I'm not afraid to camp alone and have done it often, but sitting around a campfire alone is no fun. When I learned one of the adventure clubs was spending a weekend camping at Palmetto State Park, I was happy to be able to join them. It was sitting around the campfire with them that I learned of the "Ottine Swamp Thing". After reading the story of the "thing" they said, "Now let's go on a night hike."
Monsters? They didn't mention this in the brochure. I had to try to find this "thing" of which they spoke. We hiked the Palmetto Trail by moonlight, but did not find evidence of the creature. We did find a tree full of vultures, which was a little creepy.
I'm jealous. Why don't we have a "thing" in our Houston-area swamps? Maybe we don't need to invent monsters because we have alligators. Or maybe we used to have one until the alligators ate him.
I suspect the swamp rabbit is the true culprit. If he is hopping along through the palmettos, the fronds will sway. I found this one on the San Marcos River Trail.
Also found on the river trail, the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker drills holes and comes back to eat the sap and the insects it attracts.
There were a large number of vultures in this park. I found these two Black Vultures along the Ottine Swamp Trail.
Also hanging out on the swamp trail was a Question Mark Butterfly, so named because of a mark found on the other side of his wings. I spent a great deal of time waiting...waiting...for the wings to open for the perfect shot...not realizing he was posing with his namesake exposed. Lesson learned.
He is beautiful. I like the purple edging on the bottom.
I'm linking up with Outdoor Wednesday.
The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail: Central Texas Coast
Date of visit: February 15-16, 2014
Time of day: Sunrise - noon
Temp: 60 deg F
Conditions: Overcast, calm
Species Identified (14): Black Vulture, Turkey Vulture, Northern Cardinal, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Savannah Sparrow, American Goldfinch, American Crow, Tufted Titmouse, Carolina Chickadee, Red-bellied Woodpecker, Eastern Phoebe, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Carolina Wren