Goose Island State Park at New Years
After our arrival to Goose Island State Pak back on New Years Day, we stopped off at the short boardwalk in the marsh on the north end of the bayside campsites. There were several wading birds in the areas, including these roseate spoonbills, to keep our attention for a few minutes. The wind was brisk, blowing off of Copano Bay from the north, so we were bundled up despite the sunny day.
Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea
Cannonball Jelly, Stomolophus meleagris
There were quite a few cannonball jellies on the shoreline and it was a good opportunity for Forest to feel the hard, rubbery bell of this usually innocuous to humans jelly. Cannonball jellies are a favorite for leatherback sea turtles in addition to other jelly species, which is another reason you should keep your plastics out of the ocean as they mimic the look of a jelly and sea turtles aren’t exactly able to differentiate before something perilous happens after they take a bite.
Next, we walked the recently rebuilt longer boardwalk on the south end of the bayside camping and Chris got some fishing in while Forest and I explored the boardwalk. About halfway down are stairs leading to an oyster shell “island” that at lower tides you can walk out on. The bay here isn’t very deep so the stairs also allow fisherman to do some wade fishing, too.
Semipalmated Plover, Charadrius semipalmatus
Here’s Forest entranced with the cannonball jellies.
Next, we drove over towards the Goose Island Oak but stopped in front of one of the homes between the main state park and the oak to watch a pair of whooping cranes for a few minutes.
A pair of white pelicans were floating close to shore in the bay and it made an easy photo opportunity outside of the car window as we eased by.
And of course, visiting the Goose Island Oak aka The Big Tree. She’s showing her age and I’m not sure how many more decades or centuries she will keep going but for now, we enjoy her gnarled trunk and spidery limbs while we can and hope another direct hit from a hurricane doesn’t happen any time soon.
We drove back to the pasture where the whooping cranes were and hung out with sandhill cranes for a while and tried to be patient while the whooping cranes preened their feathers off in the distance.
It was a productive but short trip to the state park. We do have plans to return very soon as long as the February weather cooperates!
What a great visit and thanks for sharing those lovely photos. Sadly, I’ve never visited, though it’s only a few hours drive for me. You little guy is a cutey and look at him with his mask. Good work, Mom!