Thursday, December 4, 2014

Johnson Settlement at Lyndon B Johnson National Historic Park

Date of visit:  11/1/2014

After finding the Dusky-capped Flycatcher at Pedernales SP, I had time to explore a couple more sites along the Heart of Texas Wildlife Trail - East, beginning with the Johnson Settlement.  Here, where our former president's grandparents settled in the 1860's, homes, barns, a windmill, and fences have been restored to the way they would have appeared at that time.    


The Johnson's established a cattle-droving headquarters in the area, and Texas Longhorns are on display.    


The "dogtrot" cabin in which LBJ's grandparents lived is pictured above.  I'd never heard of these until my visit, even though they were apparently very common in those days.  The cabin on the left was used for sleeping quarters.  The cabin on the right contained the kitchen and dining area.  The breezeway, or dog trot, in the middle was an outdoor room in the hot summers and used for storage during the winter.  Both cabins shared a common roof as well as porches on the front and back.



This is the first time I've seen black squirrels.  I finally obtained a Mammals of Texas field guide so I could identify them.  They are actually a black morph of the Eastern Gray Squirrel.  I sat on a bench on the back porch of the cabin to watch and photograph them.



This one played peek-a-boo beside a corner post.  Turns out he was a decoy.  While he distracted me, the others snuck closer.  I turned my head to find four of his buddies within two feet of my bench. They instantly scattered once noticed.  Those sneaky little buggers!  They may have just been curious, but I suspect they hoped I might have a snack they could steal.  



Near the windmill, I heard a repeated knocking which I first attributed to the rotation of the antique blades.  Nope, the source was actually a nearby Ladder-backed Woodpecker.

Linking with Good Fences.

HOTE053
Late afternoon - evening
Clear, 66 F
Species Identified (5):  Northern Mockingbird, Turkey Vulture, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, White-winged Dove, Golden-fronted Woodpecker

19 comments:

  1. love the first scene. i've heard of the dogtrot cabins only from other bloggers visiting historical sites like this. cool to see the black squirrel. a bit different looking than ones i've seen up north, but nice to see we have them here! :)

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  2. Ha, a different kind of a fence! :D
    I thought they all look the same ;)
    I just love that picture of the squirrel :))

    【ツ】Knipsa

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  3. love the fence and longhorn. the house is really neat as are the squirrels. cute little fellows.

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  4. Nice series of photos, and loved the ones of the black squirrel. Thanks for visiting my SWF post. We are not near a military airport but are pretty close to Washington/Dulles.

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  5. LBJ Historic Park looks like a nice place to visit. I've seen the pictures for the Christmas tree lighting and I want to stop by and see it if I'm in the area.

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  6. love the shot with the Longhorn and fence. Cute Squirrel

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  7. The black squirrel is rather different and you took a good shot of it. So to the Ladder-backed Woodpecker - a nice looking pecker.

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  8. Enjoyed your photos! Neat to see a black squirrel and the dogtrot cabin has an interesting concept.

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  9. It's way too cold up here for a dog trot. I was trying to figure out how it worked, then I realized where you are! Our ponds are frozen over. A bit of snow on the ground!

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  10. What a cool spot!! You found some crazy critters there!!

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  11. How cool that you photographed a ladder-backed woodpecker! We have mostly black squirrels here so I've always thought they had morphed to black as a way to soak up the winter sun. But now I read that Texas has some too!

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  12. Interesting place- I have never seen a black squirrel myself. Hopefully,one day. My ancestors lived in those dogtrots-- not all that long ago, too..early 1900's. Poor farmers mostly, but I admire their work ethics.

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  13. There are black squirrels in our area, although I rarely see them.

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  14. Nice photos--I wold like to go see LBJ's old stomp as he is the first President I remember. Speaking of mid-Texas, have you read "Goodbye a River?"

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  15. What great woodpecker! Nice ladder pattern.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  16. Beautiful settings, the animals, [bird], are superb Jen.

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  17. Looks like a great place to visit and bird. I love the cute squirrel and the woodpecker. Great shots!

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  18. Great post! I've read a lot about Johnson and it's nice to get to see some things associated with his life. LOVE that cabin, and the fence is awesome! The black squirrel is precious!

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  19. It's great that they've preserved this - I've never seen a cabin like that before but it makes sense.

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