Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lake Somerville State Park and a Hiking Buddy

I had thought I would save a trip to Lake Somerville State Park for a day later in the week since we had so much rail on Sunday, but Tuesday the weather was too perfect to stay indoors.  This park is the closest one to my house and amazingly I have never been.  Breck and our son Cameron went years ago on a father/son trip, so I was just catching up.

As soon as I stepped out of the car with my camera bag in tow I found this guy (or he found me).

Such a beautiful dog with no collar, but he looked well fed.  So now I had a hiking buddy, and off we went.

I wasn't sure he would stay with me, but he did, never straying too far ahead without checking to see where I was.

Boy did he love the water.

I didn't realize how much of a problem this would be when we went off trail to go the lake edge.

I was drawn to the water by the sound of ducks, cranes, and coots.

But as soon as we got there, my companion decided to take a swim and scared them all away.

Well, not all of them.  For some reason the cranes were not bothered, though they were too far away for me to get a good shot.

Not having much in the way of water fowl to view, I turned my attention to the shore line.  It was covered with dozens of eggs.

I was happy thinking I had stumbled on a nesting ground for large birds (maybe the cranes), but then I noticed a pattern.  All the "eggs" were surrounded by seeds that looked like pumpkin seeds.

I picked up a shell and looked inside and it was filled with seeds.  These were not eggs at all, but possibly some kind of gourd.  So cool.

After his swim, the puppy was wiped out and laid in the sun to dry off.  This gave me more time to explore the shore line.

This was a surprise.  I found scattered bones in the grass which led me to this skull.

When I got home I did some research based on the jaw bone and decided this was a hog skull from a 3 year old pig based on the number of teeth. (Texas Boars)

But on to prettier things.  There were a lot of butterflies, though I had a difficult time shooting them.  The sun was so bright I had trouble seeing my viewing screen.

My buddy and I got off the main trail one more time before heading back.

Truly, I was glad to have the company.

He did leave me unceremoniously when the hike was over.  As I put my camera bag in the car, and changed out my lens to get one more photo of him before I left, I looked around and he was gone.  A couple was having lunch at their campsite and he had wandered over to say hello.  I know he was not their dog because I could hear them talking to him, wondering where he came from.  Honestly, I wanted to take him home.  He was so loyal for the whole trip.  He never barked, even when we were startled by a large deer on a deer run.  I would have put him in the car, brought him home, and put up $7,000 worth of fence to keep him safe in my yard, if it were not for my two wonderful inhibitors at home.  I don't think Rudy and Kracken would have approved.

See more of our Texas State Park Adventures