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It's Summer and the Fish are Jumping

Updated on August 2, 2012

Out at North Oso Bay

Reflections of N. Oso Bay in the windows of the show house
Reflections of N. Oso Bay in the windows of the show house | Source
Hawk hunting
Hawk hunting | Source
Seagull and Blue Heron fishing
Seagull and Blue Heron fishing | Source
My first sighting of a Coyote after 12 years in Texas
My first sighting of a Coyote after 12 years in Texas | Source

It's Summer and we're watching TS Debby...

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It’s summer, and the fish are jumping in Oso Bay! I’m sitting in a Show House as a hostess and it is quiet. There is little human traffic today and I’m wondering whether people are out having fun or relaxing at home with their families. The house in which I’m sitting is luxurious and backs up on the tranquil Oso Bay, which is an inlet of a waterway from the Gulf of Mexico. This is part of the central flyway for migrating birds flying north or south, depending on which season it is. The Oso is a wonderful habitat for water birds. I am hoping that the building of homes in this area will not impact negatively on this environment. A hiking and biking trail has been developed so that nature enthusiasts can enjoy nature at their door.

There is a blue heron which fishes here every day. Last weekend, I spotted a snowy Egret, seagulls and a hawk. It is beautiful to sit here and watch fish jump out of the water and I was quietly minding my own business, when I saw a canine run across the stretch of beach, looking this way and that. In the twelve years since I have lived here, I have not seen a coyote, although my friends have told me there are groups of them roaming around the outskirts of the city. So, dear reader, this is the first time I have ever seen a coyote with my own eyes. Of course, I know them from movies or television, but this was my first sighting since I’ve lived in America. I find it really timely as my remaining time in Texas is limited and I am very aware of it. I was so thrilled to spot the coyote. I managed to get my camera out and zoomed in as the animal was running away from me, so it’s not the best photo, but it will do! I was so excited!

American Bison

The Official North Dakota State Quarter
The Official North Dakota State Quarter | Source

Blooming, hot summer

Beautiful sunrise - start of a searingly hot day.
Beautiful sunrise - start of a searingly hot day. | Source
Hawk soaring and wheeling at N. Oso Bay
Hawk soaring and wheeling at N. Oso Bay | Source
Plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds
Plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds | Source
Duranta erecta ‘Sweet Memories’ also attracts butterflies
Duranta erecta ‘Sweet Memories’ also attracts butterflies | Source
Plants in full bloom
Plants in full bloom | Source
Coastal winds blow these grasses
Coastal winds blow these grasses | Source
Flowering plants everywhere
Flowering plants everywhere | Source
Wait until THOSE seedpods dry and split!
Wait until THOSE seedpods dry and split! | Source
Nature's Pantry  food for the birds!
Nature's Pantry food for the birds! | Source

Sultry days of Summer

As I wait for my paperwork to leave for Manitoba, Canada, I am enjoying the summer days here fully. I will be moving from nine months of summer to a part of the Americas which has nine months of winter! I was doing some laundry and putting quarters into the slots in the washing machine. Since each State has designed a quarter to represent it, I always look at the back to see which State coin it is, and now that national parks are being represented, I am even more curious. The coin I held in my hand was from North Dakota. Suddenly, the two bison that appear on it, took on far more significance for me. I looked at their thick, heavy fur and realized that it was going to be MIGHTY COLD further north! I have never experienced that kind of winter, and I decided that I had better make the best of the summer that I am experiencing right now!!

During these summer days, this is a time when the kitten population has been burgeoning and cats are busy answering the call of nature and finding mates; these are days when sunlight lasts a long time and the heat and humidity becomes intense and unbearable regularly; this is the time when nature has burst into color and flowers are blooming, attracting many insects and butterflies; a time when crops are ripening and inviting Grackles, Pigeons, Doves, Sparrows, Mockingbirds and all other manner of flighty creatures; and this is also a time when children are left largely to their own devices.

This is the first season that a group of children in these apartments, get together in the afternoon, to see what havoc they can wreak. They manhandle the animals; they break off leaves and flowers and break branches; they hang from trees which have rather thin limbs which obviously break; they run around corners at breakneck speed paying no heed to someone who might be on the other side. These children have never been taught to make way for their elders, or to mind their manners or to listen to what an adult tells them. They run around unchecked. It is unpleasant. These kids don’t care that property does not belong to them, and they enjoy breaking birdfeeders, or emptying birdbaths, or destroying statuary belonging to other tenants, without a second thought. Gone are the days of discipline and a spanking so that they learn to mind their manners. These kids are often non-responsive and have a short attention span. This is a world filled with technology in which they are growing up – almost like weeds sprouting in the woods – a world where someone usually has a phone attached to their ear in some form or other, and eye contact is usually non-existent because people are frantically texting, or playing games, on their cellphones or other gaming devices – sometimes, even when driving (the adults in the population, of course). It is time for humans to get back to their roots and connect more fully with one another and with nature around them.

This morning, I had a meeting with the Realtor. She was looking out the window and exclaimed: “Look, there’s a baby bunny!” I looked out the window and saw a baby rabbit hopping under some plants. I will be the first to admit that I am a “bunny hugger” and I was unaware that there actually are rabbits living in this environment! I immediately wanted to rescue the bunny, but realized that nature is nature and creatures either survive or they don’t. As I had no cage, and no food to give it, I realized I would have to let the bunny be and hope that it would survive very well out there. There seems to be lots to eat!

On my walkabouts I have been noticing pretty flowers and trees, butterflies and birds and I think I may have become a “cat whisperer.” The cats have learned to trust me. Even old Tom-Tom doesn’t slink away from me any longer. Mamacita and her two kittens, Smudge and Calico Katie, have taken cover under the Bougainvillea bush. It provides them with shade and cover from humans and other cats. I have begun providing food and water for them over there and I am hoping I can get to the point where Mamacita will allow me to pick her up so that somehow I can get her into a carrier and take her to be spayed. I know I can catch the kittens without too much trouble, but I will need to ask tenants if they can contribute to costs so we can stabilize the cat population here, using the “Trap, Neuter and Release” method. This mama has contributed way too many cats to the general population. I discovered yesterday that Precious is one of Mamacita’s offspring.

Looking after the strays

Precious before she was spayed
Precious before she was spayed | Source
Precious' little bundle of fluff - too cute for words!
Precious' little bundle of fluff - too cute for words! | Source
One of the two orphan kittens
One of the two orphan kittens | Source
Smudge and Calico Katie peek out from beneath the Bougainvillea
Smudge and Calico Katie peek out from beneath the Bougainvillea | Source
Two little inca doves beating the heat sitting in the grass near the pond
Two little inca doves beating the heat sitting in the grass near the pond | Source
Stray dog at the place where Precious was spayed... I did get an email from someone who said she was looking for a dog matching this description...
Stray dog at the place where Precious was spayed... I did get an email from someone who said she was looking for a dog matching this description... | Source
The Cattery's MASH unit that offer low cost spay and neuter services for stray animals. :)
The Cattery's MASH unit that offer low cost spay and neuter services for stray animals. :) | Source
I have no idea what this is - so exotic looking! YAY, "Cat on a Soapbox" (fellow hubber) told me that it is a spider lily, otherwise known as Hymenocallis.  :)
I have no idea what this is - so exotic looking! YAY, "Cat on a Soapbox" (fellow hubber) told me that it is a spider lily, otherwise known as Hymenocallis. :) | Source

Precious and Snowball and the other kitties

Precious is doing well since her spay. Her kitten is adorable but even so, the vet could not find a home for it. The lady downstairs calls the kitten “Snowball” so I will adopt that name too. What a feisty and cute little ball of fluff it is. One of the tenants here is interested in the kitten, so hopefully it will find a home. Now that the two little orphan kittens I spotted have found a fairly safe environment and a supply of food, they are staying in this part of the complex, although they are still fearful and bolt if I move toward them. If I walk softly and do not make eye contact, and go about the business of putting food down and then walk away quietly, they seem to be a little more confident. I am aware of them watching me. It will just take a little time and they will learn to trust me too.

I took Precious about twenty minutes out of Corpus Christi as that was where the MASH unit was based to fix animals that day. I arrived quite early (partly because I was anxious and partly because I didn’t want to be caught in traffic). There is a large gas and oil operation out there. I stood outside my car and took some pictures. Then I saw a fairly large dog which was obviously lost and frightened. I felt quite helpless and wasn’t sure what to do to help. After I registered Precious for her spay, I needed to do some grocery shopping. I decided to include two cans of dog food just in case. I returned to the area to pick up Precious at 4:30 in the afternoon. The dog was still there and looked even more distressed. It was hot. I approached the animal which got down low and watched me warily. I emptied the dog food into a paper bowl and poured water into another, and I could see the dog quiver. I said: “It’s okay – come and eat!” The dog crawled toward the food and gobbled it down in a few gulps. I realized that it was not a sufficient quantity of food and returned to my car to retrieve half a loaf of bread. I also had some cat food there and emptied the contents of one can over the bread. The dog gulped it all down. I retrieved Precious and put her in the back of the car. I realized I could not get that dog into my car and take it back to Corpus Christi. I did call all the shelters I knew of and was told that they just had no more space for any more animals. I stopped in at Peewee’s on the way home. I chatted with the woman who runs that shelter and she told me the same thing.

When I got home, after I put Precious in the bathroom and closed the door, I got online and placed an advertisement on Craig’s list and also placed one online (with photo) in the newspaper. This morning, I found an email in response to the ad. saying that they had lost a dog that matched the description. I responded and said the dog had stayed at that location all day. I will check my email again when I get home and hopefully the dog is reunited with its owner. I will be so happy and I will keep you updated, dear Reader!

This month has been terribly hot, and the cats are feeling it. They sought shelter in the basement where there was shade and the heat was not as intense. Thankfully, we had a little rain which cooled things off a bit. There is a tropical disturbance around the Yucatan peninsula at the moment and hopefully, we will not get any hurricanes coming ashore this season. It is a frightening event to see a hurricane bear down on a city. For me personally, having come from a city almost a mile high, where we generally have wonderful weather, summer rainfall and thunderstorms, and cold, dry winters… I had never been familiar with hurricanes or tornadoes, and I was very nervous when hurricane Rita bore down on Corpus Christi, then veered off at the last minute and visited Houston instead! I am trying to imagine myself amidst a winter landscape fairly soon, but will have to hold those thoughts until I get to Canada.

Meet some of the apartment cats

Birds wait for breakfast

Pigeons peep down from the roof to see if breakfast is ready.
Pigeons peep down from the roof to see if breakfast is ready. | Source
Pigeons, doves and sparrows show up for breakfast
Pigeons, doves and sparrows show up for breakfast | Source

Snow or Sunshine?

Snowbirds are lucky! These folk, who escape the rigors of ice and snow during a real winter, are lucky enough to go south, like the birds, and enjoy an extended stay in lovely places like Corpus Christi, where, if you sneeze, you may miss winter altogether! This city, like Johannesburg, usually gets no snow for years and years. During December 2004, however, I had just left to visit family in South Africa, when it snowed two days later, on Christmas Eve. My late-husband did not accompany me on that trip, and would email me constantly describing the snow that had fallen. The snow lasted for two days. He told me that the bird bath had frozen over and the birds didn’t know what to do! Everyone felt that the snow on Christmas Eve was magical and someone put together a book of photographs that had been taken by residents in the area. We bought a copy to give to my parents-in-law as a Christmas gift the following year.

I was given two tickets to attend the Corpus Christi Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas program in 2005. I got teary-eyed when the audience stood to sing the beautiful national anthem before the show began. The song: “The 12 days of Christmas” was rewritten to tell the story of the magical Christmas Eve the previous year, when it had snowed in Corpus Christi – an event that happens as rarely as it does in Johannesburg! It was FABULOUS! My husband and I loved the evening. I was so grateful that we attended that concert – it was the last concert my husband ever saw. The following year, like a bolt out of the blue, he had a fatal heart attack – a month before our sixth anniversary. A few days later – I was sworn in as an American citizen. My husband had been planning to pin me with the American flag – but he didn’t make it. I did, however, feel his presence very strongly at the ceremony. When the events concluded, I told my story to the judge (a woman), and we hugged one another, while tears flowed down both of our cheeks.

Snow on Christmas Eve in Corpus Christi 2004

"It was a white Christmas '04, thrilling many Corpus Christians in what many believe will be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Here are some of the photos."  -  Caller.com
"It was a white Christmas '04, thrilling many Corpus Christians in what many believe will be a once-in-a-lifetime event. Here are some of the photos." - Caller.com | Source

Tropical Storm Debby forecast

Luxurious house for sale on Oso Bay
Luxurious house for sale on Oso Bay | Source
Keep your eye on Tropical Storm Debby which is forming in the Gulf of Mexico:  It is expected to make landfall on Wednesday, somewhere on the Gulf Coast, possibly Texas!
Keep your eye on Tropical Storm Debby which is forming in the Gulf of Mexico: It is expected to make landfall on Wednesday, somewhere on the Gulf Coast, possibly Texas! | Source

N. Oso Bay - Corpus Christi, TX

So, dear Reader, I will leave you with an image of the house in which I have been sitting while I write this, and some pictures and videos of the birds that inhabit this part of the city. I have enjoyed the tranquility of this part of Corpus Christi, where the sounds that I hear are the wind and the birds. I am thankful for the air-conditioning and fans in this house, which are keeping me cool when it is so hot outside. I am most grateful for the view through these wonderful windows. From where I sit, I can watch the water of the Oso Bay, and enjoy watching the creatures that visit.

One last paragraph: It is only June, but Tropical Storm Debby is forming in the Gulf of Mexico. Please keep an eye on the storm which will make landfall possibly on Wednesday, in the US on the Gulf Coast, possibly in Texas!

Trying to video butterflies on a very windy day

Please give credit to Suelynn if sharing photos or writing

© This writing is the work of Sue-Lynn Grace.

Thank you for reading my hub, dear Reader.

I hope you enjoyed it, and if so, I would love to read your comments below.I always respond, so I invite you to return and find my response to your feedback.

Your votes would be doubly appreciated too.Please feel free to share on Facebook, Pinterest and the like, or by emailing my link to your friends.

I appreciate your time and interest greatly. Many thanks.

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    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Smudge and Patches are are cute even just seeing them from the back. I enjoyed your hub. I'm sorry about your husband. Not many people make it to their sixth anniversary . Their lucky if they make it to one. Voted Up....

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi moonlake, thank you so much for stopping by and I appreciate your comments. It's a sad thought that so many marriages don't last very long... I appreciate your vote. :)

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Moonlake, I had forgotten to attach a video of the cats. You can also see them in some of my other hubs if you're a cat-lover! :)

    • BeyondMax profile image

      BeyondMax 4 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Meow, how beautiful and how breathtaking! And how breathy! Amazing pictures and stories! You have a lovely engaging way of writing =)

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi BeyondMax: Thank you so much for saying - I greatly appreciate your feedback. :) Have a great day DownUnder, although yours is probably ending as mine is beginning...

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Sue, I love love love these pictures! Keep us updated about the craigslist ad! :) Have a great day Sue!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      A very nice tribute to the area that you will be leaving. Thanks for your part in TNR, and taking care of that poor dog.

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Josh: So glad you enjoyed the pictures! :) I did get a message about the dog and emailed back. I haven't heard anything since. Very sweet dog and I felt quite helpless, but did what I could. Have a lovely week, Josh.

      Hi Deb: Thanks so much for your comments, I do appreciate them. I am tired from sitting in the show house all week and haven't had a chance to read anyone else's hubs as there was no internet connection. Will have to try and catch up a bit through the week. I want to see what you've been discovering at Boomer Lake! :) Have a great week.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 4 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      This is a beautiful meander through your summer thoughts. I enjoyed it very much. I know exactly how you feel as you feed those kitties. I have many feral cats in my past and in my writings.

      Do be careful when you put an animal posting on Craigslist. My daughter put a posting up when she found a lost Boxer 1.5 years ago. She put a photo with the posting. She almost got fooled by someone who was posing as a normal, nice lady looking for a nice dog to adopt. Turned out the lady was a front person for getting dogs for dog fights as bait. The Boxer is fine. He is now owned by our daughter.

      Your date with Canada approaches, eh? P.S. Your photos are terrific! Voting up and sharing.

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Pamela: Thank you so much for your feedback and lovely comments. I do know about being careful on Craigslist and hate to do it, but I figured I needed to do something. Any friend of kitties is a friend of mine and lovely to meet kindred spirits! I hope to visit your writings asap... I've fallen a little behind.

      Yep, Canada is fast approaching... I hope I will have SOME time to write...

      Thanks SO much, Pamela, I greatly appreciate the votes and the sharing. Have a wonderful week. :)

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 4 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Suelynn,

      I really enjoyed your account of time spent by the bay. Sounds like a little slice of heaven w/o the bratty kids. Lots of cats and beautful flowers, seabreeze, birds, and beachcombing- sign me up! That beautiful white spider lily is a hymenocallis, probably a showy "tropical giant" from the wide strappy leaves. My heart goes out to you over the loss of your husband. I'm sorry.

      Thank you for your beautiful hub. I'm relaxed from reading it!! Voted up. :)

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Cat on a soapbox (love that name!): Thank you so much for your wonderful comments and vote.... all greatly appreciated! I'm glad you found the hub relaxing (YAY!) I'm delighted that you could tell me the name of the SPIDER LILY! :))))) Thank you... love the name hymenocallis.... makes me wonder.... LOL! Talking of giants, someone sent me an email of the "coconut crab" which is terrestrial.... Google it and see....

      Consider yourself hugged! :))))

    • profile image

      cchatkin@yahoo.com 4 years ago

      Hi, love your blog. Find it really interesting and will continue following it! There was a really interesting and contraversial case on one of the Islands on the Barrier Reef in Australia, in which a Dingo was said to have captured a baby and killed it. Is a Dingo similar to a Coyote? I saw a very interesting programme on TV recently on Dingos and it was really sad about how one was totally outcast and it was really difficult for him to survive on his own without the pack, I do hope this one wasn't outcast? Sad about the cats too!

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Charmaine... thanks so much for visiting and reading. Yes, I know about that case.. there was a movie made about the story.

      Dingos are not similar to Coyotes. Wikipedia says: "The dingo is a free-roaming wild dog unique to the continent of Australia, mainly found in the outback." whilst "The coyote, also known as the American jackal or the prairie wolf, is a species of canine found throughout North and Central America, ranging from Panama in the south, north through Mexico, the United States and Canada." I guess one could also consider the Wild Dogs of Africa which are described as: "Lycaon pictus is a canid found only in Africa, especially in savannas and lightly wooded areas. It is variously called the African wild dog, African hunting dog, Cape hunting dog, painted dog, painted wolf, painted hunting dog, spotted dog, or ornate wolf." They are all canines but different species.

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Charmaine... good to see you here. :)

    • profile image

      EMale 4 years ago

      Now, this is more my speed, describing the various flora and fauna. Being a Midwesterner I have never been to a beach in my life but it is on my "bucket list" of things to do before I die. I am a big fan of God's creations and know that the beauty on Earth pales in comparison to what Heaven has in store for us. Precious looks like a stray that we feed named "Creampuff." She has at least 3 new siblings right now and is a sibling with Gabriel (Gaby) and his sister Ebony, 2 of our inside cats.

    • profile image

      Folkart76@aol.com 4 years ago

      Your descriptions of the area make me appreciate living here even more than ever. We are the best birding place in the country and, some say, in the world. Your writing skills are marvelous, Suelynn. I have enjoyed following your life experiences and I look forward to continuing reading your day to day life as you enter your third country.Hope to see you soon. R.

    • profile image

      Susan 4 years ago

      We have coyotes here I remember the first one I saw. I was thrilled. It was almost chilling.... Your comments about seeing one brought that experience immediately to my mind. I see them occasionally, crossing the road and disappearing from view.

      The kittens are adorable. I think I'd name that white one Rocket! He is a mover.... Interesting markings. His daddy could be Siamese...?

      I enjoyed reading about this summer in Texas. So glad that you are enjoying the time you have left there.

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Emale: So good to see you! I knew you would relate to this writing and I'm so glad you feel the same way about nature as I do! I sure hope you get to see a beach soon... start planning and that way, you will see it happen! I'm sure Creampuff is just gorgeous (aren't all cats?) It must be interesting to see how the siblings differ. I know that Mamacita's babies have different Daddies, as there are more Toms here than Queens. Mamacita needs to be fixed, but I doubt she will let me pick her up, she's still quite wild and wary!

      Hi Folkart: Thank you so much for your very kind comments. I couldn't agree more - Corpus Christi was voted the number ONE Birdiest city in the USA. I am so glad you have had a chance to learn more about my life and that you will follow my story. I do reveal pieces of myself in all my writing and regular Readers will know that. :) I am interested in my reactions to a complete change of pace and climate as I reach Canada! Hope to see you soon, too! xxx

      Hi Susan: I had hoped to get to visit you and so delighted to hear about your coyotes. Somehow I envision them more in AZ than I do here, but I'm sure animals don't worry about borders and state lines! LOL! It really is a thrill to watch wildlife and I'm glad I jogged that memory of yours and you shared. You're right about the kittens, Rocket is a male and I like the name you've picked. He tries to get into my apartment each time I open my door, but I dare not let him in. I'm hoping to get him to be fixed (and his sister who is more shy) - but not sure how Mamacita will react if I put them in a carrier! We need to curb the cat population and Mamacita is pregnant again, I'm sure. He looks Siamese, doesn't he? Thank you for your lovely remarks, Susan... I am very aware that this may be my last experience of summer for QUITE a while! :)

    • profile image

      Jo 4 years ago

      Sue, your writing is so evocative and flows so naturally. I always enjoy reading your hub and it draws me in to the moment. Beautiful.

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Jo, it's so lovely to see you here! :) Thank you so much for your wonderful comments - you don't know how much I appreciate them.

      xx

    • profile image

      Sidney Anolik 4 years ago

      Sue all I can say is wow, I just loved it, but then I think you know from your last posting, I have become a great fan of yours,and please post dome more of your works

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Sid, thank you so much for reading and following - I greatly appreciate it. :) I will certainly keep you posted.

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      Suelynn - you write with a flare for beautiful descriptions... and your photo's fit nicely. Sweet job!

      Thanks

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi Neil: Thanks so much for your lovey feedback! :) Much appreciated. I've been taking a lot more photos lately.... my last thrust of summer!

    • Neil Sperling profile image

      Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

      Winter does come early where you are heading.... LOL

      Warm Hugs

    • Suelynn profile image
      Author

      Suelynn 4 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      LOL, Neil Sperling.... it sounds as though Warm Hugs will be the order of the day! :))))

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