Sunday, April 29, 2012

Port Aransas

Last weekend, my biology class traveled down to Port Aransas, Texas for a good ol' time by the seaside. We studied a restored marshland, ate at the original Whataburger frolicked on the beach at midnight, walked along a jetty, saved a pelican, collected plankton samples, examined several species of marine life, and explored the small beach town.

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The Marine Science Institute, where we stayed, is owned and funded by the University of Texas! On the site location, they have a restored marshland which cost several million dollars to accomplish.
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The Marine Science Institute takes in injured animals, specifically owls and pelicans.
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THE RESCUE

Walking along the jetty was no walk in the park. The slippery algae caused several us to lose footing at times, and the crowd spread out along the rocks largely consisted of fishermen, gritty and earning a livelihood. At the end of the jetty, we celebrated how far we had come. Here, we also noticed something trapped between the rocks...
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A poor pelican had wedged himself in between the rocks. With the rise of the tide, water may have helped the bird push himself free, but this would be several hours coming. We phoned our professor who called the whole situation "nature," and he advised against us interfering. Instead of following that advice, we borrowed a fishing net and decided to lever the pelican free.
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Hello pelican! The bird stretched his wings and was reminded of freedom. Our avian friend then began to rest after a long struggle of trying to break out, and began to dry his wings after being submerged.



ON A BOAT

We examined plankton and fish and crabs and stingrays and dolphins swimming alongside the boat.
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Overall, the bio trip was a full, busy twenty-four hours.
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