Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Wilderness Trail at Buffalo Camp Bayou and Brazos Bend State Park
I know I need to stop complaining about the weather here on the Gulf Coast, but after I returned from Stillwater on Sunday we had 3 straight days of heavy fog. This is fog so heavy it is hard to tell whether it is liquid or gas…hard to tell whether it is morning or afternoon. Near the end of the 3 days it seemed to lift a bit and I had decided I would get out if at all possible, so I laced up my boots and gathered my daypack and camera. Just as I got to the door, it began to pour down rain. I was bemoaning my luck when I heard on the news that the price of oil was creeping up because the port of Houston had been closed for 6 days due to fog!!
Fortunately, the rain was ahead of a front which cleared things up for the better part of 2 days, so I was able to do some of the hiking I had been planning. I had discovered the Wilderness Trail between the Brazos river and Buffalo Camp Bayou (no relation to Buffalo Bayou). Amazingly, this trail is on the Texas Birding Trail and is less than a mile from the Target and a major shopping area in Lake Jackson. Due to the rain runoff and a bridge which was out I wasn’t able to hike the entire 8 miles, but it was still a nice hike. There were a huge number of birds, including a red headed woodpecker, but again they escaped the publicity of a decent picture. The above shows Buffalo Camp Bayou and some of the nice scenery along the trail. Interestingly, vegetation on the trail such as the palmetto and spanish moss are reminiscent of the Low Country of South Carolina where I lived back in the 70’s.
Then, on the next day I drove over to Brazos Bend state park. I had visited this park before, but I realized there are a number of nice trails I had not hiked. Above are pictures of the Brazos river and scenery along the White Oak, Bluestem and Hale Lake Loop Trails.
But, I think when you visit Brazos Bend you have to take the 40 Acre Lake Trail, where you are sure to see alligators and other great wildlife, so I visited it again as shown above. I don’t know if it is a death wish or what, but when I see an alligator sunning on the grass near a trail I have an almost irresistible urge to grab him by the tail and see what happens. Hey, we’re in need of a replacement for the Crocodile Hunter, aren’t we?
As for the rest of the wildlife, I don't have a bird book with me so maybe someone could help me identify them. Blue Heron? White Cranes? Black bird with red beak?