When we left the Mission area, we headed west, along the Rio Grande, toward Big Bend National Park.
Falcon Dam State Park was our first stop. The dam was built in the 1950s, and a 60 mile long lake forms behind it. Mike had a phone call that morning, so I wandered in the butterfly garden and took photos.
The butterfly garden
Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)
Lantana Scrub-Hairstreak (Strymon bazochii)
Top side of the Lantana Scrub-Hairstreak
Little Yellow (Pyrisitia lisa)
Queen (Danaus gilippus)
Several bushes were covered with nectaring Queens
Phaon Crescent (Phyciodes phaon)
Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
Southern Dogface (Zerene cesonia)
This is a Robber Fly (Efferia sp.) – a weird looking creature. It was sitting still in the sand – probably waiting for some prey to come along.
There were huge flocks of Brown-headed Cowbirds in the trees.
When they were startled, they flew up in clouds.
After the phone call, we walked down to the lake. It’s a very artificial looking lake – but full of boats so the fishing must be good.
I took a few more butterfly pictures, but Mike was happier in the shade with his blackberry.
Common Checkered Skipper (Pyrgus communis)
These are the plants the butterflies were nectaring on – I haven’t been able to identify them.
We took a short hike at Seminole Canyon State Park, a beautiful park just west of Del Rio, TX. The landscape in this part of Texas is desert, rather than river valley, with dry canyons and cactus and almost no trees.
Ressurection Plant – Selaginella lepidophylla
This plant survives in arid places by drying up and curling itself into a ball when there’s no water available. It can remain dormant – and alive – in this state for years. When it does rain, the plant absorbs water quickly and unfolds.
Prickly Pear Cactus – Opuntia sp.