Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Fishing Before the Show

Renita’s sister Pam and her husband Roy arrived and after the hugs it was time to get down to business. They had spent the last three weeks in Tucson and Quartzite and had been on a rock buying spree, including my special order for Laguna lace agate. So now we have fifteen pounds of some of the most beautiful crazy lace agate we have ever seen.
Of course that means we have to slab the rock at the rock shop, along with seven pounds of stunning blue lace agate, and still get ready for our biggest show of the year. Still there was time to head out and go fishing and so Roy and I spent a day at the south jetty and a day kayaking in St Charles bay.
The coastal fog has been incredibly dense and the bait boats haven’t been able to get out and net live bait shrimp, so the severely limits the fishing we do. Sheepshead are everywhere and no one can catch them with the available bait. Still we heard that big reds and black drum were being caught.
We walked out onto the south jetty and the fog quickly surrounded us. It was pretty eerie but the ground swells of the surf on the rocks was only about a foot high. This should have meant that the jetty rocks would be dry but the sun prevented them from drying and so it was a slippery journey to the end.
As we neared the end we saw a fisherman fighting a giant fish, and I do mean a giant. His friend carefully climbed out on a wet rock and was able to net the prize, a forty four inch black drum. It was larger than any I have ever caught and it was nice to see him release the fish after the obligatory photos!
We cast out and hoped for one ourselves but the usual jetty gods limited us to small trash fish. They also exacted their tribute as the rocks snagged me three times in a row and I had to break of the thirty pound test line. Even though we didn’t hook up a giant at least we were in the right place to hook one. The others were all using blue crab for bait and we had dead shrimp so it might have been that our bait was too small.
The next day we decided to head out for kayaking at St Charles bay. Passing the whooping crane field in Lamar we were rewarded with the sight of five whooping cranes. Launching the kayaks into fairly large waves we headed for a protected inlet. The first cast produced a small black drum and then another. It was fun to catch fish even if they were undersized, heck I had forgotten my fish measuring ruler anyway.
Roy set the hook on a nice fish and as he was fighting it in, my rod went off! It was a double on red fish. Releasing them both, even though one looked to be a legal red,(the slot limit here if from twenty to twenty eight inches), we continued fishing and had a steady bite of small black drum. Even though they were small they still tried to pull us off our anchor.

The fog and rain returned in and we decided to head back to the truck. It had been a fun day of catch and release fishing and the last we will do till next week as rocks and wire work demand our attention. If you are in the area, be sure to attend the 52nd Gulf Coast Gem and Mineral Show at Robstown, Texas. Clear skies

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Birding and a Birthday Party

The weather had warmed and with the forecast in the seventies we decided to kayak Lighthouse Trails. However the forecast 10 mph winds changed to near twenty and so we changed our plans and started to paddle and fish the more protected Sailboat Channel.
Soon after we launched we neared and passed a feeding rosette spoonbill. It was completely unconcerned with our presence and Renita got a great image. The wind was behind us and so it pushed the kayaks sideways but we quickly reached Renita’s favorite fishing spot.
Casting out we talked about the day and I realized I had left the measuring board behind. Thirty minutes later I was back fishing but I hadn’t missed anything as Renita hadn’t had any bites. A little blue heron landed and provided entertainment and it was soon joined by an American white ibis.
A snowy egret added to the entertainment and as usually happens, a fishing trip turned into a day of birding. We had several small bites but it didn’t matter. It was a nice day and we were having a good day picnicking as we watched the wading birds.
Returning home it was time for our friend Jane’s birthday dinner and so we drove to a fancy restaurant in Rockport. The place used to be called Hemmingway’s, (Don’t remember the new name), and it was apparent the theme was still the same as we were greeted by the sight of two huge mounted marlin. A painting of a scene from Hemmingway’s, The Old Man and the Sea, depicted the battle between the hero and a large marlin.

After an excellent dinner we, along with the waitress staff, all sang a rousing Happy Birthday song, to one of the nicest persons we have met on our travels. Returning home we turned on the Olympics and I of course fell fast asleep from all the day’s activities. Happy birthday Jane! Clear skies.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentines Day and a Day with the Whooping Cranes

It had been a busy week and before I knew it I was behind on my blog. Valentine’s Day had been celebrated with a RV park pizza party. We also had some orders to make and of course the Winter Olympics were playing almost constantly. To top it all off we decided to head to Lamar hoping to see a few whooper cranes.
 When we arrived at Lamar there were quite a few birders set up. Huge camera lenses were the attire of the day and I realized I had forgotten my telescope. They were all, of course, there for the whoopers and what a sight it was! Out in the field at Lamar there were ten whoopers which represented three per cent of all the whoopers in the world.
You could tell they were unpaired juveniles as they were so close together. A breeding pair would have claimed the territory and would never tolerate any others in their domain. On the other of the brush were two adults and their yearling. It seems too easy to spot whoopers here and it’s a little bit frightening as the area is heavily hunted, (I have hunted myself but mention this because a hunter here shot a whooper chick last year).
We drove around to the Big Tree water access point and spotted two more whoopers far up in St Charles Bay. So with our daily count at twelve we headed to Goose Island for other birds. The park however was full of fisherman and the birds had scattered away from the pier so we switched from bird watching to spotting sheephead.
The large fish were still there and still feeding on the post’s barnacles. The fishermen were all enjoying the fine weather while expressing their inability to catch the visible fish. There is perhaps nothing more frustrating than being able to spot ones quarry but having them refuse you offering.

The grocery store was our third stop of the day and other than the ever present grackles, a quick blip before we headed back to our fifth wheel. A red letter day, twelve whopping cranes and a week of Valentine’s Day celebrations! Clear skies.

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Private Arts and Craft Show At Blue Lagoons

Delores and Lois admiring Delores Crochet Projects
I was somewhat hesitant to organize an Arts and Craft show at our RV Resort. After all last year’s show had resulted in three artists/crafters and very few visitors. It had been a beautiful day and while it was nice practice on setting up for other shows it was basically practice.
So this year we organized it differently. This year we invited everyone to the show even if they didn’t sell.
                                          Debbie told of her Mountain Women Renactments
The idea was to show people what others create and to provide an opportunity for crafters to meet and greet, (it’s all about making friends after all).
                                                              Sharon's stunning Quilt
Saturday morning  arrived and so did the other artists! While it was still a small group we had two quilters, one reenacter, another who made rosaries, cabochons and jewelry, and a lady who sold products and gave demonstrations on skin, face, hand, and foot care. It was quite an eclectic bunch.
                                                      Pat's Beautiful Quilt
So we all set up and didn’t know what to expect as it was a private show. The park we are in is a small one and as there is very limited parking we were not allowed to advertise. On top of that it was the same weekend as the Arts and Craft show at Lagoons and that is a pretty big one to compete against.

                                                   Renita at our booth
Nine am arrived on a cold and blustery day and people trickled through the doors! A steady flow developed with a few lulls during which we were able to admire others work and share our passion!  It was so much better than last year that we all agreed to have another show next year!  Clear skies
                                                             Jim's Roseries

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Crazy Busy: Prepping for the First Texas Show

We have actually been too busy to write and so I hope to get caught up on a really busy and fun week. Deciding to put on a private show we got permission from the park and then spent most of the week organizing it, making new rings, and learning how to make a new bracelet style.
It’s a good time to do indoor stuff as the weather has been extremely cold. Earlier we did have a couple of days of warm weather and so we went sheephead fishing with the Happy Hour bunch at Goose Island State Park. While the fish were there  they had quit biting and we had a tough bite, (dead bait). Again Renita out fished me and we still caught enough for dinner, ( let me tell you fresh grilled sheephead is great)!
Our mail arrived and besides the usual junk we had finally gotten an ordered DVD on making a new style bracelet. It was so inspiring that I had to make one and a few days later one turned into three. I also had to make another style bracelet and so I taught two of my advanced students while I made mine.
Renita hasn’t been still herself and she finished grinding and polishing a stunning Condor Agate cabochon. It turned out so beautiful that she simply had to wrap it in gold. Her work is always exquisite and this Condor agate pendant is not for sale. (nfs). Instead it will go into our private collection as we are really collectors first and so the first piece from a new stone is almost always kept before making more to pay the cost of our materials).
Meanwhile other artists and crafters had been coming to the door and asking us if there was room in the show. Finishing up our pieces tomorrow is show time, but that’s for the next blog entry. Clear skies