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Got a good reason For taking the easy way out


Day Trippin'

Choke Canyon Historical Facts tell us of the prehistoric findings before and during the making of Choke Canyon Reservoir between San Antonio and Corpus Christi, Texas.  Recently, Bud and I drove up to what is now a state park -  a beautiful, scenic, area with the bit unknown 26,000 acre watering hole!!  Its water volume is 695,000 acre feet!!!  It's been dubbed South Plains Texas's secret.  And it is an ideal area to see all kinds of wildlife.  From many migrating birds from the north that come south for the winter and stop over...to resident year 'round birds like jays, vultures, and wild turkeys.  On this particular day trip, Bud and I saw alligators, ducks, ospreys, hawks, egrets, vultures [both black and turkey], doves, herons, white tailed deer, armadillo, flycatchers, sandpipers, sparrows, woodpeckers, and more.

We also found a cache of an ancient palm forest with beds of petrified palm wood!!  This, another little known fact, is the state of Texas's state rock.  Most states within the USA have official flags, fossils and minerals, etc.  I make use of this site listed oftentimes.




I, personally, like to think of this area as the beginning  [or the end of- depending on which direction you're traveling] of Texas Hill Country.  Rolling, gentle sloping hills dot the plains.  Three Rivers flow through....the canyon and state park is just a few miles from the aptly named town of Three Rivers, Texas.  Just outside the town's boundaries, nestled in the dense brushlands, driving the highway toward the state park, you'd find a medium security federal prison [correctional facility], where, right now, a notorious computer hacker is serving a sentence with release date of 2017. 

Anyway, once you get past all this...the highway marks two different entrances to the state park.  South and Calliham.  We drove to Calliham and entered there.  We ended up at 75 acre lake which, in a way, is a bit reminiscent of some of Louisiana's landscape.  Swamp and large trees jutting up from the grassy berms...

Sharing a few other photos, I took during the gray, overcast day-- -- --


Along the banks of the reservoir


Golden Fronted Woodpecker




75 Acre Lake
[last photo is zoomed in of one photo already shared, the next to last in this lake series -of a silhouetted osprey atop one of the tree branches]


Some Bird Life...
Egrets, Blue Heron, Spotted Sandpiper, Green Jays


83 comments :

  1. Hello, looks like a great new park for your day trip! I love the woodie shot. I have only seen the petrified wood in Yellowstone! Great post, enjoy your week!

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    1. Thanks Eileen...I have been to Yellowstone MANY times and never knew about the petrified wood there. News to me.

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  2. I've driven between those cities several times ...but never knew about this great place. We stayed somewhere in the Hill Country for a couple of weeks on our first trip to Texas too... But that was a while ago... 1999 actually, yikes! Wish we could make another visit. Would definitely include this park if we did!

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    1. From the interstate you can see the huge mass of water....if you ever head back to South Texas it should be on your list of places to stop. Pretty area.

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  3. I always love the variety of your captures!! So much beauty!! I do hope you're having a great week!!

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  4. Now that is a fabuoos of the Woodpecker

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    1. This particular species is very abundant here in South Texas.

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  5. I love the pictures with the trees standing in the water.... and the woodpecker doing what its name suggests.

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    1. Thank you....and thanks for visiting!

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  6. I like numbers 11 and 12 of the dead trees and palm tree wood is hard as a rock and a special saw needed to saw it. we saw a house built of palm logs, standing on end, not long ways, that is over 100 years old and as good as when they built it. palm don't rot. i enjoyed your trip

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    1. I did not know that little tidbit of palm not rotting. Interesting. Around here, they look like they rot in the ground sometimes.

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    2. Is this THE Palm House you're referring to in your comment....if so, how interesting to read.

      Richard Smith's House

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  7. Choke Canyon is one of our favorite places. We used to go to Caliham once a month for a covered dish and games supper. We also loved the Nolan Ryan Steak House which has been closed several years. Don't know if there is anything in that building now. They used to let people feed the deer and javalinas but no longer permit it. Some of our friends lived there when they made the lake so they moved here. We also have friends at Three Rivers. I enjoyed your post as this area is very familiar to us.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed this post Paula...and I relished in reading your part of the Calliham area too.

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  8. Wow, you spotted all kinds of things. Love the picture of the dead trees in the water

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  9. Amazing pictures! I love the pretty woodpecker, and all the egrets and other birds at the end. Nice! :-)

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  10. What a beautiful spot! I love all your bird pictures and the petrified palm wood is so interesting!

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  11. Beautiful bird photos and it has been a while since I have seen any petrified wood.

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    1. It continues to amaze me how "heavy" this wood is after it petrifies....'cause palm wood is so porous. Thanks Michelle

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  12. The Gold Fronted Woodpecker is a real beauty and the Petrified wood is always so neat~

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  13. I can't imagine that those pine stumps are still there despite the age, they decompose slowly. In our climate everything decomposes very fast, even weathering of rocks, i think are so rapid, haha! I get a bit sad when big portions of forests die because either fire, water or erosion just like that area in the picture. At least in that area i hope it is not man-induced. Thanks for your visiting my post about Arrowtown, NZ.

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    1. ...I'm glad you stopped by Andrea!!!

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  14. What a lovely day. You photos are great. I love looking at the woodpeckers. Enjoyed your post!

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  15. Looks like a cool place to visit. I believe I would take picnic and soak up all the sites and sounds.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Plenty of picnic areas here too!!!

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  16. Fantastic description and lovely photos. I especially like the woodpecker and the one above it of the lake and the trees. A bit of history and a marvelous look at your State.

    Thanks for dropping by the Writing Nook. So nice to be back in touch.

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  17. Wow, I had never heard of the place. Great find, great photos.

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    1. ....just a few miles from Victoria!!!

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  18. The woodpecker is GORGEOUS I've never seen one!
    Hugs Cecilia

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    1. That they are....the males are especially colorful!!

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  19. I want to touch that wood! Great woodpecker photo!

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    1. ...and it's quite dense and very heavy.

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  20. Hello Anni!:) If I lived in Texas, I would certainly want to pay a visit to this State Park, and the South Plains Texas's Secret. It has the most unusual landscape, love the photos of the trees in the water, and the wide variety of wildlife you saw and captured. Very interesting post.

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    1. Thanks...glad you enjoyed it all.

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  21. Anni, loved your pictures this morning. We live in the Hill Country and absolutely must make another trip south to the park.

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    1. It's definitely an area to go back to often.

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  22. Great series of photos!
    My favorite is the Golden Fronted Woodpecker
    Have a great day!
    Lea

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    1. Thanks, and have a great day yourself Lea.

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  23. i read the article about the Smith house, that is not the one we want, our dream home is in Volusia county, Ormond Beach... built before there were building codes

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    1. I'll have to do some more research. Thanks for the extra info.

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    2. I think I found it....Here

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  24. Oh my, Anni! I never knew that was there or we would have visited! Wow! Petrified palm wood! A 75 acre lake! And all that wildlife. Wonderful!

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    1. ...and THAT lake isn't part of the reservoir!! It's massive.

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  25. Wow Anni. Over here a 75 acre lake would be an ocean and some developer would want to cover it with concrete. I must say that you do seem to have lots of good places in Texas where there's lots of wildlife and opportunities for photographs. Love your woodpecker shot and of course the egrets, the heron and the Spotted Sand - almost like our Common Sandpiper but with spots.

    Keep having fun Anni.

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    1. Yep, Texas is ideal for most all plains wildlife. And it's a HUGE state...takes two days to travel across it by car [unless you drive straight through without stopping for anything]

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  26. Nice shots. the gold Fronted Woodpecker looks similar to our western Flicker---only similar.
    MB

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    1. Ya, they can be confused with the latter.

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  27. Such a beautiful place... and with so many beautiful birds too! I think I would never leave :) Great shots Anni!

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  28. Lovely header there Anni.

    There are sure a lot of lovely birds .

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    1. Thanks!! Glad you liked your visit today.

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  29. What a good looking piece of land - I do believe I could pass a few hours there (or many more!)

    cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  30. Amazing pictures of the birds. A joy to watch this on your blog.

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  31. Wow... what a great place to do some birding...The woodpecker is not one I had ever heard of... Very nice looking... Michelle

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    1. ...they are only found in Texas ... at least that's what the guide books tell me. Thanks Michelle.

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  32. Had to come back for another look, Anni. I have to visit your Great State one of these days.

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    1. You're welcome anytime Mary.

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  33. That petrified palm wood is amazing...I have seen petrified wood before....from large trees but that is different and lovely! Appreciate your bird pics...I find birds the hardest to photograph...they move so quickly...the Woodpecker is gorgeous.
    Cath from http://cathathome.blogspot.com.au/2015/11/fun-friday-favourites-3.html

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    1. Birds CAN BE a challenge to photograph!! To be sure. Thanks Cath.

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  34. We don't get woodpeckers here so that was a real treat!

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    1. Glad you stopped by then!!!

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  35. What a beautiful find! My husband's uncle lives near Austin and a few years ago we spent a few days with him, exploring out into the surrounding area - so amazing!

    Thank you for joining us at Photo Friday this week!

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    1. Texas....and the hill country of Austin is a beautiful place to explore!!!!

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  36. Hi and thanks for your sweet comments on my blog earlier! Much appreciated!
    Glad I came by to learn lots and see and admire the great bird photos you've shared. Love the woodpecker and the whole lake area looks wonderful to explore!
    Thanks again!
    Christineandhercamera.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Christine

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  37. Good morning, Anni! I am just stopping back to say thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

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    1. Thanks for hosting Eileen...and have a great weekend yourself.

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  38. Lucky YOU to have found such a great birding area!

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    1. ...it WAS a great place to visit!!

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  39. Interesting how that gold fronted woodpecker looks similar to our eastern ones except for that lovely gold patch!

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  40. You really do get to go to some wonderful locations. Great birds....and that woodpecker is always a treat!

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  41. A great selection of photos, Anni. The osprey silhouette is very powerful.
    Thanks for taking part in the Saturday Silhouettes meme.

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