Thursday, May 28, 2020

Time to Move On, Thanks for the Memories!

Our six nights with the Canyon Lake Potters Creek campground at near capacity has been a vastly different experience. It has really made us realize how lucky we were to be here during the quiet lockdown mode for the two months the park was closed.


We had one last family gathering with our son and his family. Socially distancing ourselves from each other was awkward but necessary. It was great seeing them again and Sharon had fun floating with our grandson Cameron.


It seems as though we have been here for an eternity but we certainly have some fond memories of our stay. It has been particularly fun to see the place slowly be taken back over by the flora and fauna.


Watching a fox idly prancing in an overgrown meadow apparently trying to catch grasshoppers was really fun to see. The Egyptian Geese stopping at the site next door for a visit was also great fun.We saw large flocks of white pelicans, seagulls and ducks as well as a Bald Eagle on occasion. I was fortunate enough to see the eagle catch a very large fish one morning. Priceless!


We also appreciated meeting some new friends as the few stranded campers created a bit of a bond since we were all in lockdown together. We met new friends from Illinois and I must say that most people we have met from that state have become cherished friends. (Doris, if you are reading this don’t take it to heart!)


Also nice about sitting this long was that I was able to tackle a big project. I scrapped all the flaking paint off of our large awning cover. It was looking really bad as more and more paint was exposing the aluminum below. Hours of scraping later I was able to prime it using an etching primer which hopefully better adheres to aluminum. I followed that up with a heavy coat of flat black high heat spray paint. It nice to have a solid black awning cover again…


It surely will be interesting to move on in this new but strange world we will be living in for an unknown time span. Next up for us is Granger Lake near Taylor Texas. As morning came for the last time in this park, we pulled out and made our way out after more than two months!


An hour down the road we pulled into Bucees in Bastrop Texas and filled up with some $1.89 diesel, yes, that;s right! Only a buck eighty nine! Another hour later and we pulled into Wilson H Fox COE Campground at Granger Lake for the next 10 days… Stay healthy everyone!

NOTE: We are currently at Granger Lake near Taylor Texas until June 1st…

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Last Days of Peace and Quiet at Canyon Lake, TX…


Well they finally decided to re-open this COE park on the 16th of May. As soon as we found out I went online to reserve as long as I could and was only able to get another 6 days before I hit a weekend with no openings. Therefore we will leave on Friday after having been here for two months!

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The wildlife and birdlife have sure enjoyed the park being closed down for two months as we have seen a lot of animals and birds venturing out in areas where normally hoards of people gather. We even spotted a Bald Eagle and I was fortunate one day to see it catch a rather large fish in Canyon Lake.

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We are still enjoying our long walks with no people around. One morning we saw a large bird fly out of a Live Oak tree and we followed to where it landed. We were treated to a sighting of a beautiful Great Horned Owl. After following from tree to tree I was finally able to get some good pictures of it. What a beauty!!!

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We have heard a lot of birds singing in the trees in the mornings and have been lucky to see a few of the more colorful birds of the area. I heard a Painted Bunting singing one day and was able to locate it for a photo. I was also lucky to hear a Summer Tanager and chased it down for a picture as well. It is going to be a sad day when this park fills back up!


More yellow flowers are blooming but the heat is coming with forecasted temperatures to be in the mid to upper nineties very soon. With the heat the flowers will soon be gone and replaced by yellowed, dried out vegetation. Spring is nearly over and summer is about to begin.

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As Texas has begun to open up people are definitely getting out and about. The river has already become active with tubers again and Canyon Lake is alive with boaters. The park will be filled with campers the day it opens as there are only a few sites not reserved.


Soon it will be time for us to move on…Stay healthy everyone!

NOTE: We are currently sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas until May 22nd when we will move over to Granger Lake near Taylor Texas…

Thursday, May 14, 2020

An Unexpected Visitor…

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The park being closed this long to the public has made it revert back to its more natural look. No mowing has happened in the park for about 6 weeks and as a result the deer are much more visible all over the park. Most every morning I enjoy seeing some foraging between our RV and the lake. I call them my coffee buddies!

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Every so often we have to fire up the engine of our RV and make the short drive over to the dump station since there is no sewage at our site. It’s nice to start the engine which gives us that good feeling we are about to move on… but alas, it isn’t so. One trip to the dump Sharon asked to drive it back. She doesn’t ever drive so I said sure and she drove it back to the site. Her drive was a bit white knuckled but she did fine!

One afternoon we went for another hill country drive. The spring wildflowers of blues, reds and pinks are starting to give way to the later seasoned flowers that are predominantly yellow. We did come across a nice field of yellow with Texas symbolic Long-horned cattle.

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Another day we had an unexpected visitor. I was up early one morning and heard a noise. When I looked outside a pair of geese landed in the vacant RV site next to us.. Well I had never seen geese that looked like this beautiful pair so after snapping some photos and watching them for nearly an hour I looked them up to see what they were called.

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They were Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiaca) which are widely distributed throughout Africa, and southern Europe. They are especially common in southern Africa, below the Sahara and in the Nile Valley. Primarily a grazing bird, they establish a permanent pair bond and mate for life. They have established a feral population here in central Texas. While they may not belong here they are quite beautiful birds!

A couple more RV’s have departed leaving only us and two other campers.  We continue to be so very thankful we are able to enjoy the safety and solitude of the park until its inevitable reopening.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Nature Prevails During These Hard Times…

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With Spring nearing its end here in central Texas I thought I’d share some of the beauty we have witnessed in this park while we have been hunkering down to avoid the nasty virus. The beauty above is the Sensitive Briar, so called because when touched the leaves fold up.

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The Anemone above is usually one of the earlier spring bloomers but we saw this one late in the spring. It shares the same name with the aquatic anemone which if you use your imagination they look a bit alike.

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I am still trying to identify this beautiful little blue flower but have only seen this one specimen here in the park. Whatever it is the dark bluish purple color is unlike most flowering plants in this area.

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Later in the spring the prickly pear cactus (Opuntia) begins to bloom as other spring beauties start to wane. I love looking into the blooms of these cacti as they often have insects wallowing and feeding in the pollen laden centers. Above is a Hairstreak butterfly and below is what I believe is a nymph of immature katydid.

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Of course we don’t always stay in the park as we often venture out for a scenic drive in the hill country. This area is known for it limestone bluffs and poor soils which support a moderately dense stand of Ashe Junipers and a mixture of various small oaks. It is very scenic in the heart of Texas…

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We look forward every year upon our return to Texas to eat their well known smoked BBQ. However, with the Covid virus closing most of the places we love we have had to resort to buying take out at a few of the ones nearby. Cooper’s below is certainly one of the good ones!

Northeast of us is the little town of Wimberley Texas where long time friends of ours have retired. We often visit them as we drive through this part of Texas but not this time as once again the pandemic has curtailed so many of the things we like to do. Instead we did chat on the phone with them to catch up on what we missed since our last visit.

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Another pastime we love as many of you know is visiting breweries. While many are currently closed (and we certainly wouldn’t be going inside if they were open) we found one nearby offering curb service for growler fills at Aquabrew in San Marcos Texas Let’s just say the guy who fetches our growlers curbside to fill and place back into our car now knows who we are…

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As the days go by more and more is learned about Covid. We are seeing many states beginning to reopen for business in a phased manner. I see this as a grand experiment as I feel as if we certainly don’t know enough about Covid to be opening in many of these areas. Time will surely tell… Cheers and stay safe!

NOTE: We are currently sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas…

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Watching the world through our windshield...

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While there isn’t a lot happening here at Canyon Lake due to closures it sure has been extremely peaceful here. The deer are seemingly getting used to the fact that there are hardly any people here. With just 6 campers in the whole park they are enjoying the solitude as we are and are more often venturing out among us.

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For most of our stay the boat ramps have all been closed making the lake also quite peaceful. It is easy to take pictures of the lake without a soul in sight. We wouldn’t even know there were any other people in our area until we leave the confines of the COE park and head to town for a grocery run.

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One nice thing about our location is that we have a choice of which HEB grocery store to go to as we are in the middle of so many towns nearby. One week we may go to San Antonio, the next San Marcos, New Braunfels or Spring Branch. By choosing a different one each time we also make sure to do a long loop drive which  eventually takes us to the grocery store. Our last run was into the town of Boerne Texas. It is nice way to break up the monotony of sheltering in place.

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Each morning as I wake (I get up early in the morning) I am treated to sunrise views from our windshield overlooking Canyon Lake. We are so fortunate that the Corps of Engineers have allowed us to stay put until they reopen since, as full-timers, we really have nowhere to go. Home is where you park it in this lifestyle!

Of course with those serene sunrises we also see some really nice sunsets. Sunsets to our west gives us the impression that we may be in the Serengeti of Africa with the stubbiness of the live oaks thriving despite the impervious limestone around here.

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Nights however, are not to be outdone as can be seen with this beautiful moon glow through our not so clean windshield! I guess I need to do something about that…

Cheers and stay safe!

NOTE: We are currently sheltering in place at Canyon Lake, Texas…