Thursday, January 21, 2016

Number 59: Eisenhower State Park

Remember me?  It's been months, I know.  It's been even longer since I did a state park post.  How far behind am I?  Well.  We visited this park on August 30th, 2015.  Not a typo.  Almost 5 months ago.


Great park.  Great rangers with an obvious sense of humor.


If we had chosen to visit a few months earlier we would have found woeful conditions with water levels at the lake well below normal.  However, epic (and I don't use that word lightly) rainfall over the summer  meant the levels were high.


Many trails were closed, washed out in the flooding, but we found the ones open to be more than fabulous with big views of the lake.


Living in two cities at once means my camera is not always where I want it to be at any given time.  This was one of those times, so all the photographs were taken on my phone.  Not great, but certainly better than nothing.  You can still get a sense of the park.


That rain I mentioned earlier that closed many trails and wiped out roads and bridges throughout the state also played havoc on the limestone cliffs surrounding the lake.  There were numerous spots where keeping a close eye on your footing was a must.


Looking down from above the lake you can see this section that broke off and slid to the water's edge trees and all.


So often August in Texas is just dry, hot, and hotter making everything brown and desperate for the fall.  With so much rain though we found the park lush and green.

Horse Apples
And the summer wildflowers were still in bloom.

Snow-on-the-Prairie
These looked just like purple pineapples to me.

Eryngo or Purple Pineapple

But some leaves had begun to change.



Honestly, I didn't know what these were when I saw them, but after doing a little research when I got home determined they were Oak Galls.  They form when a tiny wasp lays her eggs on a twig of tree (in this case a post oak), and the tree creates a hard case around the eggs.  They sure were pretty.



Eisenhower park is on the south shore of Lake Texoma and it is a huge lake.  The views go on for miles.


Hiking along the ridge we found lots of fossils in the limestone cliffs.


I find that incredibly cool.  Enjoy the Natural History Museum and all it has to offer, then hit the road for a state park and see it, touch it, and experience history in a whole new way.  Like Dinosaur Valley State Park.  You just have to do it.


On any other day when I would have my camera this would have been a macro shot.  I do love a beautiful spider web.    Funny.  This was as close as I came to a wildlife shot.



It was a beautiful park for hiking, but to have brought the kayaks would have been awesome.  As of today as I check their website I find the boat docks, bike trails, ATV trails, and fishing pier are closed and the main entrance is blocked with high water.  The bridge at 91 is washed out so you will want to check conditions before you head that way.  I mentioned the rain was epic, right?