A change of plan

We were cutting the trip short and heading home. But we were not driving straight through. A stop at the Lake Colorado City State Park was in the cards. And this was a new park for us.

This park is another leased park, but the lease is for 99 years from a utility company in this case. The park is about 500 acres and opened in 1972. It was a little visited park until the pandemic. Then the number of visitors jumped from 7,643 to 27,817. The park lies in the Rolling Plains ecoregion. (Wikipedia)
A Skeletonplant (Lygodesmia) was a cool find!

My tentative ID of this plant is Windmills (Allionia incarnata).

A Silver-leafed Nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium) hosted the larva of a Tortoise Beetle (Cassidini). As per usual for this tribe, they carry a fecal shield.

There seems to be abundant of red ants here. Which means it is good habitat for horny toads. However, I did not see one. ;-(

So I think the peak blooming period for the Prickly Pear Cactus must be over. Still a few were blooming!

It looked like the main event for blooming had passed for the Indigobush or Featherplume (Dalea formosa) as well. This is another host plant for Thurber’s Pilostyles. Indeed, I searched but no luck.
Finding a path I headed down. So there were much more Dalea to search.
A pano view of some of the rocky area.

There were some cool rocks like this one that reminded me of a really big bean. I don’t think Jack (of the bean stalk tale) would be carrying this four foot bean anywhere. LOL
So finding a fern is always a delight! And I believe it to be the Cochise Scaly Cloak Fern (Astrolepis cochisensis). Indeed, that was exciting!
A lumpy potato-looking rock surrounded by Greenthread, Firewheels, Dalea and a Prickly Pear disguised as a famous Disney mouse.

A Horsemint or Lemon Beebalm (Monarda citriodora) was eking out a living on top of the rocks.

In fact, you can bet we will be coming back to this park again as we had only scratched the surface for treasures!

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.


  1. I love that you see things in objects like the bean and mouse. You have a great eye for everything. So good to see so many ants. Thanks for sharing.

  2. We stayed in a cabin there one January to help with the winter bird count at NPAT’s Maddin Prairie. Sandhill cranes were roosting on sandbars in the lake and we were able to watch them lift off one morning.

    1. That would have been cool! Maybe a winter trip should be in our cards. 😉 I never walked down to the lake. Next time.

  3. Potato rock! Mickey catus! Jelly bean! Cool finds. Like watching the ants carry that small triggy thing.

  4. Did you make it to your brother’s or did you have to cut that out? Was that an in-state visit?

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