Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Number 55: Purtis Creek State Park

It has been a rainy, stormy spring so far around here, but you just can't let a little bad weather keep you from enjoying the beautiful Texas State Parks.  This last weekend we headed up to Dallas to celebrate a friend's 50th birthday, but stopped at Purtis Creek State Park on our way home.


The park was swarming with police from all over the area including many State Troopers.  Not sure what they were doing there (not surpirsed if they numbered 250 or more),


We had noticed on the ride to the park that the area had been hit hard the night before by severe storms.  Many trees were down and hail damage was evident all over the place.  Leaves shredded by hail littered the trials.




Not sure how much rain they received, but it was running down the trial making for a muddy trek.


There is a lake stocked with fish, but we were scouting for bald eagles.  Yes, I am still on my quest to see one in the wild.  Unfortunately, we had not luck this day.


I mentioned the storm damage, right?  It must have been a tense night for those in tents at the remote campsites.


Funny thing I didn't realize while we were there, but we usually see a lot of wildflowers this time of year, but this park had very few.


This is the last wet trail photo I promise.  But seriously, the whole hike was like this.


The lake's water level was up significantly.  The little fish were swimming in the grass which a few hours earlier was on dry land.


I think the creek must have run right over this bridge at some point over night.


The wildlife must have been shell shocked.  We heard and saw very few birds and only a few critters of any kind.  This hornet was drying out its wings when I spotted it.


This trumpet vie was my favorite shot of the day.  My vine at home is in bloom waiting for the hummingbirds.


When the sun came out in the last half of our hike so did the turtles.  Not cuddly and soft, but cute nonetheless.


Nice little park if you fish or boat, but I prefer longer hiking trails.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Stephen F. Austin State Park Redo

Years ago Breck and I hiked in Stephen F. Austin State Park.  However, it was long before we began our journey to visit all 93 parks, I took no pictures, and could not tell you an exact date of our visit. This past weekend we revisited SFASP and this time I have proof.


We hiked a different trail than the ones we had taken in the past.


Everything was ridiculously green from the spring rains and new growth.



The spring rains probably had something to do with the mushrooms we saw popping up along the trails.


And the bees were having a field day with all the wildflower blossoms.



I regretted not bringing my telephoto lens when we spotted this woodpecker and heard several others in the trees.



Never forgetting to look down as well as up I found many snails making a snack of the decaying forest leaves.



Lovely park.  Lovely trees.


And lovely wildflowers at this time of year.


We also stopped by the historic site just outside the park where Stephen F. Austin started his original Texas colony.


The colony was burned in The Runaway Scrap which you will remember from 4th grade history if you were raised in Texas.  This replica of Stephen F. Austin's house sits on the site.


And more wildflowers, of course.  Bluebonnets.


Poppies.


And Wine Cups.