Can spring be far away? – Lake Casa Blanca SP, Laredo, TX
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?
Next up: Going back in time at Seminole Canyon State Park