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Posts Tagged ‘La Porte Texas’

S.H.A.R.K. in the Sky!

Posted by E.G.D. on September 23, 2016

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Photograph © Jody Diehl

It isn’t really noticeable here in the Houston area yet, but it is officially autumn!  Can you believe it?  Summer just flew by.  One way or another, we’re past peak beach season, which never really made much sense to me.  In the autumn and winter months, I’m as likely to go to the beach as spring and summer.  Granted, the sorts of things I do on the beaches change with the seasons.  In the colder months, most of us are pretty unlikely to go wading and swimming, but shelling is often best in the dead of winter, and if you ask me, there’s no better time for beach kite flying than autumn!  Here in La Porte, TX, we are truly fortunate to have a spectacular organization that sends sea creatures into the sky on a pretty regular basis right at our very own Sylvan Beach: The South Houston Area Recreational Kiters, or S.H.A.R.K. for short.

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Photograph © Jody Diehl

At the tail end of last autumn, Jody (my mom) captured some great photographs of some S.H.A.R.K. kites, and while we were there, the kiters kindly arranged it so that we could pet the dolphin kite (and while doing so, we got a chance to show everyone how big these kites really are!).  The only photo in this lineup that does not belong to Jody is the one of crab ground-kites, which were at Sylvan Beach on a different day and were photographed by F. Travis Riley.  I hope you enjoy the slideshow:

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If you like what you see, S.H.A.R.K. meets to fly beachy kites at beaches all over the Port of Houston/Galveston Bay area.  They have a great calendar of events that lets you know where they’ll be and when.

Have a great start to your autumn, everyone!  I hope you don’t miss a chance to see high-flying sea creatures at a beach sometime soon- E.G.D.

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Posted in Friday Finds, Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Toes in the Sand and Lights on the Water: Sylvan Beach Fireworks

Posted by E.G.D. on July 6, 2015

Some of you regular readers out there are probably a little Sylvan Beach-ed out by now, but I just keep having more to say about it!  For one, I’m there every chance I get, and for another, many of La Porte’s awesome community events take place there.  The one I’m featuring in this article is the yearly 4th of July fireworks at the beach, which are truly spectacular because they’re fired from the end of the fishing pier and the lights shine twice: once in the sky, once on the water.  Even better, for about half an hour before our fireworks started, I could see the Baytown and Seabrook community fireworks displays, which also shone on the water, though a little farther away to the north and south respectively.

Now, once upon a time I could see fireworks displays over the Pacific Ocean any weekend I felt like walking or catching a bus to Waikiki, so you’d think I might lose my fascination for this sort of thing, but that most certainly isn’t the case.  There really is nothing more enchanting than seeing fireworks over the water with my toes in the soft sand and the waves lapping at my ankles, and the charm increases exponentially with the brevity of the walk it takes to get me there (in this case, it’s 7 minutes, so I am still exuding glee 24 hours later).  I got a couple decent little videos with my cell, and I thought it would be fun to share them with the wonderful Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches crowd.  Here’s the clip with the finale:

Even in low-resolution, it’s pretty spiffy, and it’s amazing the video turned out so well, considering I paid absolutely no attention to the camera while I was watching that.  I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!  I quite literally extended invitations to the event to  my family already, even though none of them know where they’re going to be next July.  In any case, the event is worth sharing, so I hope they can all make it.

I hope you all had a great Independence Day, and hey, it’s summer!  If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, go find yourself a beach- E.G.D.

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Walking With the Winter Waves at Sylvan Beach

Posted by E.G.D. on December 31, 2014

All the cool birds hang out here.  (photo by E.G.D.)

All the cool birds hang out here. (photo by E.G.D.)

Sylvan Beach in La Porte, TX, always a treat in the warmer months, can be equally awesome in the winter.  The waves crash with a little more violence and froth, the seashells are as abundant as ever, the clean public restrooms are still open, and the birds are a heck of a lot bolder than they are when there are more people around.  The other day, the kids and I literally had a pelican fly right up to us.  I warned the kids “don’t touch it!  It’s a wild animal,” and it was so close that it was actually necessary to say that.  Liam held up his fingers in a square and said “CLICK!” but by the time I went back to the car for a camera, the blue guy who’d nearly landed on our feet was gone.  We saw a yellow one by the bait shop later, though, and I did get a picture of him.  Anyhow, the entire purpose of this article is actually to give the kids a bit of the limelight.  I invited Liam (currently a second grader) to write an article on his winter beach experience, and this is what he wrote:

We had a great time at the beach.  We collected shells and saw two pelicans.  It was cold and windy.  We also saw baby seagulls.  The ocean was trying to catch me, but it couldn’t.  My feet stayed dry.  The end.

Tada! The second pelican (photo by E.G.D.)

Tada! The second pelican (photo by E.G.D.)

Oona can only write her name without a reference, so she is going to dictate a story:

We collected shells.  We picked purple shells, and shells that are cool, and big shells, and clear shells, and it was a windy day.  I found, what is it called again? A sea bean.  I saw pelicans.  And we had a wonderful time.  And we went to the beach to also play in the sand.  At the water, the sand was cold and wet.  We had a nice time there, and I want to go again with Nana.  I hope we can go with Dadu, also.  We are going to do is making crafts out of the shells, like necklaces, and like paper and shells art, and coloring the shells on the paper with the shells.  We hope we have a nice time there again next time we go to the beach with Aunt Elisa.  I love the beach because it has the shells that I want to see.  The end.

Oona's shell collection from our winter day at Sylvan Beach (photo by E.G.D.)

Oona’s shell collection from our winter day at Sylvan Beach (photo by E.G.D.)

OH, THE GRAMMAR!  Oh, to be five again and not to specially care about grammar!  As you probably already surmised, I edited both for spelling, but not for grammar or syntax.  They are totally authentic.  In any case, Happy New Year, everybody!

Gray, but great (photo by E.G.D.)

Gray, but great (photo by E.G.D.)

See you at the beach- E.G.D.

Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Birding, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Sylvan Beach Park ~OR~ Who would go to the beach to use the internet!?

Posted by E.G.D. on February 12, 2014

Beautiful Sylvan Beach Park

Beautiful Sylvan Beach Park

Sylvan Beach Park

It’s super clean!

Sylvan Beach Park

Lots of Grassy Space

Last month, when my mom and dad were visiting for my nephew’s birthday, I managed to reach whole new echelons of busy.  I’m not going to go into detail here, but suffice it to say that I have four jobs, and they’re all over the very large Houston metropolitan area.  Happily, one day during my parents’ visit, I had a five hour gap between jobs C and D.  I met the family in town for lunch, and then we poked around on my brother-in-law’s cell phone to see what we would do with the rest of my little pocket of time.  Long story short, we found a beach really close to my late-afternoon job and made a bee-line for it.

Our Birthday Boy

Our Birthday Boy

Sylvan Beach Park is a lovely, quiet little beach on Galveston Bay (on the mainland side) in La Porte, TX.  While we were there, the beach was clean, the sand was soft, and the facilities were remarkable.  There was plenty of parking, more than one well-maintained public restroom, a playground, a boat ramp, a rinse-off shower, and a (crazy-expensive, I’m sorry to report) recently renovated fishing pier.  We didn’t pay to go on the pier, but we had a great walk on the beach, and the tide was low enough to make shelling possible.  We found some really nice shells, including some lovely, undamaged barnacles.  I don’t think I have ever found nicer barnacles in my shelling experience to date, and the little niece and nephew were pretty excited.

The very expensive pier

Recently Renovated Fishing Pier

A Walk at the Beach

An Afternoon Walk

Beach Treasures from Sylvan Beach

Beach Treasures from Sylvan Beach

While on our walk, we noticed signs announcing that the beach park was also a wireless hotspot.  I couldn’t help but wonder out-loud, “who would come to such a lovely beach and use the internet?”  Well… apparently the answer is “me,” because a week or so later, I was stuck on the far-east side of town, and I really needed to turn in some paperwork to one of my jobs on the west side, and I was faced with the following choice: either I could show up at work in Pasadena three hours early and use the internet in the computer lab (functional, but not very atmospheric), or I could go to the beach.  I had my scanner in the back seat of my car, so I opted for going to the beach.

What?

Say WHAT?

It was a drizzly sort of day, but when I arrived at Sylvan beach, there were four other cars parked right at the entrance to the beach, where the view of the ocean is best, and in all four cars were people with laptops propped up against the steering wheel and/or tablets in hand.  Car windows were rolled down, radios were playing, and everyone was doing their internet business beach-style.  Who knew that sort of behavior was trending?  Anyhow, I got my internet stuff done and went for a walk on the beach between drizzles (it was high tide, so I didn’t find any good shells that time, but the walk was still lovely).  Before I headed to work, I rinsed off my shiny black work shoes in the rinse-off showers, and I arrived at work sand-free, glad for both the opportunity to submit some paperwork in style and to enjoy the little bit of free time in my afternoon.

Sylvan Beach Park on Galveston Bay

Sylvan Beach Park on Galveston Bay

Next time you happen to find yourself anywhere near La Porte, I highly recommend Sylvan Beach Park!  Whether you want to shell on the beach, swim, or check your e-mail, it is a lovely place to be.

~~~

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »

 
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