Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lake Somerville State Park, Birch Creek Unit

Here we are at Stop # 9 on our summer tour: Lake Somerville State Park, Birch Creek Unit.  The park is located about 35 miles southwest of Bryan/College Station, Texas.

We managed to find our way here even though the GPS lady didn't seem to know where it was.  She took us cross-country on two-lane, county gravel roads that were better suited to tractors than RVs! 

Twice the route she was  directing us on crossed load limited bridges, both limited to less weight than we were towing.  Neither bridge collapsed while we were on it, so I guess the bridge inspectors left a little "wiggle room" in their signage.  On one of those bridges, Willis and Rebecca saw a water moccasin snake moving slowly across the bridge.  He stretched from side-ditch to center line!  Rebecca said she tried to run over him but couldn't tell if she was successful.

The park is lovely, and we were both able to get assigned to lakefront sites.

which were quite close together.
The hiking trails are great, and we took advantage of them as often as we could.
The trails took us through meadows, tall grass prairie areas, along the lake shore, and thru woods.
We humans really enjoyed our hikes
and sometimes even Blayde got to go along.
We're enjoying some brand new varieties of wildflowers and marveling at some really unique critters, such as this red caterpillar which becomes a beautiful blue-black butterfly.
On one of our hikes we caught a brief glimpse of a curious looking animal.  The cat was the shape and color of a bobcat but was larger and had a tail.  Rebecca did a little research on-line and discovered that cougars (mountain lions/panthers) occasionally mate with bobcats and produce viable offspring.  The ranger agreed that was probably the animal we saw.  The next morning we discovered that the cat had left his muddy paw prints all over our truck, apparently smelling food inside.
One other kind of critter around here is a real nuisance: the lovebugs.
They get their name from the fact that they fly about as a pair, connected at the back; one head points ahead and the other points behind.  When they swarm they are not easy to chase away as they do not move very fast.  They don't bite or sting but driving thru a swarm of them leaves marks on a vehicle that are very hard to remove, their revenge for invading their territory apparently.
But, despite the critters -- or maybe because of them! -- Lake Somerville State Park is a beautiful place. Gazing out across the lake is restful, relaxing, and renews our spirits.  

 We wish you could enjoy the view with us here at Stop # 9.