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HomeNL-2011-03_Anahuac

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge
Feb. 19, 2011
by
Mary Ellen Zaborowski & Paul Woodcock
 We left Houston around 6:00 AM driving in a fog where visibility was about ¼-mile.  It was hard to see the green road sign and restaurant sign, yet slow driving had led us to succeed. There were a great number of hawks on the poles beside the road waiting for a breakfast of the rodents.  We saw one about every mile on the highway to the main entrance of the Refuge. We turned south on highway 61 from I-10 at Winnie then back east on FM 1985.  There we found East Anahuac Wildlife Area with an entry fee of $10.00, the attendant pointed us to the main refuge where there is no entrance fee. 

All other paddlers had to cancel the trip so we launched at the boat ramp in the fog. It is a mile paddle down a channel until you hit Oyster Bayou. You can paddle left up the backwaters of the Bayou to right to Smith Point on the Trinity Bay. Our only worries were the high or low tides and the wind.  We lucked out and had high tide with a south wind.  The first wildlife we encountered was a spoonbill stalking the banks.  Next was an Ibis fishing.

         
Foggy put-in    Spoonbill stalking
  Ibis fishing

Also we saw sandpipers. Every time we spotted a brown pelican it kept just far enough so it was hard to get a good picture.

 
   
   
Sandpipers   Pelican in flight
  Pelican

 
 A break from paddling
We were looking for a place to get out and take a break paddling both our physical problems were making  paddling more difficult.  Mud bank sides kept on in the boat finally we found a place to get out and after a break since we had no other paddlers decided to give up our goal and turn back.

We saw the first gator of the season. It was about 4 ft  and we finally got a picture of him after 20 minutes of sitting and watching. Amazingly the geese kept on flying over us and abundance of red tailed hawks were sighted but we were unable to capture them in a picture. The weather was just right for this day paddle As we reentered the canal off of Oyster Bayou back to the boat ramp we produced more good pictures. 

 

 

 
 
Gator   Geese
  Duck
Egret

After loading our gear we took the roads of this Refuge and found fishing camps and wildlife platforms rebuilt after the past Hurricane damage to the area. 

 

 

 
 
Marshes   Coastal grasslands
  Smith Point

Ducks swimming

I would highly suggest Anahuac Wildlife refuge and Oyster Creek paddle to other paddlers.  Just driving through the Refuge is an adventure.  We then went to Cedar Hill park to camp before attending the Chambers Lake paddle the next day.

 

 

 
Cedar Hill campout
  Cedar Hill sunset
  Mary at lunch



the earth is my mother.
the sky is my father
the animals are my brothers
the canoe lets me get closer to them
Paul Woodcock