Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Adventuring – The MCBNC

After some adventure considering, my friend, Bobby, and I decided to visit the MCBNC (The Matagorda County Birding Nature Center).  Checked the weather – yes a chance of rain BUT it was not due for our area until the afternoon.  Temps in the morning in the 80’s.  All good.

The MCBNC is located just off Hwy 35 outside Bay City.  Believe me when I say you can pass the entrance by so keep a sharp eye out.  While there is a sign that says “entrance in 1 mile”, there is nothing that says “turn here now”.  We went right past it.  Turn around – oh yes, here it is.

“The Matagorda County Birding Nature Center covers 34 beautiful acres and is located on the Colorado River in Bay City, Texas.  MCBNC has six botanical gardens and three major eco-systems to enjoy.  We offer outdoor experiences for people with a passion for nature.  People who enjoy gardening, native plants or wildlife can follow a self-guided tour through a butterfly, hummingbird, rose, herb, cactus or palm and bamboo garden.  This means the possibility of encountering mosquitoes, snakes, wasps, spiders, and alligators along with sun, heat, cold, and/or rain.  You can sit and enjoy, or get in plenty of exercise, either way come prepared with water, sunscreen, bug spray, hats, and good walking shoes.” 

 We had both been there with the garden club several years ago and remembered it as a very nice, lovely place.

There have been some changes. 

While it is still a nice place to walk around, the various gardens have been woefully neglected.  We never found the herb, rose, or bamboo gardens but I suspect they were as overgrown as everything else.  But, we did find some interesting, some unusual, some beautiful things.

 No problemo – no disturbing the poison ivy, spiders and snakes, oh my!

I’m thinking this is the Butterfly/Hummingbird Garden

The Cactus Garden – completely
covered in wild grape vine.

We came across this very cute covered bridge.
From there, you could see the waterfall.

Hmmmm – no falling water.

More warnings - oh goodie - gators
 and, as it happened, we encountered a Clutter of Spiders (did you know a bunch of spiders is a clutter??  I had to look it up!).  They’re kind of hard to see in the picture but these babies were as big as my hand – well, maybe not quite that big but they were big.  And, there was a big clutter of them!  After Bobby walked into one huge web (nice to have a tall guy in front!), we were more careful to not disturb the webs.

These are Argiope aurantia

In North America, Argiope aurantia is commonly known as the black and yellow garden spider, zipper spider, corn spider, or writing spider, because of the similarity of the web stabilimenta to writing. 

I kept expecting to see Charlie Allnut
and the African Queen.

Just as we got to the Colorado River, it started to rain, like pour down rain – early, not afternoon, in the morning - early.  But fortunately, we were close to the pavilion so we waited it out in relative dryness.


 The river after the rain stopped - 
parts were all a bubble with bright sparkles
(maybe fish??).

Then we walked on to the parking lot.

It was a very nice outing, rain and spiders included.  A really truly wild place to walk around, look, see, listen, and enjoy.

3 Jul 2019


  1. too bad they haven't maintained it.

  2. What a terrible waste. The fact that they haven't kept the park up is a sad thing to see.

  3. Charlie Allnut and the African Queen for sure. I wonder if some local conservancy group might adopt the preserve, or look around for funding to maintain it.

  4. That looks lovely! Even the wildness of it...

  5. I assume the county relies on volunteer help to keep the grounds tidy and in small town rural areas volunteers for that type of work are few. Plus they'd have to have someone to "manage" the volunteer work, workers, schedule. It is still enjoyable, just sad to see someone's past work gone unattended.