Monday, April 6, 2015

Lost Maples State Park

As March came to a close we started getting things ready to leave Resaca de la Palma.  Our three months there have been great.  Love the staff, park, and co-workers.  The weather had begun to be hot and humid with swarms of mosquitoes ready to attack whenever you ventured outside.  This made us anticipate some cooler northern temperatures.

All three host couples are departing soon, so the staff organized a surprise luncheon with fabulous food to encourage us all to come back next winter.  Organizing this special treat for volunteers gives an indication of what a great group of employees work here. Especially Cynthia and Anay.  Can't thank you enough for the hospitality this whole winter (and the food).

We were the first couple to leave on the 4th of April

 Stopped by the visitors center for one last good by and to turn in our keys.

Our first nights stop was at Lost Maples state park in Vanderpool, TX.  This park is west of Austin, and we wanted to visit  a park we had not been to before.  Since our arrival was late afternoon, we decided to stay an extra night so we could enjoy the park trails and birds.

The next day the air was cool and crisp so we headed out to the trails.  Spring has arrived here.

Texas Laural

The trail crosses several crystal clear streams and pools of water from the Sabine river.  The river is tiny right now but flash flood warning signs tell a different story.

Interesting rock formations.

Ninga Turtles, anyone?

On the trail we met a gentleman from Colorado who came to Lost Maples to find the Golden Cheeked Warbler.  This bird has a very limited range only in the Texas hill country.  He knew the bird's song and alerted us whenever he heard it.  Not long after we met up with him we had a great sighting of this bird.  No picture for us, but the bird sat on a branch and sang long enough for our companion to get some great shots with his 500 lens.  It was quite a day because we had three more sightings of this rare, endangered, and elusive warbler that only nests in this part of Texas.

Golden-cheeked Warbler Photo
The picture is by Tom Johnson and I copied it from the Cornell site "All about birds"

One final trail treat - two dung beetles moving "dung" across the trail.

This is a very unique section of Texas that resembles Maine in many ways.  There are mountains, maple trees, cedar trees and crystal clear water.  The nearest town of Leakey looked like many small towns at home, including multiple antique shops.  A great find.

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