For many years, this land was a working ranch.
In 1910, Walter Buck moved his family to the property for his son's health (the boy, suffering from tuberculosis, died a year later). The Bucks stuck it out, raising sheep and goats. The wild turkey have roosted over winter along the river for hundreds of years and undoubtedly augmented the families diet. The family donated the ranch property to the state in the late 1970's.
There are signs of the old ranch, most notably in this barn. Unlike most barns in the area, this structure was built initially as a barn. Most newcomers built shelters for themselves as their first buildings, turning them into barns and sheds as they upgraded their own dwellings.
|You can still see initials that the sheep shearers carved into the wood.|
|The large eaves provided shade for the stock.|
|The fencing gets a hand from cactus - you don't need a really big fence when it's covered in cactus!!|
The landscape along the river was green and treed; further away the trees were smaller, and there was more cactus.
A common site in this part of Texas is mistletoe growing in balls in many of the trees.
I saw more wildlife at this park than almost anywhere ever!
These might be Axis deer - I saw tons of them every day - but they were hard to photograph. I think since they are hunted, they've learned to be wary.
|I saw lots of deer - but they were quite shy.|
One evening, quite late, I surprised two javelina (Collared Peccary) - but, since they are hunted too, they beat feet into the brush as soon as they saw me. I got a picture of a very fuzzy grey blob as the last one disappeared into the brush.
The 9-banded armadillos were a lot easier to photograph. They mostly ignored me and would browse up to within 5 or 6 feet of me. They look like tiny armored tanks (or possums wearing a suit of armor).