We had every hope and expectation that we would be able to hold an October Membership Meeting in the Garden Center, but it is not to be. We do expect to be able to hold the Annual Meeting and Elections on November 19.
It has been a long saga since Tropical Storm Imelda hit our area on September 19, 2019. The Garden Center took on water as it seems prone to do in this kind of event. Having gone through this with Hurricane Harvey in 2017, in September 2019 everyone was sensitized as to what needed to be done quickly to minimize the damage. The sheet rock that got wet was very quickly cut out and the cabinets removed from the storage room. Unfortunately, things have gone very slowly since then. The loss was insured, but the Beaumont City Council, as titular owners of the building, had to approve the bidding process and award the contract, and this took a few months. We had hopes of being able to use the building again early this fall. But we did not factor in Covid-19. The allowance of a 90-day period to complete the work was overridden by issues the contractor had with employees contracting the virus. In addition, the contractor had substantial damage to his workshops in Orange in Hurricane Laura. So it will be November before we can be sure we will be able to use the Garden Center. We may not have been willing or able to hold in person meetings in any case due to emergency orders by the city, county and state, but it has been frustrating for all involved. We do plan to hold field trips as normal in October and November!
Leader Steve Mayes. Meet at Sabine Woods, which is 4.1 miles west of Sabine Pass on the north side of Highway 87 at 7:30 a.m join the trip in progress in the woods later. Waterproof footwear will probably be a good idea, especially if it is at all wet from previous rain or just heavy early morning dew. Bring mosquito repellent just in case. There are few services available on weekends in Sabine Pass. Bring lunch and drinks.
October 17 is towards the end of fall passerine migration, but often brings a good variety of birds. A cold front may drive down the last of the warblers and the first big push of wintering birds. Some of our winter birds may be arriving, and often the woodland species that winter in the Big Thicket overshoot a little at first. In past years, this has included Red-breasted Nuthatch (four have already been seen this year!) and Brown Creeper. There are always interesting birds at Sabine Woods!
The trails are clear and mostly reasonably wide, and, although some care is needed to avoid uneven ground, birding Sabine Woods is relatively easy. There are a number of strategically located benches if you need to rest for a time. Insect repellent may be needed.