Thursday, May 18, 2017
Falcon State Park
After 3 days in the hustle and bustle of the Lower Rio Grande Valley I was happy to say farewell for now and it was getting HOT! I drove 281 West to Hwy 83 W But I can't say I escaped the heat when I got to Falcon State Park. Falcon is located South of Laredo, TX along the Rio Grand. I stayed 2 nights since it was now the weekend... I arrived late and it was HOT! I made an online reservation since weekends can be a challenge...but I had my pick of spots.
I sat out and enjoyed the evening around my camp...before it got this late I set my laptop outside and was trying to go through some of the mannny photos I had sitting in my camera, and that's when a Javelina walked into my campsite, then another and then another! Eventually 6 came through. I would not approach a wild animal but I stayed put they seem docile.
One lady I spoke too said they are "aggressive" so I asked who told her that...she said a rancher she spoke to...okay so consider the source...I am NOT a fan of Ranchers...sorry but they give a bad rap to wolf, fox, bear, bob cat, mountain lion, coyote ...anything that detracts from their use of OUR public lands for their grazing they have no love for. So just give a wide berth to wildlife, simple as that.
The funny thing is I tossed some stale pnuts onto this ground for the Inca doves ..the Javelinas ate the pnuts. Then quietly went down this path.. This same path that moments later a Greater Roadrunner went zipping down!! LIFER!! All the time I've spent in the west was never able to see one...and once I saw that one they just kept appearing but they zip so fast....you are hard put to get a non blurred photo. I know he is almost out of sight but I wanted to share my first sighting just as I saw it!
within a few minutes another one ran across the road...
I didn't see the Coyote but later I heard a whole pack as they set off to hunt or whatever...the light was getting low and I sat in my chair admiring the little view of the lake I had, I saw some young birds come into this yucca tree and start begging to be fed...turns out to be yet another life bird for me, the Verdin. can you see the adult and the young?
I was just ecstatic to be sitting here in my campsite and have all these wonderful creatures come right to me!
I enjoyed the last bits of the setting sun through my tree.
In the morning I drove down to the lake...and stayed there for a few hours relaxing in my chair watching people fish and watching some scissor tailed flycatchers chase prey...
The drive down to the lake was quite bumpy but I just took my time and got the van down there.
I had myself a good leg splash in the water and then a friend showed up...hmmmm
he found a dead fish...
Some grackles came over to steal some he would have none of that he took the whole fish...
I got bored by the lake just sitting, I am a restless type person a friend once challenged me to try and be still for more than 5 minutes....I lost that bet. So I made my way back to camp and decided to do some laundry in this dry hot wind it was dry almost before I got it up on the line!
Then once I got the "wash" out I took a short hike on one of the trails nearby my campsite...
you really gotta watch out when hiking in the desert...everything has a spine
After the hike I was way too hot! So I set up in the shade with my maps and books to plot my next days travel, kinda simple since there was little choice in which road to take..lol.
The Verdins were back feeding in the Yucca, and above the Pyrrhuloxia perched high in the nearby tree to call to his mate. I was so excited to see this bird!! I have seen it pictured on so many of y'alls blogs I felt like I had already seen it but this was my first live sighting!! 3 lifers in my campsite! I didn't see many birds at Falcon, but getting 3 new ones with no effort was just awesome!! Take a listen....
I watched the Golden Fronted Woodpecker look for bugs in my tree...
then I noticed this in the large cavity in the tree...
OKAY that does not look normal!! Suddenly he burst up the trunk of the tree!!
This guy is about 13 inches long!! Much bigger than he looks in this photo..
As far as I can research, this is a Texas Spiny Lizard, those scales are amazing...
...very snake like! Just another amazing critter I encountered here in my site #21.
That night I saw the most spectacular lightening storm...the huge desert sky is perfect for this I wanted to go out and take photos but was scared I'd be struck! After the lightening the wind became violent! Rocks were being blown up onto the edges of my van off the road. It was a tough night trying to sleep and it finally settled down in the wee hours. I left early. And the storm created the most perfect cool day for my Sunday drive along the border of Mexico and the USA. I haven't said much, but let me now bring up the Border Patrol. In the areas I have traveled these past couple weeks the border patrol is very active. The Rio Grande is very narrow and does not look deep in most areas. I drove through many Border Patrol checkpoints. They stop you ask if you are a citizen, if you are traveling alone, they take a dog around your car, then they look underneath with what I assume is a ground mounted camera...looking for drugs stashed under the car? I don't know. They were all nice, polite, and did not detain me, others they did detain. I can not imagine a wall being any deterrent. Besides why not meet them at the border, welcome them, give them a SS number and then show them where to pay their taxes... end of problem! Silly me I did not bring my Passport! It would have been cool to drive Hwy 2 when I got up the road a bit in Mexico at Laredo,
I fell in love with the Basket Flowers.
Seminole Canyon in my next post.
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.