Saturday, September 19, 2015

Lake Fausse Point State Park

We spent Friday and Saturday at Lake Fausse Point in St. Martinville, LA. This is one of our favorite state parks. We always see alligators, snakes and lots of birds. We spent most of our time hiking the trails. This park has 3 hiking trails and we walked 2 of them.
The mosquitoes were terrible and they didn't leave us alone, even after dousing with Off bug spray. Because of that we had to walk faster than we'd like. They swarmed us every time we stopped for a picture. Normally we walk slowly through the woods while looking for alligators or snakes on the bank. Most of the trails follow slow moving bayous which alligators (and mosquitoes!) love.
Some parts of the trails have elevated boardwalks over the swampy sections.
I saw these ferns all along the trails! I love the way they look.
This is a picture of huge sycamore tree. We saw several sycamores in the park, but this one seemed the biggest. You can tell its a sycamore tree from the white smooth bark! Isn't it pretty?
Seeing this water moccasin was one of the highlights of our trip. Believe it or not, this was the only snake we saw. Usually we see plenty snakes here. This snake was laying across the trail, but as we walked closer he moved off a few feet. He sat very still and let us take lots of pictures of him. I think he was about 2 feet long.
We walked upon a family of squirrels eating pecans and this squirrel completely ignored me and let me get a picture. The younger squirrels were moving too quickly for a picture. Not long after we saw this squirrel, I spotted a black squirrel! I've never seen one alive and in the woods (up until now I'd only seen a stuffed one). Unfortunately I didn't get my camera up in time for a picture. He was really big, probably twice the size of the squirrels I normally see.
I believe this is an owl nesting box. The opening is big so I figured its for an owl, although I didn't see any owls around the box. We heard several owls hooting at night.
This is a bayou coming off Lake Fausse Point.
Here's our tent. We stayed in spot #19. There are lots of sites available, some back up to the bayou and some are in a more wooded area. I knew the bayou sites were the popular ones, so I choose a spot without any close neighbors. Each site is paved and has a picnic table, tent pad, BBQ pit and a fire ring.
David found this fishing bait in a tree close to the bayou. He's always on the lookout for baits hung up in trees and he usually finds one in every park we visit. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sam Houston Jones State Park

We spent the weekend at a state park in Lake Charles, LA called Sam Houston Jones State Park. The park is on the banks of the Calcasieu River. This park has a Frisbee golf course. We saw a group of guys playing Saturday morning. This is the first park that we've visited that has one. I think it looks pretty fun. The RV sites are very close together and some sites aren't paved, only gravel. We stayed in cabin #9 and it was small but nice. Even though the cabin can sleep 6, it is best suited for 2 people. It had a screened in porch and we ate our meals outside. I took this picture early Saturday morning when we went fishing. We didn't catch anything, but it was still fun. After fishing, we rode our bikes around the park. We saw several bat houses near the swamp's edge. Here's a picture of one:
We walked close to the bat house and we could hear them....they make lots of squeaking noises and they smelled pretty bad. The smell was from their guano (bat poop). Bats are beneficial to have around because they eat mosquitoes. There were tons of mosquitoes around the park; the bats probably thought it was an all you can eat mosquito buffet.
This was the only alligator we saw. He didn't seem to be scared of people because I walked up to the water's edge to get the picture. He was near a group of cypress trees. The animal we saw most frequently was turtles. I saw so many of them that I got tired taking pictures of them. I think they are called Red Ear Turtles and they are super scared of people. If they saw me walking anywhere near them, they would plop back in the water.
While walking by the swamp, we heard lots of frogs. I think there were bullfrogs and small normal frogs. I really wanted to see the bullfrogs but all I could find were the regular frogs (I don't know the name of the small frogs so I'm calling them regular frogs).
I took these pictures of Dave on an overpass on the swamp trail. This is the area where we saw turtles and heard frogs.
We saw several garter snakes. I couldn't get a good picture of them because they got scared and ran off. We saw 4-5 garter snakes throughout the park.
While we were riding our bikes, we saw a doe! David took this picture with his phone and we were able to get very close. I suspect people have been feeding this deer because she wasn't afraid of people. In addition to David and myself, there was a group of guys playing Frisbee golf right by the deer.
Here's a look at the Calcasieu River from a trail that follows the river. This trail is 1.6 miles long. We walked a little over 2 miles Saturday plus all the time riding bikes. We got lots of exercise!