Posted by E.G.D. on September 23, 2016
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.
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:
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.
Posted in Friday Finds, Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: beach, beach kites, kites, La Porte Texas, Sylvan Beach, Sylvan Beach Park, Texas Gulf Coast beach | 1 Comment »
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: beach, Fireworks, La Porte, La Porte Texas, Sylvan Beach, Sylvan Beach Park | Leave a Comment »
Posted by E.G.D. on May 6, 2015
Brown Water and Crashing Waves: After a Storm (photo by E.G.D.)
I’ve been hearing stories about Sylvan Beach Festival since I started working in Pasadena in January 2014, and when the banners went up around La Porte in the early spring, I was pretty excited! The town sent out pamphlets with information about who would be performing on the stage, the town’s tiny monthly newspaper rejoiced, and I made plans to go on Saturday 4/25.
I was therefore, not unnaturally annoyed when I woke up to a violent lightning storm that lasted straight through the scheduled time for the parade. As you can tell from the photo above, though, by 1:00 in the afternoon the weather had changed its mind, and there was barely a cloud in the sky! Granted, the water was more brown than I have ever seen it, and the waves were actually crashing! Seriously. Crashing! In the bay! I have never seen the like at Sylvan Beach, and let me tell you, the 40-or-so kids who were playing in the swells were having the time of their lives.
A few feet away from the beach, the festival was in full swing by the time I arrived, with stalls selling pretty much everything, midway rides, cooking competitions, live country music, and a cook-off.
Stalls on the water (photo by E.G.D.)
The music was pretty good, though I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of country. The stage was right on the water, so even with the amps booming, everyone in the audience could hear the crashing waves mixed in with the instrumentals ^_^.
Stage (photo by E.G.D.)
I didn’t actually do anything at the midway, but I did take a picture:
It reminded me a lot of state and county fairs I’ve been to. It was fun, and it was worth the $5 admission fee. Normally, the beach is free, but normally the beach doesn’t have live music and a midway. I’m definitely going to the festival again next year, and maybe next year I’ll get to see the parade ^_^. -E.G.D.
Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: beach, beach festival, beach near Houston Texas, Sylvan Beach, Texas Gulf Coast beach | 4 Comments »
Posted by E.G.D. on March 29, 2015
Jumping for Joy on Sylvan Beach (Photo © E.G.D.)
The weather here on the Texas gulf coast has been absolutely stellar lately, and I am pleased as punch to have a beach easy walking distance from my home. Not unnaturally, one of the best parts about having a beach right next door is sharing that beach with my friends and family. Now, I realize that I have posted about Sylvan Beach before, but yesterday’s Sylvan Beach experience is worthy of note because my sister (and noted doctor of geo sciences), Kristie, decided to start a tiny rock collection, and of course the kids, my friend Travis (of guest posting fame) and I joined in with gusto!
Collecting (Photo © E.G.D.)
Now, between the five of us, we had a really substantial collection going… but because we were collecting tiny, tiny treasures, the pile was small enough to easily fit into the palm of, say, Oona’s kindergardener-sized hand. Kristie thought that a collection of tiny rocks would be much easier on the movers when next she moves than, say, the truly substantially-sized rock collections she and her fellow geologist husband have accumulated over the years (“What’s in these boxes, anyway, rocks?!??” … “Um… actually…”), and I must agree, though I don’t think she and Ryan have any intention of ditching the larger rocks along the way. Anyhow, fun, right? We found some really good treasures. Behold!
Tiny Treasures (Photo © E.G.D.)
A budding collection (Photo © E.G.D.)
They’re colorful, they’re cute, and they’re smooth and shiny from being tumbled in the bay. Also, we really enjoyed collecting them, and I have resolved to find a tiny salt shaker to put them in for display.
The moral of the experience? One beach-goer’s large grain of sand is another beach-goer’s new tiny rock! Have a great day, preferably at the beach ^_^ -E.G.D.
Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: beach, beach agate collecting, beachcombing, Galveston Bay, Sylvan Beach, Texas Gulf Coast beach, tiny treasures | 4 Comments »
Posted by E.G.D. on December 31, 2014
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.)
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.)
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.)
See you at the beach- E.G.D.
Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Birding, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Seashells | Tagged: beach, Beach Bird Photography, Beach Bird Watching, beachcombing, beachcombing on Texas Gulf Coast, family beach activities, La Porte Texas, Sylvan Beach, Sylvan Beach Park | 7 Comments »