Saturday, December 6, 2014

LBJ State Park and Historic Site

There's a lot of LBJ related stuff in and around Johnson City.  I guess they are very proud of their hometown boy, as they should be.

LBJ Statue

What's President Johnson pointing at?  The Pedernales River is what the sign says.  He grew up in, on, and around the river, and he seems to have had a great fondness for it.  He was known to drive visiting dignitaries across a low-water crossing, creating a dramatic entrance to the LBJ Ranch, aka The Texas White House.

I arrived before the park had officially opened.  The lady in the gift shop told me I could walk around the exhibits and nature trail without a permit, which kept me busy until noon.      

Eastern Phoebe

Close to the headquarters, I found the Eastern Phoebe.  There may have been more than one because I had several sightings.  He was very busy, landing on tree branches, roofs, poles, and even the handicap plaque next to the ladies' room door.  There must have been a lot of bugs to chase.

American Robin

The nature trail was quiet for awhile, until the midpoint where a sudden flurry of bird activity gave my camera a workout.  I wasn't sure about these birds at first, because they weren't hopping around on a lawn.  They were skulking about in the trees, even though there was quite a bit of open field and lawn for them to visit.

Fallow Deer

While I was watching the American Robins, I was myself being watched.  He/she came closer even, to get a better look.  Normally, I only catch a fleeting glimpse of the tail and hear the sounds of a large animal crashing through the underbrush as the deer run away.  On this day, I heard something that made me ask myself, "What kind of huge bird is making that noise?"  It was the deer, talking to each other, very close to the trail.

Carolina Wren

The wren also tried to trick me with it's strange behavior, moving head-first down the branches.  I thought it might be some sort of nuthatch.  Nope, it was a Carolina Wren.  That's ok, though, because this was the first time I managed to get a decent photo of one.

The nature trail also passes through the Sauer-Beckmann living history farm, where historical buildings and farm animals are on display.  Signs describe what visitors might be able to witness the farmer, in period costume using period methods, doing.  Evidently not on a Sunday morning because I saw no one.

Linking with The Bird D'Pot.

Date of Visit:  11/2/2014
Early morning to midday
60's, 70's, overcast
Species identified (8):  Carolina Chickadee, Black-crested Titmouse, Eastern Phoebe, White-winged Dove, American Robin, Carolina Wren, House Sparrow, Northern Mockingbird



  1. Texas is a great place for birding, I like your Eastern Phoebe, I haven't seen any Phoebes here. The Carolina Wren is so cute, it does look alot like the nuthatches in my yard with the eyestreak, and the underparts look almost as peachy, but the bars on the long tail are different.

  2. For the past couple of years, I've had Carolina Wrens trying to next in the mailbox near the front door of my house. Every year the postman and I inevitably frustrate their endeavors. :-)

  3. I didn't know Pres J lived in Texas lol.I love the pictures thank you for sharing.

  4. Nice looking Robin - as I have said before, such a different between the birds we call robins.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  5. Lovely birds and the deer is gorgeous.

  6. There were a lot of LBJ's in your state. Beautiful images Jen.

  7. I'd never heard about the Texas White House but I can imagine what an exciting time it must have been for local people. Your Amercan Robin is such a colourful bird and the Carolina Wren always seems quite big to someone who knows our common European Wren Troglodytes troglodytes.

  8. What a wonderful area to visit!!! Loved especially the wren this week. Very dapper in the rusty color!!

    Thanks so much for linking in at the Bird D'Pot this weekend. Your participation is appreciated!!!

  9. gorgeous snaps of the birds but the bambi steals the show for me. love those guys and you captured him well with all those branches!!!!!

  10. Wonderful shots of all the birds and the deer is cute! Great post, happy Sunday!

  11. Wonderful shots of these beautiful birds ! And the deer is so gorgeous !

  12. A wonderful post... Many thanks for sharing

  13. love those wrens! sweet deer sighting, too!

  14. More great shots--I like the phoebe! I have been reading the massive biography of LBJ (the fourth of five volumes are now out).

  15. What a pretty place - I'm always impressed that you know what you're looking at. I wouldn't have a clue!

  16. The Eastern Phoebe looks like it has hair instead of feathers!

  17. Very nice place to have a quiet visit on the grounds! I still regret not getting there. Beautiful phoebe and Wren!