Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Coastal Photo Expedition: Part 2

In yesterday's post, I mentioned that I would post some more details on my first night camping on the beach. Well, I wouldn't exactly call it "camping," because we generally define camping in terms of tents and campfires, sausages and stories, lawn chairs and lanterns...and I'll stop before I get carried away.

The fact is, I had most of that. But what I hadn't counted on was the wind. It was coming right off the ocean, not more than 70 feet away, and completely inverted my poor little tent. I wasn't too excited about the prospect of being flattened and covered in sand, so I decided to stick it out in my car that night. Needless to say, I got very little sleep.

But it wasn't all bad. I got a nice little campfire going despite the wind, using my secret ingredient - instant-light charcoal - and enjoyed some roasted sausages while listening to a historical lecture by Geoff Botkin on my iPod.

The next day (Friday), I spent the morning in the nearby town of Port Aransas visiting some of their local birding sites, enjoyed an afternoon on the beach in the sun, and that evening had one of the coolest photographic experiences ever. Stay tuned...

Horned Lark

I was excited to finally see one of these birds. Several times I've identified their calls, but I don't think I had ever seen one until now. I took this photo at "Paradise Pond," which was mostly a dried-out mudflat, not a "pond."

Laughing Gull

You would have to hear one of these guys to understand why they call them "laughing" gulls. This particular fella' was laughing at my hair, or maybe it was the fact that I was lying flat on my belly in a sandy parking lot...

Caspian Tern

8 comments:

Hannahlee said...

Hey Benj - just looked through your latest photos and WOW! They're stunning! Reminds of me of National Geographic, ya know? Thanks for sharing 'em! :)

Benjamin Berkompas said...

Thanks! That's the first time my work has been compared to National Geographic. The compliment is undeserved, but I'll take it. :)

Galena said...

I agree with Hannah. :-)

Your camping experience reminds me once when we went to the beach and Lydia and Karl decided to sleep out on the deck of our beach-house in a tent. Well, during the night I think it got pretty cold and the winds picked up and one or both of them decided to come in. However the winds were so great that it lifted their tent and blew it off the deck and around the house. So, there were two half-asleep people, stumbling out of their blankets and chasing after a tent that was blowing away at 2 in the morning. I had opted to sleep inside but I got up when I heard their yells and laughed at them as they dragged it back to safety. ;-)

Benjamin Berkompas said...

Wow, that's funny! Thankfully I got my tent staked down before it had a chance to blow away. Next time, I will either find a campsite away from the beach, or stay in a hotel. :)

Lydia vonderLuft said...

Haha...that was a funny night. That tent had a mind of its own.

The photos are seriously amazing! I'm looking forward to seeing more as you post. :)

Karl von der Luft said...

Whoa...

The Laughing Gull is really Amazing...

AndraLea Rose said...

These photos are really great, Benjamin. My favorite one so far is the Brown Pelican, in flight. Really amazing!

Just curios, did you get to swim in the ocean at all?

Benjamin Berkompas said...

Thanks Andra! I may have a print made of the Pelican photo - it's one of my favorites.

And yes, I did swim in the ocean. It was awesome!