Saturday, April 8, 2017

#46 - Saturday, 8 April 2017 - Lake Casa Blanca International State Park, Laredo, Texas

Lake Casa Blanca International State Park sits on the edge of Laredo, a city of about a quarter million residents. I’m sure there are quite a few more than that. This “urban” state park has more of a forest preserve feel than most state parks, but the camping area is set two miles into the park and somewhat isolated from the popular day use family picnic areas near the entrance. As you hopefully know, Laredo is a port of entry into Mexico and the town of Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico on the other side of the Rio Grande River. The population here is largely latino, presumably most of Mexican origin, and the visitors to the park reflect that. I arrives early on Thursday morning and my fellow campers had big RVs and my neighbor was a retired couple full-timing that were from Glenview where my mother was once a teacher. Now it’s the weekend and the campsites have filled a bit with tent campers that are mostly large Mexican families with noisy kids. I’m here until Monday morning, but may extend two or three nights just to have the peace and quiet of the weekdays again. My campsite is very nice and I have a trail down to the lake behind my Wheelhouse. I’ve “retired” from fishing, but when I went into town yesterday to go to Wal-Mart for supplies and a couple of Redbox DVD movies, I ended up in the sporting goods department looking at cheap ready-to-go rod & reel combos. I thought maybe I’d make a few casts for a big ole largemouth. I decided against and while watching my movie last night (appropriately, it was Transpecos, a movie about this region and the border patrol) I had people walking past my screen door to try their hand at fishing. 

PYRRHULOXIA (aka Desert Crested Cardinal)
Cardinalis sinuatus

The wildlife highlights so far have been seeing Crested Caracaras in Texas after photographing them in southern Florida (this was outside the park), and capturing a few images of the Pyrrhuloxia or Desert Crested Cardinal. During my hikes inside the park I spooked a group of five large deer. As I pursued them a little bit and looked for other wildlife I crested a hill and saw that one park border runs behind some pretty fancy houses for the affluent of Laredo. Once again I realized how much this park is like a big county forest preserve with the unusual addition of three big campground loops and an RV Dump Station. And the word "international" in the name ;)

All the best, M

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