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Brazos Bend, 2/6/10

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Offline RichardM

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Brazos Bend, 2/6/10
« on: February 08, 2010, 11:29:13 PM »
After a week or so of wet weather in Houston we finally had a nice clear day with nothing on the schedule, so my daughter and I headed out for a first-time visit to Brazos Bend State Park. We got there around lunch time and Jennifer quickly made some new friends to play with on the playground. One girl was carrying around a stuffed deer doll, so naturally I got to hear about it for the rest of the day. I finally convinced her to go hike a little bit. We saw a momma gator with 3 young ones just a few minutes into our first hike by 40 Acre Lake.











This tree on the Hoots Hollow Trail was too big to fit in one shot, so I stitched together 3 images.




« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 11:36:28 PM by RichardM »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Brazos Bend, 2/6/10
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010, 11:33:44 PM »
There was an orange tree beside one of the trails. Just about all the fruit had been knocked down by the wind.






Did I mention there was a lot of water on the ground?




After finishing up that hike we drove over to the nature center. Jennifer wanted no part of petting the tarantula (I did).


Petting the baby gator was a different story.

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Offline The Scorpion

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Re: Brazos Bend, 2/6/10
« Reply #2 on: February 08, 2010, 11:36:21 PM »
I love Brazos Bend, excellent shots there

James
everything is better with bacon!!!

http://jamesb.smugmug.com/BigBendNationalPark/

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Offline randell

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Re: Brazos Bend, 2/6/10
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2010, 11:37:18 PM »
Very cool!  That park is great and we are fortunate to have it so close to Houston.  It is nice that you got to see gators in February!  
There's nothing like a good quest to get you intimate with a place. - Tom Clynes

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Brazos Bend, 2/6/10
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2010, 11:44:18 PM »
After touring the nature center we headed for the "forest trail" section of the Creekfield Lake Trail. On this hike most of the water was on the trail, so I ended up carrying her on my shoulders. Yeah, I know I could've let her have fun in the mud, but she was wearing her only pair of sneakers that currently fit.



This live oak was too big for even 3 images, so I took 6. Probably needed 3 or 4 more. Here's what AutoStitch.net did with them:


And here's what the Canon PhotoStitch did:


A few sections of the trail were dry enough for me to let her explore a bit.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Brazos Bend, 2/6/10
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2010, 11:49:23 PM »
We stopped off at the observatory just long enough for her to see the big telescope and dome being moved around. One of these nights we'll have to go out for a star viewing. We then hiked around Creekfield Lake.



I didn't notice the gator until I was cropping and resizing this shot. :icon_redface:






This gator was catching some rays out on a little island.


Some times you just gotta get up out of the muck.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Brazos Bend, 2/6/10
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2010, 11:52:17 PM »






After finishing the hike we drove around to check out the rest of the park. Naturally, we had to stop and check out the playground by the campsites.


And yes, Jennifer got her own whitetail deer doll to take home.


The End.

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Brazos Bend, 2/6/10
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2010, 11:54:48 PM »
Very cool!  That park is great and we are fortunate to have it so close to Houston.  It is nice that you got to see gators in February! 
Except for the baby gator in the nature center I don't think we saw a single gator move. Probably for the best, as Jennifer would've freaked if that first momma gator had taken exception to us being only about ten feet away (she was right by the trail and there was nowhere else to go).

One interesting/scary sight we saw on the way home was a pasture that had what appeared to be fire ant mounds all over it. I wasn't able to stop and get a good shot of the field where they were spaced about 10 feet apart for 10-20 acres, but this picture shot while driving by a later field will give you some idea.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2010, 11:58:50 PM by RichardM »

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chisos_muse

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Re: Brazos Bend, 2/6/10
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2010, 12:08:24 AM »
Gators and turtles and ducks! Oh my!  :icon_biggrin:
Whoa you got some awesome shots!  :eusa_clap:
I want a deer doll too! :icon_cry:   Glad you and Jennifer got out and enjoyed the day!

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Offline stingrey

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Re: Brazos Bend, 2/6/10
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2010, 08:27:22 AM »
Great pics! I LOVE Brazos Bend! That place is definitely on my regular rounds list.
Get busy living, or get busy dying.

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Offline RichardM

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Brazos Bend, 6/11/11
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2011, 09:53:49 PM »
Jennifer and I made a return trip to Brazos Bend this past Saturday. First stop was the fishing pier at 40 Acre Lake. There was a gator hanging around under the pier waiting to see what the fishermen might catch.





He snapped at something just as I was taking this shot:


The view from the pier:




Next up was a stroll around the lake.


I walked right past this guy, but Jennifer's sharp eyes spotted him.




A few other gators were out and about.




A few birds, too.





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Offline RichardM

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Re: Brazos Bend, 6/11/11
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2011, 10:04:59 PM »
Lots of gator trails through the grass and mud.


View from the top of the observation tower.


Pano of 40 Acre Lake from the tower.


Pano of Pilant Lake from the tower.




Yeah, there's a drought on.




A "sauerkraut tree".


There was a large dead gator by the side of the lake. Word is he had been gashed in the side in a fight a couple months ago during mating season and died either late Friday or Saturday morning.


Ready for take-off.








It rained on us a bit as we were walking back. Good thing I had my umbrella with me. I used it for shade earlier.

Back at the picnic area.

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chisos_muse

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Re: Brazos Bend, 2/6/10
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2011, 10:08:58 PM »
It looks lovely there.  :icon_biggrin:

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Offline RichardM

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Re: Brazos Bend, 6/11/11
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2011, 10:12:52 PM »
There's a new observation deck over on Elm Lake with a roof. Made for a nice viewing spot during the rain.






We checked out the fishing pier over on Hale Lake. A couple of gators were hanging out there trying to steal bait or whatever was caught.


Got to pet a baby gator in the nature center. Jennifer declined to attend the snake lecture.


Last up was a stroll to the observatory by Creekfield Lake, which has been hit hard by the drought.




Fresh gator trails, so there's gotta be at least one left here.


Yup.




They had a grass fire earlier in the week by the entrance when lightning struck a tree. As we were leaving the park, the police and fire department were responding to a house fire just across the road. Lots of dry grass out there.


That's all.

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Offline Al

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Re: Brazos Bend, 2/6/10
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2011, 11:03:05 PM »
What a great place to see a wide range of wildlife. 

Thanks,
Al

PS Totally envious of the rain.

 


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