Tag Archives: birding

Inks Lake, TX to Carlsbad Caverns NP, NM

I forgot to include a picture of the fishing pier at Inks Lake in the last post. So, here it is.
Fishing Pier at Inks Lake
Fishing Pier at Inks Lake State Park The Texas Hill Country, north of Austin, is full of wildflowers! Here are some Texas Blue Bonnets with a typical backdrop of prickly pear cactus and juniper (I think) trees.Texas Blue Bonnets and Prickly Pear Cactus

 This is a pretty duck. He walked up to me with his two friends. They were white ducks. I’m thinking this one is a cross between white and mallard?

Inks Lake Ducks
Cross between white duck and a mallard?

 I don’t know where this titmouse was finding this fluffy stuff. Maybe it’s down from the ducks?

Titmouse
Cute little Titmouse gathering fluff for her nest
Okay, so we’re certainly not in the beautiful Texas Hill Country anymore.  We went west on Hwy 29, took Hwy 71 to 87 all the way through San Angelo to Big Spring. We’d planned on staying at Big Spring State Park, where the map indicated camping was available. However, when we got there, all we could find was the Day Use Area. So, we kept going.
West Texas
It's a wasteland unless you have an appreciation for oil rigs

Eastern New Mexico looks like west Texas. This is the Permian Basin – an ancient sea floor that baked for millions of years to form one of the richest oil fields on earth.

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Yegua Creek CG (Somerville) to Inks Lake SP (near Burnet,TX)

We had to check out the progress of the leaf cutter ants before we left Yegua Creek Campground.  I wonder if ants are designated tree climbers and others are ground gatherers then others take the leaves down into the beds?
Leaf Cutter Ants - on the tree
A coordinated effort gets the leaves out of the tree, down to the ground, to the hole, then down into the ant bed

 

You can see the two holes at the base of the tree. Some of these seed pods were gathered from other trees. They left piles along the path to this spot – like little roadside rest stops.
Leaf Cutter Ants - 2 holes
Leaf Cutter Ants pile up the seed pods at the base of a tree

 

We headed north on Hwy 36, turned west on Hwy 79, north on 95, the west on 29. Not too far past Georgetown is Inks Lake State Park. It has almost 400 campsites. We paid $20 for an electric site. Then they also charge a $4/person entrance fee 🙂
I think I was 8 or 10 years old the last time I was at Inks Lake State Park. I have fond memories of camping and fishing with my family. My memories mostly come from the pictures I’ve seen since though. One was a black and white photo I took with my brownie camera. It looked hot and dry – but I’m sure that was July or August. Today, it is neither hot nor dry – although the storm was kind enough to wait until after dark. The thunder was impressive! We didn’t get any hail but some was reported close by.
Inks Lake State Park
Inks Lake State Park - below Buchanan Dam

 

We are camped right next to one of the fishing piers.  This next pic is of the day use area next to the pier.
Inks Lake view from one of the fishing piers
Inks Lake view from one of the fishing piers

 

There are Canada Geese, American Coots, and ducks (white and mallard) on the lake. We didn’t fish but heard the white bass are biting.
Mallard Duck
This mallard was begging for food.

 

He was really talking to me!

Yegua Campground, Somerville, TX

The Blue Bonnets aren’t out yet, here, but the Indian Paintbrush are!  They have such a vibrant color!
Indian Paintbrush
Indian Paintbrush

 

I’m not sure what these wildflowers are so let me know if you can identify them. Aren’t they gorgeous!  It also gave me a chance to play with my “super-macro” feature on our new Samsung camera.
Pretty Blue Wildflowers

 

The leaf cutter ants are really busy.  Sometimes you can’t even see the ant underneath what they are carrying!  It looks like vegetation with brown legs. 🙂
Leaf Cutter Ants
Leaf Cutter Ants

 

Well, sorry, but no pix of bass this week. And we have to get going today. So, here’s my wildlife picture.  There is plenty of evidence (footprints and digging) of the wild hogs. But I tried, for 6 months when we volunteered here in ’06/’07, to get a picture of the wild hogs. These are domestic pigs that got loose from pig farmers many decades ago. They are not javelinas (sic). These guys are much harder on the environment than javelinas (sic).  Dad and I saw about 6 pigs cross our trail as we went looking for deer antlers. We didn’t find any antlers but we had a nice walk and no pig attacks! 

hogs
Wild pigs

Entry for June 23, 2007

We are having fun watching the Stellar Jays. We watched Mom and Dad build a nest in our 5th wheel hitch out of sticks. It is hard to imagine it could be soft and cozy. After the sticks, they lined it with pine needles. We counted 4 eggs – they were a bright blue-green with darker speckles. It only took about 12 days to hatch. And a couple days later they are starting to sprout feathers!