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Posts Tagged ‘Quintana Texas jetty’

Weekend’s Rock!

Posted by Jody on February 24, 2013

Rip Rap Along the Galveston Seawall

Riprap along the Galveston Seawall and beach, Texas Gulf Coast

I simply love  learning about beachy things! Just a few weeks ago, I came across a new-to-me shoreline term: riprap! Riprap, riprap. Isn’t that a fun word to say? Somehow it makes me think of the nick-nack-paddy-wack song.

~So sorry for the Sunday morning earworm! Really, I am!

“What exactly is riprap?” you ask. Also known as rubble, shot rock, rock armour and often spelled rip rap or rip-rap, it’s the permanent cover of rocky material (frequently granite or limestone) used to defend shorelines and shoreline structures against erosion. On the Texas Gulf Coast you can find riprap protecting seawalls, jetties, and bridge supports.  It’s designed so that the rocks absorb, deflect, and/or dissipate the impact energy of waves (think tropical storms and hurricanes). The spaces between the stones are useful in trapping and slowing the flow of water, thereby reducing its ability to wash away coastal soil and structures. Alternative rock at its best!

Rip Rap along the Quintana Jetty, Texas Gulf Coast

Riprap along the Quintana Jetty (Quintana Beach County Park in the background), Texas Gulf Coast

A closer look at the Quintana Jetty Riprap

A closer look at the Quintana Jetty riprap

Everybody sing!

♫ With a rip-rap-paddy-wack

Waves against the stone

This old gal came strolling home! ♫

~~~~~

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Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Weekend's Rock | Tagged: , , , , , | 17 Comments »

The Regal Great Blue Heron

Posted by Jody on June 6, 2012

Great Blue Heron on the Texas Gulf Coast

Great Blue Heron, Preparing for Flight

Great Blue Heron in Flight

Greg, the kids, and I have had the pleasure of seeing Great Blue Herons in many different settings.  It’s no wonder, since they are found throughout North America.  Their range extends from Alaska to Florida, into the Caribbean and Mexico, and even farther south to northern South America.  Found on saltwater coastlines, freshwater lake shores, riverbanks and creeksides, the Great Blue Heron has a diet consisting primarily of fish. Mice, lizards, insects, frogs and turtles are also on the menu.

The largest of the North American herons, Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) are wading birds, some standing up to 4½ feet tall. They strike quite a dignified pose, with their long legs, graceful necks, blade-like bills, and subtle blue gray plumage. They have a definite, bold black stripe above their eyes that extends to the back of their heads.

When in flight, they reveal two tones on the upper side of their wings, dark flight feathers with light coloring forward.  Their wingspread can measure 6½ feet! In flight, their necks curl into an s-curve and their feet stick straight out behind their bodies. What a majestic sight they are!

The above photo series of a stately heron was taken from the west jetty at Quintana Beach County Park, on the upper Texas Gulf Coast. I imagine this beautiful Great Blue Heron was hoping for fish, just like the many tackle-toting visitors to the jetty!

Quintana Jetty, Quintana Beach County Park, Texas Gulf Coast

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has lots of information on the Great Blue Heron.  Their website has audio recordings of the different calls, as well as a live webcam of  Great Blue Herons nesting, giving us a wonderful opportunity to get even more up close and personal with these regal birds.

~ Happy beach birding! ~

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Birding, Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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