Well we have tasted the social life (wildlife) in the Rockport/Fulton, TX area and decided to checkout a different type of wildlife at the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. We traveled north on Hwy 35 for about 40 miles to a whole different look at south Texas. Our first stop on our self-guided auto tour brought us up close with a good sized gator who didn't mind having his picture taken. Just up the road we stopped at a large pond and were greeted by a large variety of wild ducks including Blue wing and Green wing Teals. Across the pond was a very large gator and right behind him two large wild Ferril Pigs appeared right on cue. They seemed to want to checkout the gator and strolled right up to the big boy. Lucky for them the gator must of had his lunch already so the pigs lived to root another day. I'm sure the wildlife managers would have liked to have seen a different outcome as they are trying to eliminate the pigs from the refuge. Back in the early 1900's Russian Boars were brought in for the benefit of hunters. The boars inter-mixed with domestic hogs and the Ferril Pigs were created. The problem is they root up many native plants and grasses and are crowding out the native smaller pigs, (Javelinas).
Our next side trip took us about 175 miles to the south to see what the wildlife was like on South Padre Island. I can see what the college kids like about this place as between every other hotel is a bar and grill and a beach access. If you have ever been to Clearwater Beach in FL you would find this is the western version of that. It was a good day but I am glad we landed close to North Padre Island and Mustang Island as it is less crowded and more natural beach to enjoy.
On the way back north to Rockport we were stopped at a US Border Patrol check point. We were greeted by armed uniformed soldiers with drug sniffing dogs. They spent some time with the car just ahead of us, making a couple trips around with the dogs. As we stopped and put down the window they looked at us, decided we looked harmless and only asked if we were US citizens. I was glad the dog knew what he was looking for as I had been toting my fishing gear in the bed of the truck including shrimp for bait. In addition I had just cracked open a fresh bottle of Ibuprofen so I am glad the dog was off his game. As we pulled out of the check point we smiled as we knew this is one thing we would not have to add to our bucket list.
Just more fun on the wild side, the B-side and back again. Until next time remember to glance at the other side of the street from time to time.