A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Imagining Comanche

Stonewall Jackson Camp
Holliday, Texas

I took a walk into the woods imagining how it would be 
to be a Comanche Indian traveling through here.

First off they wouldn't have had this to cross the water by.
No, I didn't trust myself to go this route.

I went another way which by the looks of it someone has driven a vehicle through here
tainting my Comanche Indian thoughts.

I discovered this camp.
I don't think the Indians would have went through so much trouble building a barricade

Nope, not very Indian-like.
Doesn't even look like it has ever had a fire in it either.

Someone hung a wind chime up.
It was a nice gentle tinkle sound in the wind so I'll accept that.

And finally what's left of "Pete Martin Chapel" way back in the woods.
What's this doing here?
So much for my Comanche Indian experience.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Indian Marker Tree

Holliday, Texas

About 50 feet away from where we are camped.

Indians would bend over a sapling to mark a trail as to the direction of travel, or a source of water, good place to camp or even to cross a stream among many other pieces of information.  I have seen a lot of trees growing in strange ways but never knew until now that some of them may have been Indian Marker Trees.

I took the photo in a way that what is written could be better read.

A lot of misshapen trees could be by any number of means: wind blown over, lightening strikes, another tree falling on it when it was just a sapling.  By looking at images on the web though I now know what to look for in the future when it comes to Indian trail marking.
I thought this really special to be camping where Comanche Indians once did.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Stonewall Jackson Camp #249

Holliday, Texas
(yes, they spell it with two L's)

This quiet and free camp is just south of the small town of Holliday.

This is an interesting bit of history if you care to read it.
Clicking on the image will make it bigger and easier to read.

I get a special feeling when we're able to camp in the same spot that history was made.

Oh but it gets even better in tomorrow's post.
Don't miss it.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Looking for a Hobby?

Montague, Texas

Collect windmills!

Windmills are still used today for pumping water from the ground.  Did some research and the top portion will cost close to $3000.  Then you need the tower which ranges from $2500 to $7000 depending on the height.  Now you need the shaft, pump and something to hold water.
After that you have free water forever, as long as the well doesn't go dry.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Saturday, April 14, 2018

World's Largest Bowie Knife

Bowie, Texas

This big Bowie knife greets you as you enter the town of Bowie.  It is 20 feet long and made from stainless steel, brass and wood at the cost of $170,000.  It took three years to complete.  The concrete base is 3 feet thick.  I couldn't find any connection between the town and the man, Jim Bowie himself.

James Bowie was a pioneer who died at the Alamo.  There is speculation that he designed the knife that carries his name or that it was the creation of a noted craftsman of the time.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Happy Anniversary Beans!

I got Beans another catnip toy for our first year anniversary together
which was back on April 9.

Smells good.

Oh yeah!

Thanks dad!

I think she likes her catnip bananas better but I can only find them at Petco
and we haven't been near one in a long time.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Lake Limestone #2

Farrar, Texas
Lake Limestone

We stayed a whole seven days at Limestone Lake Park and besides the occasional fisherman who came to launch his boat, no one - no campers, no picnickers, no day use people, ever came.  We had it all to ourselves and at no cost.  But the urge to move on was too great to ignore and so we did...
27 miles north to the other end of Lake Limestone.

Here I can occasionally hear the sound of cars in the distance.  
At the other place it was so far away from the road all I ever heard were birds, the wind in the trees and thunder from passing thunder storms.

A walk along the shore I came across this.  I have only seen illustrations of these fish before.  I talked with a fisherman and he confirmed what I thought it was - gar.  I thought it odd the fish was just lying there, discarded.  He told me they are edible but the skin and scales are so tough you need a hatchet to cut into them.  Not worth the bother he said.  Well, a raccoon wasn't deterred any.  That is what had been feeding on the fish.  Kind of a scary looking fish, no?

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Our Neighbor

Lake Limestone
Jewett, Texas

This is the gate to the property right next door to the park we are staying at.

I liked the rock work.  This must have taken a long time to make which means $$$.

The drive leading to the house.

From a different vantage point and another day I saw it was the garage/barn/workshop not the house.

The house is off to the side and I could see this much of it from the park.
All that rock work continues on the house.  More $$$!

From another corner of the property you can see the lake in the distance.
Yes, they had shoreline property along with a pier and decking.

A Google Earth look at Lake Limestone shows many more homes along the lake all with large pieces of property included.  I didn't look but I wouldn't be surprised if one of these "estates" probably cost the same as one house on a lot in California.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Too Close For Comfort

Lake Limestone
Jewett, Texas

One of my daily walks down to the boat ramp.

Coming up from the water to my left about four feet away where that gap is in the rocks was...

Now I am not afraid of snakes and generally admire them.  But I am not too proud to say that this encounter really quite unnerved me.  See, out west where I am from snakes that are this big and look like this are rattlesnakes and they always warn you ahead of time by their rattle.  
This snake made no noise as I blindly and unknowingly approached it.

Once I regained my composure I was able to get these pictures.  I was thinking this could be a water moccasin, or cottonmouth.  I had never seen one before so this was a first for me.  To be sure it wasn't a rattlesnake of some species I was unfamiliar with I prodded it with a stick.  It slowly turned back under the rocks and I could see the tail with no rattles.

I got online and was able to identify it as a "harmless" water snake, non poisonous.  Notice the milky colored eye.  It is getting ready to shed its skin after hibernating over the winter in its den within these rocks.  There was another snake on the other side from this one about half its size and it quickly slithered back within the rocks as I approached it.

This partially explains what I found on my first day here at the lake by the boat ramp.  My guess is a fisherman saw one of these snakes, killed it by chopping off the head and left it there or slung it out into the lake.  There the fish made a meal out of it and a bird brought it up on shore to finish picking the bones clean.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Beans and the Lake

Lake Limestone
Jewett, Texas

I took Beans down by the water and she wanted no part of it.

It was windy and the the water was splashing against the wall which I think was the problem.

The next day she ventured down to the water on her own and was okay with it...

...from a distance.  So cute!  
Give here credit; Sinbad would never have done this.

Today is our one year anniversary together.  
What a great year it has been.
We are looking forward to many more years full of adventures.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Bugs and Birds

Lake Limestone
Jewett, Texas

This bug bounced off the RV, hit me then crash landed at my feet.
Obviously they aren't very good flyers but are quite pretty.
It eventually regained its senses and flew off.

I've seen a Cardinal before on a previous trip to the east.  
We don't have them out west so they will always be enjoyable for me to see.

I also saw my first ever scissor tailed flycatcher.  This is the best they would allow me to do in getting a photo.  The camera was zoomed to the max plus I then cropped the photo some.
What a magnificent tail they have.

Here I cropped the photo even more.
Amazing what this little camera can capture.

And finally there are these guys...Fire Ants!  They are a non-native invasive species of ant.  This variety is barely one-eighth inch long but they get your attention if you're standing among them.  I was taking Beans for a walk and standing in one spot while she was investigating something.  Then I felt something uncomfortable on my bare feet.  I had about 50 of these little buggers on my feet.

Now the initial sting wasn't all that much.  It was two days later that the several dozen little red spots festered up and became quite annoying.  They didn't itch so much as they felt like, well...on fire.  And so I now know how they came by their name.  I dealt with this for a couple of days.  It was the most bothersome while in bed at night which I suspect being in contact with the sheets aggravated it.
Amazing how something so small which had to have injected such a minute amount of poison can be cause of so much discomfort for so long.  A bit of researched revealed that they are the most aggressive type of ant and about a dozen Americans die each year from fire ants.
You have to look hard but there are two coming from the hole.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Lake Limestone

Marquez, Texas

We discovered this lovely little campground.  

It was free to stay here, no time limit and no one else is here 
except for a few fishermen who launch their boats nearby.

Down by the water were some fossilized sea shells.

Long long ago this must have been a vast inland sea.