Friday, January 21, 2011

Livingston State Park

We had one warm sunny day this week, between the rainy days and before the latest cold front came through. We chose that day to hike out in Livingston State Park. The park is about one mile southwest of Livingston and is the location where the Trinity River meets Lake Livingston.
 While hiking around the lake we were surprised to see about a dozen cormorants hanging out on trees in the lake. We immediately identified them as cormorants because of their manner of opening their wings to dry them out. I did show, in another posting, a picture of an anhinga doing that with its wings. Cormorants can be differentiated from anhingas, however, because of their curved beaks. Also, anhingas have long slim necks, which cormorants don't have.
We were also fascinated by a mallard duck and a domesticated white duck who seemed to be enjoying a swim together across the lake, softly quacking to each other. Then suddenly the mallard hopped on the back of the other duck. I will leave the rest to your imagination. I am not sure if they can crossbreed, but I am sure that those kind of details are not a concern with those two lovers!
Texas this time of the year reminds me of Missouri in the fall. The leaves of the water oaks have turned brown and are falling from the trees. Lobloly pines are also present in the park. It was a very pleasant hike, and it was not long before we were ready to peel off our coats.
When inclement weather keeps us inside we hang out in the clubhouse of our rv park. Some sort of social activity usually is going on there, and it does have a fireplace where a fire is sometimes burning on chilly days. Several times a week meals are served there. Tonight we are going into town where the local Episcopal church is serving a spaghetti dinner. I have done very little in the way of cooking this week!  Tomorrow we are driving into the city of Houston to spend a couple of days there with a friend of ours.

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