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Heading to the Lydia Ann Light-house on a Coastal Bend Kayak tour along the Lighthouse Lakes Paddling Trail, near Port Aransas, on April 19, 2024.As I peer through binoculars from my kayak, watching a great blue heron promenade through a tangle of mangroves along the Aransas Channel, I hear a ripple of water and a puff of air. A bottlenose dolphin has surfaced no more than six feet from my boat, its shiny dorsal fin catching the morning light. The creature dives, then reappears even closer, again exhaling with a loud, declarative huff, before taking another breath and returning to the depths. Then it swims toward its pod of maybe eight or ten others in the distance. I turn back to the heron in time to see it snag a silver minnow in its beak, toss back its head, and swallow the fish in a single bite.So plentiful are…

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