Dave and Cindy fulltime in a truck camper. (The Albino Rhino) travel blog

Lots of dry areas before the storm

A beautiful, but ominous display by mother nature

 

 

The sun sets before the rains start that night

The next morning, the river is flowing nicely

 

All the life in the park benefits from the needed rain

 

 

"Holiday lighting"

 

 

 

A hammock of "glass beads"

 

As if a switch has been thrown, the new leaves begin budding

Taking a break to soak up some sun

Hmmm, to spit, or not to spit... THAT is the question.

"Drury" looking oaks return to glory

Song birds like this cardinal are very active

The hillsides glow in the sun, with multiple shades of green

 

Getting dressed for the spring show

 

Picture perfect

We came across an opportunity to be our own "trophy".

Uhhh, a little help here!!!

Permanent residents at the visitor's center

Finally... I'm able to capture a photo of the elusive woodpecker.

 

Once more, drop my trash bag to chase something in the woods...

A male roadrunner!

50 yards of forest later... I discover it's a pair of roadrunners.

Her mate continued the hunt, but the missus was ready for her...

MMMMM... BROWNIES! Suckerrrrrrs!

Why it's important to wear a cap while riding in the "gator".

Point taken.

Lovely post-storm sunset

The baby skunk that outran me... I want what it had for...

Blue moon

Hot chocolate and apple pie by the fire... paradise.


We got some rain, and a few scares last week as big storms blew through Garner overnight. I walked through the campground warning people to tie down/cover up for the storm, only to have it show up 24 hours after the weatherman predicted it would. I planned ahead, and had a nice big oak tree in mind to hide the truck under just in case. Sure enough, 10pm came around and there I was in my boxers and flip-flops as the "tap, tap, tap" of hail stones had me running in the rain, in the dark, to drive it across the road. Luckily, the stones never got larger than marble size, although just up the road in Concan, they were pelted with golf-ball-sized stones! Small as they were, inside the camper it sounded like 30 kids throwing rocks at the camper... we were sweating bullets.

The next day, all the worrying was for nothing... no damage, not even a broken branch on the roof. The first thing I did was take my coffee and chair down to the river, to see how the rains affected the flow. It was like a whole new park in the days that followed the storm. Almost as if a lever had been thrown in a back room somewhere. Birds came out singing, frogs were croaking, the grass and trees were green, and flowers seemed to bloom overnight. The hillsides, previously grey-looking with dormant trees... had become luminous with new growth that seemed to glow bright green. In the days that followed the weak cold front, skies were blue, and the landscape was living postcard.

The river was flowing well, although still not deep enough to bother dropping the boat. The water alternated between crystal clear, blue, and emerald green, depending on the depth at any given point. Waterfalls, chutes, and rapids appeared where once there were only puddles.

I've had good luck with the camera of late, spotting a roadrunner while picking up litter on a trail, and tracking him some 50 yards through the woods to discover he had a mate with him and they were hunting together. Imagine my surprise, finding out at 42 years old that roadrunners don't go "Beep Beep", but instead, make a "cooing" sound similar to pigeons? DAMN YOU, SATURDAY MORNING CARTOONS, AND YOUR LIES!

I took off into the brush to track some axis deer I heard "barking", (yes, they bark... like little dogs) Only to wind up tracking a woodpecker for 30 minutes. Sneaking up on him like a kid sneaks past his parents room at night, I must've held the camera at eye-level for most of that time, because when I finally got the shot, and put my arms down, my shoulders felt like i'd been holding up dictionaries for 20 minutes. The two images you see here, are the result of about 105 shots taken.

I was also able to capture the barn swallows, that watch over us while we check our email at the visitor's center. That same night, while Cindy was on the computer, I was staking out a tiny cabin near an oak tree, waiting for nightfall. I was hoping to get a close-up of the shy axis deer as they migrated through the park at dusk. As I waited, I heard bats within the walls, inches from my head. Later, one flew out in the darkness and I felt the breeze from his wings on my face! Sooooo, having moved to an oak tree nearby... I stood quietly in the shadows waiting for my quarry. the only light was from a pole about 20 feet away. I hear a rustling in the grass, look down, and see a tiny skunk walking by.

By the time I had my camera ready, he was too far for a shot. The chase began, and as I got within flash range, he'd pull away. I chased that guy through a dark field, around the visitor's center, through a garden, a volleyball court, ( Nearly colliding with a surprised jack-rabbit in the process.) We had to have run at least 10 minutes before I finally threw in the towel... it's hard to get a breath when you're laughing. Cindy later said she wondered what the hell was going on, all she heard was the pitter patter of my feet in the distance, as she surfed the web under the visitor's center patio, surrounded by darkness... seeing the occasional flash of light as I tried to snap pictures while on the run.

In other news, the month is coming to a close, and we're planning our next stop(s). We're headed to Lake Amistad for a day, followed by Big Bend National Park for about 4 days, then the Davis Mountains (and the McDonald Observatory), Balmorrhea State park, & Carlsbad caverns in New Mexico. We'd planned on visiting the Wyler Aerial Tramway in El Paso, but it's closed for maintenance, and only open weekends anyway. (!!!!) We also wanted to visit the Trinity site, ( The monument at the site of the world's first atomic bomb, in White Sands,NM) but it's only open two days out of the year, and we'd have had to rush our stay at Big Bend to make it... so that's out. Hopefully we'll have Wi-Fi somewhere along the way to stay in touch with all of you. (Usually, someone somewhere has it.) We're finding it may be cost effective to just use library wi-fi, and save $60 a month on wireless charges. We'll see.



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