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The Galveston County Daily News: Blogs

February 12, 2016

Blogs

Thursday 02/11/2016
Is our near ideal spell of sunny weather a prelude to a dry spring?

There is no doubt that our recent spell of sunny weather, with humidity levels more in line with New Mexico than Southeast Texas, has been welcomed by most. Combined with seasonably cool to mild temperatures, we really couldn’t ask for better weather than we have seen so far this month.

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Wednesday 02/10/2016
How Wild Are They?

It often seems as if the white pelicans wintering along the shores of the Upper Texas Gulf Coast are divided into two breeds. For one, there are the fairly tame, oversized ducks paddling among shrimp boats at Pier 19 in Galveston, preening their feathers on the breakers with not a care in the world. And then we have the flocks in the Bolivar Flats that take off the instant a beach-comber strolls within viewing distance. They are one and the same bird showing disparate behavior. The shrimp boats and fish markets feeding the birds with the waste-catch are a symptom of co-habitation of humans and wildlife. Some injured or ill birds survive because of the shrimper. They get to sit at stern, grabbing fish out of a trawler's net or wait for a returning boat sorting through its catch inside the harbor. The instinct that tells the pelican when it's exposed and vulnerable is not dampened by this close human interaction in port. Pelicans know they don't get fed at an open beach and thus their behavior will remain skittish away from the shrimp boats. Toward the end of February, the white pelican will move northward again in flocks of many hundred, leaving the brown pelican behind to eat their fill.

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Tuesday 02/09/2016
Photos: Fat Tuesday parade brings Mardi Gras to a close

The Mystic Krewe of Aquarius' 20th annual Fat Tuesday Parade brought an end to the Mardi Gras celebrations in Galveston.

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Sunday 02/07/2016
Photos: 18th annual Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Parade

Dogs, cats, pigs, ferrets, snakes, along with a pony and a chicken and their owners paraded Sunday February 7, 2016, through downtown Galveston for the 18th annual Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Parade.

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Photos: Mardi Gras Children's Parade

The Firefighters Local 571 hosted the annual Mardi Gras Children's Parade on Sunday February 7, 2016, in Galveston. The parade, with floats full of children and their families, brought the second weekend of Mardi Gras to a close.

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Saturday 02/06/2016
Photos: 2016 Mardi Gras Second Saturday

Mardi Gras in Galveston is in full swing with numerous parades and performances including the Z Krewe 22nd Z Procession and the Knights of Momus Grand Night Parade.  

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Photos: Krewe d' Esprit Rosaire Parade

The second weekend of Mardi Gras continues in Galveston on Saturday February 6, 2016, with the annual Krewe d' Esprit Rosaire Parade.

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Photos: Second Friday of Mardi Gras in Galveston

The second weekend of Mardi Gras gets rolling Friday with the Danny Weber Memorial Fire Truck Parade, Krewe Babalu's 11th annual All Krewe Parade and the Krewe of Maximilian Parade. The Quaker City String Band of the Philadelphia Mummers also made an appearance to play for the Krewe of Eiland's balcony party, as well as American rapper Pitbull, who performed at the 20th annual San Luis Salute.

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Wednesday 02/03/2016
January’s weather and a look at this weekend

This January was slightly cooler than normal in Galveston County. The month, however, was characterized by persistent cool conditions rather than any really cold weather. In fact, the lowest temperature during the month in Galveston was only 40 degrees, marking the first time that the temperature has failed to dip below the 40 degree mark since 2006. League City, likewise, reported a lowest temperature of 33 degrees during the month, giving that part of the County its first freeze-free January in nearly a decade.

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Monday 02/01/2016
Tiny Ghosts

It probably was this winter's thickest coastal fog yet, swaddling Galveston Island this morning. Walking through it left a film of moisture on one's skin. The fascinating experience with fog is how it contorts objects and makes them seem far away, only to put them right in front of you a minute later. Distances and sizes are taken out of context and thus surprise the spectator. On East Beach, the skimmers seemed but a cloud of tiny ghosts in a far distance and only crystallized as distinct shape when almost upon them. The fog erases contrasts and blurs silhouettes, taking away depth of field, until the world is but a curtain of obstacles, all died into its cotton fabric.

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Saturday 01/30/2016
Photos: 2016 Mardi Gras Galveston First Saturday

Mardi Gras activities continued across Galveston Saturday with numerous parades and performances, including the Mystic Krewe of Aquarius Parade, the Krewe of Gambrinus Parade and the Zaniest Golf Cart Parade. 

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Friday 01/29/2016
Photos: 2016 Mardi Gras Kicks Off in Galveston

Mardi Gras in Galveston official kicked off Friday night with the George P. Mitchell Parade  and the 6th Annual Funky Uptown Umbrella Brigade sponsored by the Daily News.  Costumed revelers took to the streets of downtown Galveston to take in the sights and sounds.  

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Tuesday 01/26/2016
A peek at Mardi Gras weather this weekend and beyond

Ever since Mardi Gras was revived in 1985 as public celebration, those attending the event have seen a wide variety of weather, from sleet and freezing temperatures to sunshine and temperatures in the 60’s.

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Winter Stillness over the Bay

While the East Coast received a dumping of snow, winter on the Texas Gulf Coast took on different, subtler weather variations over the weekend. The stillness of Galveston Bay at sunset, combined with a low tide and a full moon, made for an empty sea-scape offering a silhouetted world. The quiet was shattered the very moment the sun set beyond the horizon, when the seagulls flew up, as if on cue, to change locations. At that moment a mirror is scattered and life escapes from beyond its now broken surface. It doesn't take long though, this concert of squawks and cries. As dusk moves its hand over Galveston Bay, like a mother touches the head of a child put to bed, the quiet returns. The colors dim and the world goes to sleep through the January night.

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Saturday 01/23/2016
Photos: Second Annual Texas City Mainland Mardi Gras Parade

Texas City rang in Mardi Gras with the second annual Mainland Mardi Gras Parade Saturday, January 23, 2016.  Costumed revelers, school groups, bands and local law enforcement agencies and first responders took part in a colorful parade, which was preceded by a fun run.  Mardi Gras activities continue in the county this week with parades in Galveston held next weekend. 

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Wednesday 01/20/2016
Windy conditions likely as cold front and surface low move across the region

While parts of the Middle Atlantic States are facing a major snow storm and sections of the South likely to see severe weather and possible tornadoes from a developing Winter Storm, Galveston County will likely experience mostly indirect effects as the system moves east across the region.

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Watching the Weather

Around 8 am on January 20, weather watching over the Galveston Ship Channel was quite dramatic. A frontal approach of a layered system rolled over the bay like a curtain dropped inside a gigantic haunted manor. It was a shelf cloud that moved across a previously sunny morning, bringing precipitation and grey skies, spider-web look-alike nimbostratus clouds and a few cumulus to tower above the shelf, or, in my six year old sons words, "a party of ginormous snowmen."

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Saturday 01/16/2016
Photos: 5th Annual Polar Plunge

The 5th annual Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Texas  was held at Stewart Beach in Galveston, Texas Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016.  Over three hundred costumed plungers braved water temperatures in the mid 50s at the event, which is the largest of its type in the state.

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Photos: Annual King-Fest MLK Day Parade

The Annual King-Fest MLK Day Parade was held in Galveston Saturday, January 16, 2016. 

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Wednesday 01/13/2016
Sub-Tropical Storm Alex adds to a very strange week in the Tropics

The formation of Sub-Tropical Storm Alex today and the development of Hurricane Pali in the central Pacific put an exclamation mark on what has been a strange week in the Tropics weather wise.  Pali became the earliest hurricane ever in the central Pacific and Sub-Tropical Storm Alex has become the earliest ever named storm in the Atlantic, though Hurricane Alice-2 (there were two storms named Alice that year) did form in the Atlantic on December 30, 1954 and move across the Leeward Islands before dissipating on January 6, 1955.

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Tuesday 01/12/2016
Big Skies

The one thing that still fascinates me about Texas, a decade after moving to Galveston, is the vastness of our land and seascapes. At places the ocean and the sky are separated by only a thin stretch of horizon, such as the San Luis Pass bridge. The colors of dusk and dawn have ample room to create and play. One is never pressed for space on a Texas beach and each shoreline fisherman can stake their claim to catch dinner any day of the week. Maybe it is this seemingly infinite space that let the pioneer spirit take such deep roots Texas. If we take care of the land and the sea, they in turn take care of us, the guardians of is planet.

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Saturday 01/09/2016
Photos: Texans vs. Chiefs AFC Wildcard Playoff

The Kansas City Chiefs dominated the Houston Texans in an AFC Wildcard Playoff on Saturday at NRG Stadium. The Chiefs returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and then cruised to a 30-0 shutout over the Texans. Brian Hoyer threw four interceptions and J.J. Watt left the game twice with an injury.

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Friday 01/08/2016
Possible thunderstorms tonight and impending cold snap signal more changeable, wet weather

So far the weather in 2016 has followed a typical El Niño type pattern for our area with frequent periods of rain and generally cool temperatures alternating with brief spells of milder conditions. 

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Wednesday 01/06/2016
A new year's work

Starting the year with a new artistic mission I made my way along East Beach this morning, early. It being a cloudy day, I walked into the symphony of grays at the jetty, to where at this time of year flocks of hundreds of skimmers tend to congregate. Simplicity is what I'm currently looking for, a low depth of field that blends out the backdrop and lets one concentrate on the subject matter up front. The outcome is almost like an ink drawing, just blots on a white canvas. The canvas being Galveston, it will often be primed in aqua blues and watery shades. A winter's day serves us nature on a visually simplified platter. A lack of sunshine doesn't diminish nature's beauty.

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Monday 01/04/2016
Are you ready for some playoff football?

It may have been a bumpy road, but the Houston Texans are back in the NFL playoffs.

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Sunday 01/03/2016
Photos: Texans vs. Jaguars regular season finale

The Houston Texans capped off the regular season with a 30-6 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. The victory clinched the AFC South title and guarantees a home playoff game next weekend.

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Saturday 01/02/2016
Looking back at our weather in 2015 and a glance ahead

It will come as no surprise to anyone to learn that this past year was very wet. Galveston’s official reporting site at Scholes Field ended 2015 with 61.53 inches of rain. This gave the Island its wettest year since 2006. Rainfall amounts over inland areas of the County were even more impressive with a soggy 72.16 inches measured at the National Weather Service office in League City/Dickinson.

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Thursday 12/31/2015
Photos of the Year 2015

Each year The Daily News publishes hundreds, if not thousands, of images taken by The Daily News’ photo staff. As 2016 gets underway, Photo Editor Jennifer Reynolds and photojournalists Stuart Villanueva and Kevin M. Cox look back on their favorite photos of 2015.

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Wednesday 12/30/2015
Photos: Advocare V100 Texas Bowl

The LSU Tigers and Texas Tech Red Raiders clashed at NRG Stadium in the Advocare V100 Texas Bowl Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2015.  LSU dominated the game 56-27 behind the running of Tiger star Leonard Fournette, who was named the game's MVP.

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Saturday 12/26/2015
High tides and a threat of severe storms to herald a return to more wintry weather

As expected, unseasonably mild weather continued across Galveston County on Christmas Day. The 76 degree high yesterday at Scholes Field in Galveston set a new all-time warm maximum temperature for Christmas, breaking the previous high of 75 set in 2012.

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Monday 12/21/2015
I’m dreaming of a mild Christmas

On this day (Dec. 21) in 1924, Galveston was pelted with sleet and a biting north wind that held the afternoon temperature to 33 degrees after a frigid 24-degree low.

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Friday 12/18/2015
Outdoors: Irene's favorite nature photos of 2015

Every year, throughout the seasons, the light changes over the upper Texas Gulf Coast. Its marshes, swamps, estuaries and shorelines are highlighted in an ever-changing way. Different visitors come and go, avian migrants, breeding reptiles and mammals, all living in harmony with their resources in this beautifully diverse, yet fragile eco-system of Galveston Bay. As the colors and skies change in hues, never to reoccur in the exact same way, we thrive as a human race and we grow, never to return to the past. In our connectivity to nature we are nurtured. May we always take responsibility in our role as planet earth's guardians.

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Thursday 12/17/2015
Photos: Dickinson Festival of Lights

Paul Hopkins Park in Dickinson is aglow with the holiday spirit for the 18th Annual Dickinson Festival of Lights.  The free event is open until December 31 from 6-9pm nightly, weather permitting, and   features brilliantly lit Christmas displays, music, food and visits from Santa.   for parking and shuttle information visit www.dickinsonfestivaloflights.org

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A look ahead at next week and Christmas Day weather

It is only seven days until Christmas Eve so I am beginning to get questions about what kind of weather we can expect for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. So far, the forecast models have been fairly consistent, so we can have some confidence in the general picture, though some variations may appear as we actually get closer to Christmas.

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Sunday 12/13/2015
Photos: Texans vs. Patriots Sunday Night Football

The Houston Texans faced the New England Patriots on Sunday Night Football with a chance to move into first place in the AFC South. However Tom Brady and the Patriots made short work of the Texans cruising to a 27-6 victory while forcing Texans quarterback Brian Hoyer from the game to be evaluated for a concussion.

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Friday 12/11/2015
Making a list, and checking it twice ...

For years, I've had a tradition of turning the Biz Buzz tables on readers. Instead of telling you what I know about retailers and restaurants coming to the county and Clear Lake area, I ask you to tell me what you'd like to see. 

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Weekend storms and a look ahead

An upper-level disturbance and approaching cold front will bring at least two periods of showers and thunderstorms to our area tomorrow into sometime on Sunday. The first will be associated with the upper level disturbance Saturday afternoon. The second will be the result of a cool front moving through the area late Saturday night & Sunday morning.

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Wednesday 12/09/2015
Island in December

December is a candy store for nature photography along the upper Texas Gulf coast. Early mornings and later afternoons the light is flattering in pastels on the water and the fields, and in between, it never becomes too glaring or too humid and grey, but conserves that clean quality that makes for our clear December skies. Added to the light, the variety of subjects to watch and photograph is unequalled. Flocks of avocets populate in the lagoons of Bolivar and Galveston's east beach, white pelicans dry their feathers on the docks and cranes have made our coastal prairies their wintering home.

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Monday 12/07/2015
Galveston weather myths: fact or fiction?

This will be the first of three blogs looking at Galveston myths/tales about our unique local weather.

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Saturday 12/05/2015
Dickens on the Strand 2015

Downtown Galveston was transformed into the Victorian Era of Charles Dickens for the Dickens on The Strand festival.  The annual Christmas event draws thousands and features carolers, food and crafts. 

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Tuesday 12/01/2015
Boys basketball roundup for Dec. 1, 2015

Clear Creek 60, Pearland 53

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Girls basketball roundup for Dec. 1, 2015

Clear Springs 67, Deer Park 38

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Dewdrop Art

Cold November mornings have a special kind of magic to show. Dewdrops have formed during the night along every grass and weed, along every silky thread of a spider-web, turning them into jeweled necklaces fit to drape a fairy queen's gown.

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Soggy November caps wettest fall in 74 years

This should come as no surprise.

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Sunday 11/29/2015
Photos: Texans vs. Saints

The Houston Texans came out hot against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday and cruised to a 24-6 win to move above the .500 mark for the first time all season and remain tied for first place in the AFC South.

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Wednesday 11/25/2015
Thanksgiving Day weather to be good, but weekend travel could be problematic

As advertised, Thanksgiving Day weather should be fine locally with partly to mostly cloudy skies, mild temperatures and a slight chance of showers. Those traveling over the weekend, however, may find more challenging conditions, especially if they are headed north and west towards the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

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Tuesday 11/24/2015
West End Horses

Humans have long associated horses with the archaic and basic, reaching back to simpler times when we lived off the land and its animals. Of course we picture Native Americans on top of tamed mustangs, animals brought from civilized Spain, no less, but the coastal tribes, such as the Karankawa, were not the brilliant horsemen the Comanches became. In the days of the great chief Noconah, Quanaha Parker's father, the Comanches came to Galveston on raids once a year, overpowering their enemy tribes from horseback. Horses exude power, cavalry has a higher prestige than infantry. The world is better conquered mounted on a steed. But apart from the appeal of taming a strong, powerful creature, a horse also stands for clairvoyance and comradeship. In Celtic mysticism horses carry their riders into the world of spirits. The bond between human and horse can be one of the strongest connections. Galveston Island's West End has a strong population of domestic horses, reminding us of the island's beginnings and giving us a sense timelessness.

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Monday 11/23/2015
Girls basketball roundup for Nov. 23, 2015

Friendswood 38, Ball High 33

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Sunday 11/22/2015
Photos: Texans vs. Jets

The Houston Texans returned home to NRG Stadium Sunday afternoon after their upset victory in Cincinnati on Monday night. With T.J. Yates under center and a strong showing by the defense Houston put up a solid 24-17 victory over the New York Jets to even their season record at 5-5.

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Thursday 11/19/2015
A looming cool-down and a peek at Thanksgiving weather

As mentioned in my previous blog we may be looking at the chilliest weather so far this season by late this weekend and early next week. A blustery cold front should push through Galveston County on Saturday, bringing a chance of showers and sharply cooler temperatures. Lows by Sunday or Monday could reach the upper-40’s at the coast and plunge into the 30’s on the north and west side of the Houston area. Fortunately, skies should clear out fairly rapidly in the wake of the front, allowing sunshine to prevail during the period of chilliest weather.

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