Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Blanco State Park


Lots of cool nature encounters of the more creepy crawly variety, Good place for family fun

Road noise

Blanco according to the natives is pronounced "blank-0", and if you say it any other way you will label yourself immediately as not from around those parts. It is a tiny town but seems to have a pretty big welcome mat. The state park that Blanco houses is about the size of a pencil eraser compared to the other Tx state parks I've been to.

But its smallness is much of the charm the park holds. I met a couple of the resident campers and got the scoop of who is who and what is what. The rangers were very nice and so was everyone else I had encountered there. I stayed this past Friday and Saturday night and slept once again in my new tent. I am very glad I'm getting experience with it before heading out to more serious adventure.

I wrote a dumb little poem while I was in my little tent. It goes like this:

Crawdad don't pinch me
Don't sneak up on me with claws open wide
You can forget about it
Dragon Fly watches as I run and hide

Bullfrog listen
Why do you have to be so loud?
Someone else might want a word in edgewise
Might want to speak to the crowd

Bullfrog doesn't care
He wants to hear himself speak
Droning in his own purr
Another audience we will seek

We have found Perch and Snake
Both such close friends
They dance together in moonlit lake
Swapping stories of where they've been

All the while crawdad grumbles around
Looking for someone new to pinch
Dragon Fly hovers trying to make no sound
My cover is brilliant what a cinch

I had a fun time looking at a five foot long snake one night while I was there. It was awesome! I was down at the water's edge at night with my flashlight. I love walking near water at night...you can see so much wildlife that way. I was shining the light into the shallows and was shocked to see so many huge crawdads strolling along the bottom. I could have easily caught at least 70 of those suckers that night there were so many.

As I was busy counting and dreaming of crawfish etouffe, a HUGE water snake came from the shadows into my light. It swam straight for me. I gathered it was curious about my flashlight. It stopped about 12 inches away from my toe and poked its head up out of the water to have a look. Satisfied, it veered off to my right, it's long body gliding slowly by. I don't think it was a venomous snake but I wasn't entirely sure. I stood my ground and waited for it to pass.
The crawdads didn't seem to care about the snake in their way. They continued to amble along clumsily.

I saw a coyote on Friday night. It came VERY close to me as I was sitting on a picnic table about 1 am in the morning having a fun conversation with a gal I met whose parents live in the park. We talked about aliens. I was listening to a story when my peripheral vision caught a white blur of fluid movement passing by to my right merely feet away in the shadows of the tree line we were sitting in front of. It was an ALIEN!!

I stood up quickly and shined my light to find no aliens, but one lone coyote that was more white than brownish gray. I have never seen such a light colored coat on a coyote before and it surprised me. The animal stopped about 15 feet away and turned its head to look at me. I stood still wondering if there was going to be any trouble. Coyotes rarely get so close to people, but it stood there a good pause seemingly unafraid. I wondered if this one was used to hand outs or something. Anyway, it turned and walked on.

At that point we decided it was a good time to turn in for the evening. My arms had goose bumps and I had an adrenaline rush. It took a while for me to settle down enough to fall asleep after listening to scary alien stories, which are probably not typical camp fire stories, and having such a close encounter with a ghostly looking coyote. As I slipped into that drowsy state, I listened to the trees launch the occasional missile. They rained acorns and stuff the whole time we were there. It was peaceful though and luckily no one got hit on the head!

I saw plenty of other creatures on the trip as well, including a small tan scorpion which reminded me of one my mother got stung by years ago...made her sick. I was attacked by a grouchy praying mantis that didn't like the rude intrusion of my flash light and peering stare. It cocked its little head to one side, then the other, and suddenly hurled it's spread out body towards my head. I jumped and let out a surprised yelp hahahaha and laughed a good one at myself. I pet some cute kittens that belonged to the girl I was chatting with when we saw the coyote. Oh yeah, the lama. I had a face to face chat with a lama that liked to smell my hair. As you can see for a weekend of doing just about nothing, a lot was going on.

Another thing I wanted to mention before adding the pictures is the bowling club cafe that we had dinner at Saturday night. The food was fantastic! It was down home southern cooking at it's finest. In the back of the cafe was the coolest vintage bowling alley! They have generations in the town who have all stacked the pins during the games when they were kids. What an interesting history. I failed to bring my camera to dinner though and am sad I didn't get to take pictures of that place and the food we ate. But I am going to visit again, this time with Ben. He will like it there...and it is a good excuse to go back and pick up some pictures I missed.

Speaking of pictures...it's picture time! Yay!

The river was nice

Nice shady spot but I ended up moving to the other side of the branches for deep shade

You look marvelous dahling

This broad likes to pose for the camera

This is private property next to the park. The sheep are used for meat.

And what park is complete without geese? These were a noisy bunch! They got excited a few times during the night...might have been the gray fox bothering them. The park ranger said one was on the property and it liked to bother the chicks...I'm assuming there were hens on the property too, although I didn't see any.

This was how clear the water was in the shallows and why I was able to see so many crawdads at night. Part of the shallows was solid cement and rock.


Ginny said...

I don't understand why the formatting on my blog is so screwy. Sorry guys...but until this place gets a make over and switched over to the new version, etc...it might be jacked.

Anonymous said...

Without wishing to sound flippant, how else would you pronounce Blanco??


Ginny said...


Anonymous said...

Yep, fair enough. Although you must be a right plum to pronounce it bloncko!!