Sunday, January 29, 2012

Having Fun in Blanco, TX

Simba here. Mom and I are having fun...most of the time. She took me for a hike along the Guadalupe River. That was fun.
And then she gave me a bath...not so fun.
Our friend Birdie came back from NM and played with me...that was fun. She was all excited because she bought a brand new RV!
I had to stay in my RV while Mom and Vicki helped Birdie move her stuff to the new RV. That was not fun....Birdie has a lot of "stuff."
Strong thunderstorms came through the campground that night and that was not fun. But the sun came out in the morning, bright and fair. 
"Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning." (Psalm 30:5)
And Birdie drove in in her new rig. She let me inside...that was fun. 
After Birdie got some of her stuff put away, she said it was time for fun...yay! We went to the state park first.
The Blanco River flows through the park.
There are some funny looking animals at Blanco State these shedding sheep.
And this llama:
With a serious dental problem.
Mom was trying out her new camera and I was not allowed to chase, or even bark at, any of the critters.
Pie-billed grebe
Great Blue Heron
Another view of the Blanco River. You know Blanco means white in Spanish, don't you? Looks green to me.
Mom told me that a Spanish expedition in 1721 named the river Blanco for the white limestone along the banks and in the streambed.
Next we walked around the old town of Blanco. The old Blanco Courthouse is now a visitor center and office building.
 Blanco was settled in 1853 by pioneer stockmen, former Texas Rangers, immigrants and their families. 
Birdie and me looking in the shop windows.
Birdie says this is the pelt of an Axis Deer, an exotic species introduced in the area that compete with the native white-tailed deer that I've seen in the campground. Haven't seen one of these yet.
They wear big hats around here.
I enjoyed the walk we took through the city park.
A Texas bench
I had to stand very still while Mom was trying to take pictures of the birds. I cooperated better than this yellow finch did.  
Some more buildings around the Courthouse Square.
This little building houses the Municipal Court. 
Birdie reads the court docket, where your name, your crime and court date are listed. Sure glad my name's not on it.
A lot of artists sell their arts and crafts here. 
 Maybe Colleen would like this longdog.
I wonder if Karen has enough flamingos? 
This sign is over the bank building. 
It's a good thing Birdie was driving. I don't think Mom would have even noticed this stop sign in the middle of the street. 
Today we're leaving Potter's Creek campground and Canyon Lake and heading off on a new adventure. Stay tuned for the next episode.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Canyon Lake, TX

I saw this sign with the profile of a Roadrunner coming into Canyon Lake, and was excited to see a real Roadrunner as I came into the campground. It ran across the road in front of me, just like they're supposed to....but my camera was not handy. Haven't seen him since.
My view of Canyon Lake the day I arrived at Potter's Creek campground.
Simba is getting to know my friend, Birdie.
Egyptian Ducks, an exotic breed that is growing in population in the campground. So, watch where you step.
A 10-point buck, just hanging out in the campground. I guess he knows he has it made here.
Look at all the does...

 A new bird for me, the American Kestrel. Kinda blurry.
Simba and I explored this dry wash on one of our hikes around the campground.
Evidence that Texas has been in a severe drought.
"My God, early will I seek thee; my soul thirsts for a dry and thirsty land..." (Psalm 63:1)
Fossils in the rocks

Even though there is a large population of deer here, I still enjoy seeing them. 
Bedding down 
We followed a deer path to the top of a wooded knoll that overlooks the campground and lake.
In the little town of Sattler to do laundry and spotted this historical marker across the street. 
After doing laundry, RV wash and groceries, Simba and I were ready to do some exploring. We stopped at Canyon Lake Dam.
This is Canyon Lake Gorge. It was created in 2002 when floodwaters escaped over the spillway.
The Gorge is open to visitors for guided tours, but due to their popularity, you must pre-register. It is a three hour hike into the gorge. You can see a group of hikers being briefed in this photo.
THis map shows the various Corps of Engineers campgrounds around the lake. Potter's Creek is at the top of the map where it just says "Park."
Canyon Dam was built on the Guadalupe River in the early 1960s, creating the lake and flooding the communities of Hancock and Cranes Mill. There's a trail along the river below the dam that I will hike another day.
Park benches invite you to sit and enjoy the view.
Or watch the sailing regatta. 
You can also walk down and stroll along the shoreline.
Simba and I walked across the top of the dam and back. 
I think this is a Ring-billed Gull, but there are so many kinds of gulls...
A view of the Guadalupe River.
We can see the whole dam town from up here.
Another day, back at the campground, Simba and I walked along the lakeshore.
WE are actually walking on what was once the lake bottom before the drought.
We found some more fossilized remains.

Simba sees the water....or is it that Great Blue Heron?
Nope, it's the water.
Beth and Peaches, you have created a monster!
The GBH was not amused. He flew away.
Of course, Bandit has to have his (shorter) daily walks too. Here he was delighted to find a crooked tree that he could actually climb with his bare toes.
Nothing like a sunset over water to end your days...

There's more to see and do around Canyon Lake, but if I get to see and do them this trip, it'll be in another blog post. Birdie and I will be heading out sometime next week to explore some other parts of Texas.