For the Halibut…

During my college years, there was a station in Tucson that played silly songs from previous decades on a certain night of the week. That station is long gone but I still remember some of those ridiculous ditties.

As you may have noticed, I am fond of word play. I find it rather titillating (in the non-erotic sense of the word – sheesh, people).

Since I live by the water I thought I’d share this modern sea shanty. It is just teeming with eye-rolling innuendos and, in my humble opinion, everyone needs to hear this at least once.

Gray Nickerbean

I will admit that as much as I love the beautiful, white sandy beaches and the sparkling, clear blue-green water of this part of the Gulf of Mexico, I do lament the dearth of beachcombing.

While the amount of trash strewn along the shores of the Texas Gulf Coast is sickening, the potential for fun finds was off the charts! Many of my faves were in the magical sea bean category.

The largest and most exciting were the Sea Hearts; seeds that originated in the Amazon jungle (floating down the Amazon River, out into the Atlantic Ocean, getting swept up into the Gulf before finally landing on a Texas beach (a journey of a paltry 3,500+ miles).

Even though there were others more eye catching, the little Gray Nickerbean (Caesalpinia bonduc) was my second most favorite find. Perhaps because they were so smooth and tiny?

Their large and spiky seed pods recently caught my eye and sent me on a voyage of discovery. There’s always something new and interesting for me to learn!

Curious Catbird

This is one of those species where birding by ear really comes in handy. The Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis) prefers to hide deep inside thick brush (which is duly noted in the name, dumetella derives from Latin for thorn thicket).

I stalked this character for at least 30 minutes and this was the best shot I could get. Lucky for me, it was a bit curious about me or I would have never had a chance.

Helpfully, they have a distinctive mewing call that led to their common name. When the mood strikes, the males of the species can outperform a mockingbird in a singing contest.