A Landing a Day

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Palacios, Texas

Posted by graywacke on May 14, 2013

First timer?  In this formerly once-a-day blog (and now pretty much a twice-a-week blog), I have my computer select a random latitude and longitude that puts me somewhere in the continental United States (the lower 48).  I call this “landing.”  I keep track of the watersheds I land in, as well as the town I land near.  I do some internet research to hopefully find something of interest about my landing location.  To find out more about A Landing A Day (like who “Dan” is and what the various numbers and abbreviations mean in the first paragraph), please see “About Landing,” (and “Abbreviations” and “Cryptic Numbers”) above.

 Landing number 2013; A Landing A Day blog post number 431.

Dan –  After a 1/7 string, I’m happy to land in the granddaddy of USers . . . TX; 146/177; 4/10; 2; 153.0.  Here’s my regional landing map, showing I landed right on the coast:

 landing 1

My closer-in landing map shows my proximity to the Tres Palacios River and to the town of Palacios:

 landing 2

I landed near a ditch that runs south and then east to Cash’s Creek, which flows to the Tres Palacios River.  It’s a little tough to differentiate river from bay where the creek discharges (into the “finger” east & a little south of my landing).  When in doubt, I’ll take the river hit, especially since I’ve never landed in the Tres Palacios watershed before.

 I’ve been throwing around “Palacios” quite a bit, and most of you have (in your mind) probably been attempting to pronounce it as it’s spelled, maybe with a bit of a Spanish accent:  pa-la-cee-os.  Well, we’re in Texas, and you can just forget your feeble attempt at a Spanish accent (unless, of course, you’re Latino; in which case I apologize!)

 Anyway, homegrown Texans evidently pronounce “Palacios” so that it rhymes with “splashes.”  I love it.  I can imagine that there’s at least a hint of the “a” after the “p” (then, rhyming with spalashes).

Here’s my Google Earth (GE) shot, which shows an expected agricultural setting.  The two ponds might be fish farms, which I’ll discuss more later.

ge 1

Here’s a GE StreetView shot, looking west toward my landing (about 3/4 of a mile away):

ge sv less than a mile away, looking west

 From TexasEscapes, about Palacios:

The name: Trespalacios is Spanish for Three Palaces. The town was named after the bay and the bay was named after a mirage supposedly seen by shipwrecked Spanish sailors. They imagined seeing three palaces on shore which disappeared as they approached. It’s a much more colorful story than simply admitting that it was simply named after Jose Felix Trespalacios, an early Mexican governor of Texas. Somewhere along the way (around 1902) two palaces were lost and the town is now simply Palacios.

I like this town, and would happily spend a weekend there if it weren’t 1500 miles from my home in NJ (as the crow flies).  Here are a series of pictures from the local Chamber of Commerce website (which is very well done and makes me want to visit):

 newslider1

 newslider2

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Hmmm.  More bird species than anywhere, eh?  Oh, all right:

Untitled

To visit the Chamber of Commerce site yourself, click HERE.

The population is diverse, and includes a large population of Vietnamese, likely attracted here by the shrimp industry.  Speaking of the shrimp industry, let me back up a little more on my landing map, so you can see Matagorda Bay:

 landing 3

And this, about the Bay, from Wiki:

 The Matagorda Bay system is a renowned fishing location in the region, due to its status as a nutrient-rich estuary. The mainstays of the settlements on the bay include seafood processing, manufacturing, agriculture and tourism.Commercial fishermen specialize in oyster, blue crab, and shrimp.  Palacios houses the largest blue crab processing plant in the United States, and is home to the only individually quick frozen shrimp plant in Texas.

The most obvious part of the shrimp industry involves shrimpers heading out in their boats.  But there is also a shrimp and catfish farming industry in the area.  I poked around GE, and in addition to the two ponds just north of my landing, I found the following shot of what I think is a much larger complex of fish / shrimp farm lagoons:

 ge shrimp

Here’s a screen shot of the home page of Palacio’s own Bower’s Shrimp & Fish:

 bowers

Basically, I think that farm-raised seafood is a great idea, although I know that the industry has its detractors.  I’m not going to wade into the issue; I just hope that the industry can provide high quality alternatives to open water fish & shrimp.  In the big picture, it seems to me that seafood farming is way better than depleting natural populations . . .

 I’ll close with a couple of pictures.  First, this of the Palacios waterfront, by Nick West (PalaciosTexas.com):

 8-2-00girlsail

And this sunset shot of the Palcios waterfront pavillion, by Harleyrider (from Weather Underground):

 weather underground by harleyrider

 That’ll do it.

 KS

 Greg

 

© 2013 A Landing A Day

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