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      Nature Report: Island Trip

      Sunrise on South Padre soothes the soul.

      At first light, there is only a telltale pinkish glow on the distant horizon. Slowly the glowing orb appears to rise from the vast waters of the Gulf.

      For a moment, it hovers just above the water, its reflection lingering on the surface. As the sun climbs higher in the sky the Island becomes momentarily bathed in golden light.

      A gentle surf rolls ceaselessly to the beach, and another day dawns on South Padre. A sunrise on the beach is enough to make your tail wag, but you can't spend all morning staring at the sun. It's time to tear off down that sand dune and do a little exploring. Fall is a special time of year on South Padre, and the birds are feasting on masses of bait moving thru the surf zone.

      It's an annual occurrence along the Island, and the resident pelicans are joined by scores of migrating shorebirds. But, it's hard to focus too long on the shorebirds when there is all that neat driftwood to retrieve. So now what? Let's explore the dunes. Joining the shorebirds are other migrants, and on this day dozens of hummingbirds are taking full advantage of the lush vegetation blooming throughout the dunes.

      They frequently pause to rest and perch on the spindly stalks of sea oats. There is so much to see and do on a fall day at the Island, from beach combing to just lounging in the surf. All you have to do is find somebody to take you down there. With your Nature Report I'm Richard Moore