Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Enjoying Nature on South Padre Island
At the beginning of February my family went with me to the 2015 South Padre Islands Counselors Institute. It was organized by the Tip of Texas Counseling Association of Brownsville, Texas. When we lived in Brownsville I regularly attended most of the years. It was a privilege to be able to present again there as well as to learn from other presenters.
On the last day I left the conference early as my wife and daughter wanted to visit a couple of nature activities on the Island before traveling back to New Braunfels, Texas. The first place we visited was Sea Turtle Inc. The purpose of this group is stated on their website as “to aid in the protection and recovery of the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtle.” The workers and volunteers are very knowledgeable about sea turtles. They had a number of turtles in tanks that they had rescued and that were being medically cared for until releasing them back into the waters. They had educational information for all ages. Turtles as you watch them come across as very Zen like. As they float through the water they have a peaceful look about them as if they are meditating about life. On their website they mention they offer internships to biology majors so they can learn and study about sea turtles. In talking with the workers there it was easy to see their passion for turtles. Sea Turtle Inc. would make a nice family learning activity or a learning experience for all ages.
We then moved next to the South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center that was nearby. The SPI Birding Center is also educational, as well as a peaceful way to enjoy the natural beauty of South Padre Island. From their website here are some aspects of their facility: Over 3300 linear feet of boardwalk, 5 Bird Blinds, A five story tower with spectacular views of Laguna Madre, Beaches & dunes of South Padre Island, the Gulf of Mexico, & the South Padre Island Skyline , Auditorium showing a short Richard Moore documentary movie about the wildlife of South Padre Island , Nature Gift Shop.
We took our time strolling the boardwalk to view the various birds and even a few alligators. There were a number of photographers who by the look of their equipment were very passionate about their hobby of photography as well as their interest in birding. This visit we were up against the clock as we needed to make a long drive home. They enjoyment of the birds, the sun reflecting off the water, and the views from the tower made us realize the next visit to the Rio Grande Valley would include another stop here.
South Padre is a beautiful relaxing get away spot. Nature centers are one way to enjoy the magnificence of creation. If you are ever visiting SPI make sure you take in the Sea Turtle Inc. and the South Padre Island Birding & Nature Center. Look into Nature Centers and parks in your state and local vicinity for enjoyable relaxing days with family and or friends. Nature Centers can be a break from the same old going to see a movie or simply staying stuck at home and playing with electronic gadgets. Taking time to visit those two spots brought added value to our visit to South Padre Island.
Reflection: Do a search on Nature Centers and Parks in your local vicinity. Plan a day picnic trip to a park of your choosing.