Livingston State Park
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Livingston State Park
November 21, 2010
Looking for a hiking trail between Woodville and Livingston somewhere close to the Alabama-Coushatta Reservation, and unable to find it, we decided to go on to Livingston State Park. Once we arrived we drove around a little bit to get our bearings. I have to say, that it was a bit confusing even with our map, but eventually, we found the mile long hiking trail we wanted to take. It showed it had a frog and a duck pond on this loop, so we decided to try this one.
Right away we notice that the boardwalk, however, nice to walk on for exercise, kept us “up” and away from the nature that we were wanting to see, somewhat disappointing. There were even signs saying not to stray from the path. We also had signs warning us to yield the right of way to the horses. So when we came to these signs they would act out a dramatic play of stampeding horses and our failure to yield to them. As you can imagine it was quite interesting and humorous.
There were even signs saying not to stray from the path. We also had signs warning us to yield the right of way to the horses. So when we came to these signs they would act out a dramatic play of stampeding horses and our failure to yield to them. As you can imagine it was quite interesting and humorous.
We come to the “Duck Pond”. Needless to say, there was much left to be desired with the “pond.” It was mostly dried up, a little swampy slough with not the first duck. Beside it was the “Butterfly Garden” that also needed some work, but I suppose the season was not helpful on that problem. I did see some pretty little Calico Asters but not in the “garden.”
Anna and Austin find what I vaguely identify as an All-thorn. “Mom these are the kind like in the crown JESUS wore!” Anna relates. She poked herself with and states, “Ouch, that hurts!” I say, “Yeah imagine how JESUS felt.” Austin pulled off one of the thorns and when he let it go it hit Adam in the throat. Thank GOD it wasn’t in the eye. Austin, of course, felt bad and apologised but I scolded him good for it. We kept walking along the boardwalk trying to find something to investigate and we noticed these little blackish berries on one shrub, and some red berries on another, and plenty of beautiful oak leaves changing colors. We try to identify the trees but I have realised that I rarely have enough information to correctly identify them.
Instead of reading the information placard, my husband begins reciting the late great Martin Luther King Jr. “I have a dream” speech. Anna was not impressed at all, so we move on. The two little monkeys fight over who gets to stand on the stump and pose for a picture when Anna wins, Adam goes and finds a post to stand on. Anna having been outdone, looks on with jealousy.
We take a time out for Adam to tie his boot. We have all bought hiking boots so we look the part of great adventurers. We watch as a Red Admiral butterfly plays with Stewart. I decide that it is only after his watermelon gum. I get a pretty good shot of it when it rested on a nearby tree. Stewart finds this vine in-circled stick. I ask him what did he find. He says, ” A curly thingy nature made!” My husband has such a wonderful sense of humor. He tried to keep it interesting. Adam finds a vine to swing from. When I looked at the picture I noticed his shirt says “OOPS” because the “H” in “HOOPS” was covered. I thought that was a perfect narration for the picture. And of course, Anna not to be outdone by her little brother goes for a swing also.
We walk up little ways and I look up and see Adam holding the creek sign.
“Adam, what are you doing?” I inquire.
“Holding a sign,” he says sweetly. Apparently it was laying on the ground and he thought he would be the post for a minute.
Adams next attempt at vine swinging was short lived, the vine stretched down to the ground and he just spun. We walked on and saw that the trail lead through the sewer treatment area. I am not sure who thought out this part of the trail but I would have to say I would not have had my visitors walking through the smelly sewage area. Adam, after being told what the smell was, runs, falls down, and says dramatically “I died from the stinky place!”
We arrive at the frog pond and it was not much better than the duck pond. A dried up little pool of stagnant water with no sign of froggy life. We heard gun shots, I holler, “Hello, people walking here!” I just love hunting season in Texas. Trigger happy people shooting in a state park. I decided we needed to get out of there pretty quick before we were mistaken for very loud talkative deer.
Anna finds a fallen tree to pose on, Adam almost falls trying to get on it too. I did find one mushroom on the whole trail. I believe it is a White Oysterette. While I tried to identify it with my new iPhone app (I need field guides, books work better than apps), Stewart found another Red Admiral butterfly to play with, this time, the butterfly lands on his hand many times and even once on his head.
We got to the end of the trail and decided to go back to the store and boating area. That was the highlight of the trip. There was a lookout tower the kids wanted to climb, so up we went. I have a fear of heights so I only make it to the second story and Anna stayed with me while the boys went to the top. After getting a quick picture of the ducks below, I went back down to get their picture from the ground view.
The kids wanted to get a closer look at the ducks so we followed the little guys around for a while. I do not blame them for abandoning their little “duck pond” when they have this big beautiful lake to swim in. Adam thought the white duck was a goose I tell him, “No, it is just a domestic duck. The others are Mallards.” We discuss the differences in the girl and boy mallards and why the girl must be in her camo. We noticed a stump of a post with a little bushy plant growing out of it bearing white flowers. It reminds me of the poem, “Bloom Where You are Planted. “
Though this was not the best trek we have taken I am glad we came and made the most of it.
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