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Nice Beach

11/30/17

Morning Walk

Adventure Location:  Rockport,Texas
Adventure Date: 11/30/2017

A little bit brisk is the description for this early morning on the bay. But by an hour after sunrise it was tee shirt weather the rest of the day and evening. The OFM had the idea he would walk a big loop at the beach park this morning. It turned out to be  small loop around the bird refuge section and the saltwater swimming area. We started at  the old wood pier and a walk out to the end of it and back to the parking lot.



That pier was a very inviting friendly pier this morning. 

From the pier we looped over to the Allegro Channel jetty and out to the end an back. Then a speedy meander around the salt water swimming area. When that meander got to the channel again we turned left and made our way around the large bird sanctuary area to the entry road. From there we meandered through the parking lot and hither and yon until we got back to the truck. 

By then the OFM had some loudly complaining joints so we held a bench down for a few minutes. No we do not know how far we walked. The current object is to walk as far as we can until the pain is enough then quit.

However this morning, it was so beautiful that the fishing pier called the OFM back onto it to do some fishing. The fishing rod had already gone onto the pier to wait for us.



It jumped up with joy and landed in the OFM’s hand and away we went to try our luck. We did catch one undersized speckled trout. It went back into the water to grow up. After an hour or so of fishing in the wonderful weather the OFM wanted to leave.

About this time three nice ladies came onto the pier to fish and we talked about the area for a while. They were here for their first time so the OFM flapped his lips for a good while. It was a nice interlude before we left for the Castle.

Incidentally the camera managed to take some more pictures for future blogs. All in all it was a great cool bright morning for trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/29/17

OFM In A Fog

Adventure Location:  Rockport,Texas
Adventure Date: 11/29/2017

The morning was an early awakening and then headed to the waterfront to look around. The OFM was suffering residual migraine difficulties so we knew it had to be a gentle day. As we meandered around the harbor and the light brightened enough to see, we saw a sight we had not seen here before. There was a thick fog bank out on the bay working its way over to the Rockport Beach area. 

Usually the whole is area is fogged in or none of it. We wondered what caused this difference. As the sun made more and more appearance the fog bank seemed to run around the area making different scenes to enjoy. Photographing fog is not an easy task we found out. However we think it makes a nice picture.




With the OFM being not in the best form the Teams voted to just ease around for a while this morning letting His Highness just take pictures. The Feather Leg Locals voted in favor of that. Beside this way they get there picture put out on the web for all to admire.




The vegetation of the shore seems to be recovering rather well from Hurricane Harvey. Over on the Allegro Channel peninsula the different types of shore succulent are thriving again. The grassy type of vegetation is taking longer to get recovered but is showing signs of coming back also. This particular succulent was extra vibrant this morning it seemed. It had had a fresh fog bath and seemed to be ready for a new day of growth.




We also stumbled across a palm leaf stem that had apparently been in the water a good while. This was another new event for the Teams. We had not seen barnacles growing on a palm limb before. This on was washed up on the Rockport Beach near the wood fishing pier.




If a person looks carefully, it seems there is always something interesting washing up of the shore of any large body of water. But we think ocean shores are the best of all for looking for unique things. December is a rather good year on the beaches around here normally. We are really looking forward to what hurricane remnants come ashore during the winter wave action at the ocean front.
Winter beach combing is always a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/27/17

Seagrass Mess

Adventure Location:  Light House Lakes Park,Texas
Adventure Date: 11/23/2017

Light House Lakes Park is on highway 361 between Aransas Pass, Texas and Port Aransas, Texas. LHL fronts on what we hear called the shrimp boat channel. It provides a great area for shore access to some good fishing as well as a heavily used paddle craft launching location. Even on a less than ideal day like this day was, there were plenty of folks launching to go fishing in the marshes surrounding the the area.



Hurricane Harvey flooded this area. That was not hard since the nominal normal elevation is only two feet or less above normal tide levels. The park has decent rope and post designated places to park your vehicle. There are picnic tables with a little roof for shade. 

There were a few elevated information platforms over looking the channel. It was a well done effort. However they are all destroyed now. Here is a typical one as is now.




The whole area is a seagrass protection zone so the floods left us lots of old seagrass to breed flies while hanging from things. Almost anything horizontal has a layer of seagrass on it right now. Eventually it will rot enough to hit the dirt. The flies and mosquitoes are already a major trouble.



In spite of the less than ideal insect situation this is a very useful and well used location of trying to have tooooo much fun.




11/26/17

Beaching Around

Adventure Location:  Port Aransas, Texas
Adventure Date: 11/24/2017

Sierra was ready to run this morning. After a great Whataburger breakfast platter the OFM was ready to waddle and off we went to ride the Port Aransas ferry. Traffic has been light lately so using the ferry has not been slow like it was last summer  ( 2+hours wait).

The severity of the damages in PA were quite a bit more than a few miles inland at Aransas Pass. The Station Street Pier is an example of what we mean. It was a concrete structure that the OFM did not expect to sustain more damage than the light posts being blow away. Here is a picture of the entrance to the pier and the restroom that was next to it.



It was a pretty decent facility and some really large fish were caught there in the past. The ship channel is very close to the T-head and ocean going size fish came to the pier and gave us lots of excitement at times. Here is what it looks like now from where the men's restroom used to be.


Along the Port A jetty is lots of changes. Huge amounts of sand has shifted around. The concrete topping has been badly damaged in several places. However folks are still fishing the jetty and catching fish there. We took this next picture from near the waters edge at the base of the jetty. Plenty of folks are using it and the beach for recreation now. In fact a neighbor of the OFM is in that picture somewhere since we found out later he was on the jetty fishing this day. Notice the incoming ship in the upper right.



Sierra took us on down the beach just sightseeing. The beach has had some good cleaning up and the water is very pretty. Folks are out just having fun “beaching” around. We are expecting to have a great December for the shelling since the bottom has had so much stuff disturbed and loose to wash ashore.




Beaching around is a great way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/25/17

GISP Report

Adventure Location:  Lamar, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

Some good news came swarming into Sierra’s window. We had stopped at the entry point of Goose Island State Park (GISP) in hopes of getting some information about when they will open the park post-Harvey. The incredibly nice lady and the OFM talked for about ten minutes. It turns out most of the damage is not building structure but electrical damage. It seems that saltwater and electrical items  have a particular dislike for sharing the same space.

All the campsite electrical is shot. The sewer lift stations are all requiring rewiring. Only two restrooms are working for now. The boat ramp is open now but the rest of the park should be open by April they hope. The fishing pier is another story altogether. If the OFM recalls correctly they hope to restore the pier within two years. The best the OFM can tell from the area damage the “Harvey Center of Damage” passed right through the park. Man it is a mess in that area, but the park folks have massive amounts of clean-up done so repairs can progress.

No pictures were taken because all areas showing damage are in the NO ENTRY sections of the park. The good news is that so many trees survived that you cannot see through the trees to see the damage.

We also rode down the road to Big Tree and found that the shoreline had received little damage and was actively being used today. At the Big Tree it appeared to have made in good shape. The area needs mowing but the stately old oak trees in that area looked pretty good. 

Several kayaks had launched at the nearby launch point and were working St. Charles Bay. About thirty folks were spread out along the shore line fishing and having a good time. The boat ramp on the bay road to Big Tree was crammed full of boat trailers. It looks like St. Charles Bay is back into full performance mode and ready for you to get busy fishing. That might even be a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun now that the weather is a bit cooler.

11/24/17

Chores Day

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

It was a restless night but the OFM hit the floor about 0700 when some light started coming in the windows. It was 2000 before he shut down to write tonight’s blog entry. The result is that he is very tired out at this time.

Breakfast was purchased at Whataburger and eaten while talking to an old acquaintance that had recently arrived back in town. After the two of them putting out enough hot air to warm up the entire state of Texas, the OFM headed for the harbor and some fishing. 

In the hour he was there he caught two nice speckled trout that were about 18 inches long. Here is the first one.



As expected the second was a carbon copy for size and ferocity.  Both were thrown back in.

Then we hit the road for Port Aransas to see how they were doing with the massive rebuild brought on by Hurricane Harvey. They really took a severe hit. The Port A report will be a separate blog entry.

After taking a few pictures during our exploring we headed back across the ferry.  Lighthouse Lakes Park is a couple of miles from the ferry landing so we stopped to explore a bit more. We have a few pictures from there now for another blog soon.

By then it was lunch time and a quick lunch was eaten. Next was laundry time.  It was a large load today but the laundry was only moderately busy. An hour and a half later we were on the way home to put all the laundry away.

But right outside the laundry door was a flower seed pod of some sort. The pod was about the size of a nickel. We got a normal distance picture first. Then a very close up of the pod. We have no idea what brand of flower it is, but is certainly is distinctive.





Chores and more chores kept on hammering the OFM but finally in late afternoon he took a break and hit the harbor for another hour of fishing. Naturally he caught two more carbon copy 18“ speckled trout.  Here is the picture of the first one. 


After number two went back into the water , the OFM decided to do a bit more chores back at the Castle. Then it was over to the restaurant for Chicken Tacos and iced Tea. And now it is blog writing time and the OFM is too worn out for trying to have tooooo much fun after this is published. ZZZZ. 

11/23/17

New Style of Year Coming

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

It was a fairly calm day of getting ready for the HUGE feed of the masses. The food was excellent and the visiting wonderful, but the after meal nap was the best.

The best we can recall today is the first day of year 11 of this blog. How in the world can one OFM manage to put out that much hot air for so long and still be so puffed up like a Michelin Tire man. There was not a lot of excitement in town but we bet the highway going to the Corpus Christi shopping malls will be heavy with traffic by dawn in the morning. The OFM WILL NOT be in the masses.

Now it will be time to get presents sent to Alabama and Christmas cards into the mail. The end of the year chores need to be accomplished and preparations done for boondocking and campgrounding starting soon.

 Starting in early April we have had difficulties keeping us stationary for four months in Rockport, Texas. Then three months in Decatur, Alabama for grand daughter Piper’s birth. Then back here for medical concerns in Rockport, Texas for two months. That is basically nine months of stationary out of twelve. We are hoping to flip that ratio the other way this year. Overall it has been an interesting year so far. With a little luck we will get some more great pictures of the coast before we roll Jan.1, 2018 toward our new efforts of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/22/17

Foot Weary

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

Near the harbor is a palm tree that was beat around a good bit but on a bright windy day it was proudly standing tall.



Now that is the sort of folks this country needs more of for sure.

Yesterday the OFM was going to head down to the Gulf beaches and see how the Port Aransas recovery was coming along. We had just turned on the road that crosses the marshes when the worst migraine he has had in a long time hit. The blindness came on fast but we got shut down near the beach before the blindness was total. About an hour later the vision was back in good shape but the headache was very strong.

The beach seemed to be a nice place to hold up while the OFM recovered enough to take us all back to the Castle. We did not make it over the channel to Port A but we did have a nice time meandering around along the beach looking at whatever got in front of us. The water was very calm and the air temperature was just right. Here is the beach we were meandering on.



Several small conch critters were making their way from the water up into the marsh grass. The OFM was able to get a decent close up of one of them. We named this picture FOOT WEARY.



After enough recovery time the OFM was able to do a little fishing from the shore to pass the time. No bites were felt during that time. Soon we headed back to the Castle to get some horizontal time.

A good bit of time today was spent getting some things ready for the feast tomorrow. It should be a grand event for having tooooo much fun.

11/18/17

No More Biting

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

It is amazing how much safer it is for using scissors for cutting tag ends of fishing line than teeth.  The OFM thinks he will buy a pair of nail clipper type of fishing line cutters and carry them in his fishing vest. It should make his life a lot safer than it is now.

While near the harbor today we took a few pictures of some of the damage still around and some other mementos of Harvey. The first photograph is of the foundation where the very nice Rockport Aquarium was located. Apparently it was a total loss.



When we got back here on November 1 this slab had already been cleaned off. The building used to house some really neat things from the early 1900s as well some nice fish in aquariums. We are very sorry to see it gone.

About 200 yards away is the Art Garden that has sculptures. The Art Garden was right outside the Art Center. It is a nice place to sit and enjoy the views of the harbor area. The patio at one end of the Garden is being used to hold damage residuals from the Art Center. It is not a pretty sight.



We did not see any of the statues with serious damage. The statue of the whooping cranes looks like it came through in fine shape. People are not allowed into the interior of the Garden yet but from around the edges of the Garden it appears to be only needing some soap and water to be in good shape again. Here is the whooping crane statue.



Some good news is that the shrimp harvest is still going good and eating and bait shrimp are in good supply. For the folks fishing the area waters, the fish supply seems to be decent. However it is flounder season and flounder do not seem to be in good supply for now.



Here is a shrimp boat all ready to head out tomorrow morning for some more harvesting. The OFM Teams consider eating well prepared shrimp an excellent way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/17/17

Body Piercing Instructions

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

The fish were biting like all get out this morning. They were all measuring a very fat 17 inches long of speckled trout. The OFM caught way to many to bother counting. They all went back in to grow and make more trout for us to catch next year. The only reason the OFM quit catching is our stock of the lure ran out. The last one was on fish four or five when the sharp toothed trout shredded the lure to small bits.

 In case you did not know it, all the trout in a school will be about the same size. If a fish joins the group and is much smaller than the larger fish, it will be eaten by the larger fish. So when the OFM catches a trout he knows what the rest of the available local fish will be in that size. Sometimes he leaves the area and hits up a different local spot in hopes of larger fish.

Speaking of big mullet head fools check out this true story. Yesterday during the non-productive fishing the OFM was changing lures after about every 10-15 casts. He is using a 3 inch long plastic jig with very sharp hooks.  When he went to change the lure he cuts the line. The new lure is tied on the line and the long tag end needs to be trimmed. For about two centuries now the OFM has bitten the end off the monofilament fishing line.

On this morning he was hurrying a bit too much. The rod had a bit of tension on the line. His hands were wet with the salt water. As he lowered his mouth to bite off the tag end, the lure slipped from his hand and lo and behold the biggest fool on the water was lip hooked.

A bit of panic was the first emotion. Then he was able to determine that the barb had not gone into his lip.  Then when the blood dripped onto his white tee shirt covering his excessively ample tummy, a bit more panic flowed through his foolish brain. He could see a trip to the local ER and a bit of knife work as the doctor filleted his lip like a fresh trout. 

However sanity prevailed and he pulled gently on the lure and felt with his fingers to find out that the barb was free and clear of the skin. By now the combination of saltwater and fish slime was starting to create a burning sensation like a California forest fire. He pulled gently on the hook, and to our surprise, in the correct direction and the hook slid right out leaving a hole about three feet across that promptly filled with fish slime and salt water to enhance the sublime feelings of improper entry into his body.

He worked his way down the rocks to the fresh seawater and rinsed his wounds a few times with wonderful results. That was a close call. It must be time to stop biting tags ends off monofilament when it is close to a hook. Now he has a bruise about the size of a dime on his lip and a very small cut that is healing fast.

What the Teams has learned is that getting lip piercings with fish slime coated hooks lubricated with saltwater is NOT a good way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/15/17

Damage Report

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

There is definitely some serious damage here in Rockport from hurricane Harvey. The tourist area took a pretty bad hit. Port Aransas is right on the beach fronting the Gulf of Mexico and got smashed noticeably worse than Rockport. Rockport is about 6 miles inland across a shallow bay which likely moderated things a bit. Don’t get us wrong, there is still plenty of damage to share if you want some.

For example here is the art center located in the Rockport Harbor parking area.



It is pretty much shot. We think it will be a major event to repair or rebuild.

The famed Rockport Beach got battered pretty badly. A few of the buildings are just plain not here any more. The wonderful pavilions that served thousands of folks a year for events are in serious disarray. It will take a lot of work to get them back into shape for folks to enjoy.

The Rockport Beach itself survived fairly well, but the shade shelters on the beach and picnic tables and shelters in the picnic areas next to the beach will take a while to make it all well usable again. Here is the north end of the beach.



There is plenty of personal buildings with lots of damage to be repaired. We do not take pictures of personal damaged buildings for the blog.

Meanwhile the seagulls had a big meeting to elect officials and set up a plan for how they will handle all the roosting locations that are missing now.



It is now time for some good news. There are parts of the public areas that weathered the storm well and are ready for visitors. In fact the entry fee for the Beach Park has been waived for a while so you can enjoy the parts that are usable.



As an important bit of information, the fishing has been very good most days. A couple of days ago the OFM caught two redfish and one speckled trout in a thirty minute jaunt to the water for piddling around. That is a pretty good catch for just trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/14/17

Upstaged

Adventure Location:  North Alabama
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

The OFM had been working up a great blog entry about the Rockport area and Hurricane Harvey. BUT it got delayed when this picture of Grand daughter Piper came in from North Alabama.




That kid is well on her way to trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/12/17

Tree Man

Adventure Location:  North Alabama
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

There comes a time in most little boys lives when they just have to learn to climb trees. Grandson Gavin recently got to that age. In his backyard is a nice kid size magnolia tree. So up the tree he went. Parental supervision was very close by for this first time event.

It is not a really tall tree but it has lots of branches to fit hands and feet. There is a boy in the tree in this next picture.



Even knowing where Gavin is the OFM still has trouble finding him in the tree so the photo was cropped and enhanced a little to make the boy more visible.



Your first time climbing a tree is a great memory of a day of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/10/17

Beach Play

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

We made it down to Packery Channel a couple of days ago. It was a nice day and the first time we had been on the island since Hurricane Harvey smashed it much harder than Rockport. The parking area at Packery was in good shape and Sierra liked the nice paved parking.

The OFM Meandering Team got all ready and headed out toward the beach and Gulf of Mexico by following Packery Channel down stream through the dunes and on to the beach. The dunes have been in the OFM Adventures many times and, as usual, are fairly picturesque.  At least the Teams really like them. Much of the island beaches are still closed to folks while dangerous trash and garbage is cleaned up. Here is the main dune just past the parking lot. It is a bit of a climb if you want to scramble yourself up to the top.



From the end of the paved parking lot to the beach is about a quarter mile. When you break out of the dunes here is your view looking north on the beach.



The dunes continue on for many miles as does the beach. Beach combing is one of the many fun things there is to do on the Texas beaches. Lots of interesting things get washed up here from all over the Caribbean  and even from way up north in the Mississippi River drainage. Sometimes things like this huge log show up. We spent a good ten minutes trying to figure out the ????? of the log.  The root ball was almost higher than the nearby vehicle.



The day was bright and warm so the surfing types were out playing in the waves. Our waves down here are not the really large types. A six foot tall wave is pretty much it.



Still we get a lot of them so there is usually some folks riding the waves.  Some Sundays with a little alcohol involvement it can get a bit too interesting.

Any way you look at it there seems to always be someway along the Texas coast for trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/9/17

Mud Stuff?

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

The OFM has been stressing out on some minor issues of life. Some conclusions  came about and sure enough he was worried to death over near nothing. He can be a worrier DELUXE to say the least.

As he passed the fishing pier near the harbor he wisely and accidentally decided to fish a bit to attempt to calm down.  About five casts into the session and WHAM a nice fish was on. The fight raged for a couple of minutes and the 23.25 inch long speckled trout was landed and measured.

Then the hook was removed and she was sent back into the water to build more large specks for catching next year. That was a wonderfully fun break from worrying. Nope the OFM did not have the camera along so you will just have to believe his measurement memory.

In our small pile of photos is this picture taken at Packery Channel of a rock with who know what embedded in it. Our guess is that it is a sedimentary rock that got a bunch of stuff embedded into it when it was mud.  It down an awkward slope so the OFM did not attempt to get down close enough to touch it.  Maybe next time he will be more agile and get in some touching.


An now the OFM is worn and frazzled and thinks going to bed early might be the best way of trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/7/17

Date Chosen

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas
Rolling Date: January 1, 2018

It is settled now that we will start the new year out right with rolling wheels. Knowing a destination where they are headed is not required for rolling. We do know it will be westerly but that is about it. A few old haunts are likely. The goal is to follow the 70 degree temperatures latitude westerly and northerly until we don’t do that. We do plan to leave some foot prints in Bibe again this year.

Meanwhile the OFM got his lazy body up and moving early this morning. We hit the harbor and unlimbered the fishing rod and got in about ten casts when this picture had the audacity to interrupt an active fishing session.



We got right back to the serious business of catching fish where there are no fish. As we moved along the breakwater we were having fantastic luck with not having any fish interrupt our walk. About thirty casts later this scene got in the way.



We did not let the sun rising get in the way again. An hour plus of casting got us a total of zero fish caught. Hmm maybe next time we should at least add a lure to the hook! It could make fishing a lot more fun.

However there are those that say that seeing sunrises like this one today comes close to having tooooo much fun.

11/6/17

Little Bay Area Review

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas

A look around the After Harvey scene near Little Bay in Rockport. There is serious frequent damage to things but lots of the town is back up and running sufficient for visitors to still have a great time.

A big ITEM that is missing is the super crab. It is totally gone but the poles it was mounted on are waiting. Somebody mounted a large painting of the crab on the poles as a placeholder. It is our guess that a new plastic crab will magically appear one day.



While we were meandering around that end of Little Bay this next picture happened to show up. It was a nice calm hot day and the egret seemed to be guarding his hunting territory because no other birds were coming into the area.



We walked back across the Beach road to the south end of the beach to evaluate the idea of walking the loose sand to the other end. Laziness won that argument. So we spent a few minutes meandering around admiring how most of the beach sand made it through Harvey still in this location.



The normal quantity of shells is pretty decent but for now there is only a few here and there. We thought this was a pretty shell. Some beach combers can probably tell you what kind of shell it is.




WE, of course, are just wandering around getting the lay of the land again.  A couple of attempts of fishing have yielded no fish, but we will persevere. After all fishing is one way we know of for trying to have way tooooo much fun.

11/5/17

Morning Fun

Adventure Location:  Rockport, Texas

The morning was a misty semi-foggy early morning that prevented crisp focus of the pictures. As we got to the waterfront the sun was trying to break loose in all its glory. We got this nice picture.




The sun eventually was able to bully its way clear of all the water vapor fuzzing things.

The OFM did a bunch of meandering around the harbor area checking out the hurricane damage. There was a lot of damage for sure. Back at the end of the breakwater we could see across the narrow chanel to where the old historic docks used to be. It looked like a bird convention was in progress over there.




The we meandered back to the rock pier near the Rockport Beach.  The handrail had received a lot of damage so the OFM was extra careful when walking along the pier. About halfway out is a small beach that is frequented by shore birds.  This particular shorebird was doing well grabbing minnows for breakfast. If you look carefully you can see the minnow inthe bird’s beak.




We have spotted more places of hurricane interest to be presenting in the coming two months. It seems we have plenty to keep us busy trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/2/17

Dog Leaf

Adventure Location:  Mississippi

Two days ago the OFM made it out to see a few interesting sights.  The location is Roosevelt State Park in Morton Ms.  The fall colors were starting and the evening lighting was pretty nice. With the “natural” help we got two pretty nice tree pictures. Which one do you like best?




Later as walking the OFM noticed a leaf down in a dark gully. So he took a picture of it. What is so special about this one is that it looks like a barking dog to him.  He used the computer to lighten the scene a good bit so the leaf could be seen. We think it is pretty cute ourselves.



I hope everyone has some good times trying to have tooooo much fun.

11/1/17

Rockport Tx Return

Adventure Location:  Texas

We made it from North Alabama to Rockport Texas in three days. Now we need a day or two to recuperate.

For those who find they cannot comment, it is because we had to set the comment setting several years ago to what is shown here.



Since then we have had very little trouble from disagreeable folks. Feel free to email directly if you choose.

Now we are going to get some rest before tomorrow so we can try to have tooooo much fun.