We arrived at Lake Casa Blanca International State Park Laredo, Texas in anticipation of great outdoor fun. But as has often been the case for us recently, expectations didn’t mesh with reality. Gloomy, dreary and wet days were the norm during our one-week stay, as back-to-back winter storms passed through. It was more than enough to add to my already funky mood.
Lake Casa Blanca SP lies on the western edge of the south Texas brush country. The park is located in an area known for its distinctive low-growing woody plants. This plant landscape includes the honey mesquite, guajillo (wah-HEE-yoh) and huisache (WEE-sah-chee).
Lake Casa Blanca is a reservoir on Chacon Creek, which is 5 miles northeast of downtown Laredo. It was formed in 1951 by the construction of a dam, and it provides recreational opportunities for the residents of Webb County.
We don’t normally allow dreary days to ruin our stay, so we ventured out whenever we could to breathe some fresh air and get our blood flowing. There were only a few short intersecting trails at this park, and we knocked them all out in one day !
With few scenic views to admire and many trails blanketed with low-growing thorny vegetation, my attention was drawn mostly to the ground. One of the trails that circled an expanse of large open field provided a display of ground wildflowers trying to push winter out so they could show their true colors:
But what most brightened our overcast days was the discovery of a little patch of blooming Bluebonnets just outside the park boundaries and surrounded by mesquite trees. Since we won’t be going to the Texas hill country where blooms carpet the fields and hillsides (they are there in April), I was none the less excited by this bunch of beauties. I even momentarily forgot my fear of chiggers as I knelt down among them!
Named for its color and, it is said, the resemblance of its petal to a woman’s sunbonnet, the Bluebonnet is the state flower of Texas. It blooms in the early spring and can be readily found in the fields and along roadsides throughout central and south Texas.
In and around the park were signs of spring that could be seen and felt. At the boat launch a couple of quack-quacks were busy making out…
…while these beautiful butterflies were making more butterflies…
…and a wedge of egrets could be seen heading north. Hundreds of them were taking off from the lake in small groups every few seconds – quite a sight to see!
Finally, this House Wren was busy trying to build its nest in Betsy’s exhaust pipe 😦
Steve was not amused, and he took quick action to protect it and other areas of the coach from becoming “bird condos”.
I am definitely looking forward to spring!
At our next stop in Del Rio, Texas, the RV park was lined with blooming Cherry Blossoms which really made my day:
We have finally learned first-hand that one of the biggest challenges in this lifestyle is not having access to a primary-care doctor. Our unscheduled stop at Del Rio (halfway to our next destination) was made so I could try to see a doctor and pursue the unexplained symptoms that previously had me in the ER.
To my surprise, the first questions I was asked when calling for an appointment were, “Are you in Obama Care?” or “Are you over 55?” or “Can you provide all of your records before we set up an appointment?” I knew I was pushing my luck trying to get an appointment on short notice, but the questions asked by these offices were new to me and did not help my situation at all. And that’s why I was in a funk for a while.
Long story short, we moved on into very remote territory without me being able to see a doctor. I’m forcing myself to think I’m just over-rationalizing what I’m feeling, and I’m actually OK. Maybe never having had to run to a hospital before has put me just a bit on edge?
Beautiful flowers and butterfly photos! I hope you feel better and the weather improves. It was in the 80s here all weekend in the bay area. I hope we get some rain soon. Snow levels are at 25% of normal. Worst drought year ever in California.
Thank you Marcy. The flowers and critters make me smile all the time. Oh my, it is going to be a very dry summer in CA.
Looking at the photos I think spring is not far off…. but here we are already feeling the change in the season, and that is not good for us, I hate winter… but I do enjoy your blog…
I hope your winter there is consistent with prior years. We’ve had crazy winters
We are just entering Texas with great anticipation of seeing many of those beautiful blue bonnets… glad you got a sneak peak of whats to come to the hill country…
I can just imagine how the hillsides and fields would look like. The little patch just made me happy,
I can totally sympathize with you about the doctor situation. I do miss not having my doctors when I need them, like my recent nerve problem from bulging disc in my back. I hope your situation is improving. Please take care.
The weather may have been deary but the wildflowers really brightened the blog. Yes, spring is coming and non too soon for some. You photos are wonderful. I love the ground level shots of these beauties. Brave woman after the chigger attack:) You are adorable in among the bluebonnets:) Super timing on all those spring mating calls!
Yes, it is very challenging as the ER doctors won’t diagnose the symptoms. I am still uncertain of what I have been experiencing. But finally I got an appointment with an internist two weeks from now on our way to NM. The Big Bend area is really remote. But the sunshine and hiking we did this past week lifted me up and so far Im okey.
I can understand why you would be feeling a bit anxious, MonaLiza. It’s unsettling to have health concerns and to be in a remote area. I suspect that the long winter, dreary weather, and being cooped up are taking a toll on your physical and emotional well-being. You look lovely in the bluebonnets, though. Sending you a hug.
I believe your suspicions proved right, Laurel. Sunny days and daily hikes kept me from worrying too much.
We’ve missed your blog, but this was worth the wait!
Praying for your health! Let fresh air and some sunshine restore your health!
Yep being out in the sun hiking has helped a lot this last week.
Oh dear, I hope you feel better soon. I think I know the area you are in, and I would not want to have big health issues there either. Just in case… there are some good medical facilities in Alpine. I hope you don’t have to check them out. Loved your beautiful photos and look forward to hearing all about your travels in one of my favorite parts of Texas! It is always a treat to see bluebonnets anywhere, and your photos of them are great! Loved the one of you sitting in the middle of them. One of my favorite photos of my mother is one I took of her standing in a fieldof bluebonnets near Brenham a few years ago. It is priceless to me now. Enjoy your travels!
Total bummer about the dreary weather…and not feeling well. Since we haven’t had a primary care doctor in over 20 years, one habit I’ve adopted is asking for a printout of my medical records at every hospital I visit. I scan these in, together with my yearly blood work so I can present them anywhere I go. You can call the ER you visited and ask them to send you everything they have on you from that time.
Thanks, Nina, you just gave me an idea. I will ask for my med records from previous years and have them ready. I have to admit that I take my prior medical records for granted. My recent uneasiness is a wake up call and I should be on top of all my medical records.
I should add that I ask for everything when I get medical records -> blood work results, biopsy results (if applicable), doctors notes etc. The records are legally yours so you have the right to ask for and receive them. The fastest is to get a print out while you are in the facility, but sometimes this doesn’t work out, esp. If you are in for an emergency. Otherwise most places will mail them (snail mail). Sometimes you have to pay for postage, but that’s all.
Nina, you are absolutely right. Fortunately the the ER gave me my records at discharge. It was very handy at my succeeding two ER visits. I never gave much thought about these records until the recent events. I now have soft and hard copies ready for my appointment in two weeks on our way to NM.
Oh Mona hope you find some relief for what is ailing you!! Feeling your pain, had to speed up our travels to home doc for some unsettling symptoms Jerry is having as doc in the box clueless and not getting better. All living in ten days of rain. Sure takes the “happy” out of the travels. Do blue bonnets smell? They are beautiful!
I hope Jer’s doc can diagnose what he is feeling. For now Im fine but will see a doc in two weeks. I believe it is the rain and being cooped up that s getting me and Jer in this funky mood.
So sorry to hear you are having health issues and hope your get them resolved soon. Love the pictures, especially the bluebonnets! So glad to read your post about Lake Casa Blanca as we will be there soon for a couple of days. We will be heading to the hill country in a couple of weeks but I’m glad to know we can get a preview of the bluebonnets at Lake Casa Blanca. Did you see the bluebonnets from one of the trails?
Beth, the little patch is sort of hidden. Heading towards the campground from the gate, across the boat launch is the Mesquite Trailhead. Don’t go there instead look back and go towards the fence where there is a Park gate.Go outside and facing the homes, look down to your left behind the homes, there you will see a patch of bluebonnets among the mesquite trees. It is outside the park boundaries.
Mona, thanks so much for this information. We will look for it when we get there in a few days.
As you well know, I know how scary it is to be ill living this lifestyle. But I must say you are looking quite pretty surrounded by all those bluebonnets. Sending warm thoughts your way 🙂
The bluebonnets made me feel better, I meant all the wildflowers that were blooming.
We have started our trek back to Texas. I just love seeing those Blue Bonnets! Cute photo of you…a Rose among the Blue Bonnets.
We are so sorry you aren’t feeling well. I hope you next stop will allow you to see a doctor fast!
Thank you Marsha. I am seeing one in two weeks. We are now in the beautiful Big Bend region.
Thank goodness for flowers when the weather and the rest of the terrain don’t cooperate for us! And there seems to be more rain on the way. Hopefully you are far enough West to miss it.
Don’t push your luck too far on your symptoms…
I know the blooming wild flowers kept me busy and not think about my symptoms. I now have an appointment in two weeks after our Davis Mts stop.
I love seeing your sweet face among the bluebonnets! I’m sorry you’re not feeling well, a real bummer. The damp dreary weather hasn’t helped I’m sure. Don’t worry about yourself, but don’t ignore what your body tells you either. I agree totally with Nina about keeping all your records. It can only help in situations like these. We’re sending good thoughts to you and hope things resolve soon.
Thank you Sue. I will be seeing an internist in two weeks. What I am feeling are rather unusual so hopefully my doc will shed light on what is wrong with me 😦
Spring will come! Hope you are out if the funk. It is tough on the road and the new questions regarding insurance. Not an easy lifestyle but well worth it. The wildflowers look amazing!!
Yup, those questions were rather surprising. I wonder if it is only in Del Rio, TX that new patients get asked.
Mona Liza your pictures are just fantastic. What beautiful wildflowers. I had a big smile seeing that happy picture of you among the blue bonnets. I’ve always wanted to be in Texas for a wildflower spring. The ducks, the butterflies, the house wren – such good shots. I continue to be amazed at all you find in spite of what seems to have been a rather crummy winter in Texas.
Thanks Sherry, Im putting on an optimistic attitude or else we will go crazy getting cooped up inside.
Love is certainly in the air, for those cute duckies and butterflies. Gorgeous wild flowers, and I love the one of you in the middle of the Bluebonnets. 🙂
Oh Sylvia, I enjoyed watching those ducks and there were actually two couples there.
Your photos are always so lovely MonaLiza. And having the weather improve can’t help but lift you from your funk. It is disconcerting to have health issues when we are on the road and away from doctors we have been comfortable with for many years. I have been plagued with nagging issues for some time and still am trying to get to the bottom of it all. It is so important to listen to our bodies and not allow doctors to discount our symptoms. I am sending warm thoughts your way and pray you will get some answers at your next appointment.
Thank you LuAnn, I sure hope I’ll get over my funk mood as we point Betsy west and north.
All those lovely blooms must have lifted your mood. Best wishes to you and stay well. 🙂
I do hope by now you’re feeling much better…as an anxiety sufferer, I can sympathize. And with the things Joe has gone thru, it just made since for us to have doctors. So we are established here in Tucson. Not exactly what we would have planned, but so far it is working!
Your pictures are as always absolutely beautiful…I don’t know which is prettier…your big smile in the patch of bluebonnets or the bluebonnets.
Your flower photos are lovely, but the blue bonnets… One day I will see them but I love your photo. I really hope you get your medical issues nailed down soon. Doctors are one of the main reasons I am keeping a house. I have too many issues and doctors, and need to check in for treatment a few times a year. Hopefully, it’s nothing that lots of sunshine and flowers can fix. Good spring weather will have you out of your funk before you know it : )
I have been offline and just hoping that you are feeling better! YOU looked so beautiful in the happy bluebonnets!
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