-so-famous shopping day after Black Friday. It's cold (by local standards) and wet (by any standard). Getting wetter too. Going birding? Gimme a break. I have kids. I'm lucky if I occasionally get to see the light of day. Not that the babies aren't wonderful little bundles of joy, because they are. But they aren't quite ready to go slogging through field and fen with me. And what happened to all the birds in our yard? I've been watching, and we don't even have a drenched hummingbird to grace our deserted feeders. This is getting depressing.

Here's another story about the impending sale of the Christmas Mountains. The latest news is that the Texas School Land Board has voted to delay the sale for 90 days to allow the National Park Service time to make an offer on the property. This is what happens when enough of us make ourselves heard - sometimes the wheels of government can be turned back. Anyway it isn't over yet. Maybe the State of Texas can still emerge from this fiasco with some integrity.

In other news, a hung jury recently ended the prosecution of Jim Stevenson, Galveston's unofficial animal control officer. Cat lovers will be saddened to know that he will NOT be burned at the stake. In answer to a reporter who asked if he would be killing any more cats, he replied "get real."

As part of my wonderful new job I get hour lunches. That's right, an actual lunch - and an hour to have it in! Next to the building where I work there are some very busy train tracks, on the other side of which is Beaumont's Riverfront Park, a narrow strip of green along the (apparently birdless) Neches River. It would be a pleasant place for a noon walk if it had any birds, which it mostly doesn't. My initial investigation only produced Northern Mockingbirds (blah!), a couple of Ruby-crowned Kinglets, and a rather lonely House Wren. But I'm not giving up on the park completely. On another day, as I walked to my car, I noticed a Peregrine Falcon flying over. True, it was on its way to somewhere else, and was in a hurry to get there, but at least for a moment it made the park damn near interesting.

So in future blog postings expect more reports and complaints about Riverfront Park. Maybe the winter birds just haven't arrived yet. Maybe at Riverfront Park they never do. Time will tell. I just hope I can handle the suspense.


At 6:52 PM, Blogger Larry said...

Maybe you'll have to set up your own birdfeeders to draw in some more birds.


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