Ellen Trout Zoo… Trail?
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Ellen Trout Zoo… Trail?
February 18, 2011
I had heard there was a nature trial around the Ellen Trout Zoo lake.I vaguely remembered seeing a trail off in the woods the last time we rode the little train at the zoo, so we set out to see if there was a trail.
Adam wanted to pout because he did not like the idea of walking across the bridge. For some reason he has developed a fear of bridges, although I can’t blame him, some bridges freak me out too. He accepted that we was crossing it and his pouting wasn’t going to change that so he crossed the bridge as quickly as possible.
We was hoping to catch a glimpse of the alligator that lives in the lake but we didn’t get too, but we did see several turtles warming themselves on the logs in the lake.
The kids set at the train “depot”, Adam was hoping the train would come around the bend any second.
There appeared to be a road that led off to the right of the”depot” so we wandered down it, unsure if it is a trail or just a road. We see this horse-shoe shaped cement bench area that looks like it used to be a circle, maybe it was a circle for kids to sit on while teachers spoke to them about the nature trail? What ever it was it looks like it is no longer used.
We walk for a good ways picking at the kids about seeing alligators but not really seeing anything of any interest. At the end of the road we come to a big water tank. There is a small trail that passes beside the tank along a fence so we walk the fence line and headed back toward the zoo again.
We saw this gnarly old tree as we meander back to the zoo. It reminded me of something you would see in a spooky movie.
Some Double-crested Cormorants are drying their wings on the posts out on the lake.
We get to the lakes spill-way, we walk down the side knowing at this point this is not an actual trail or there would have been a bridge across the spillway.
We climb back up the steep incline.
Stepping carefully, we cross the water that is seeping over the spill way and return to the zoo area.
The two little kiddos race for the play ground equipment.
“I didn’t think they let the monkeys out of the zoo!” Austin says joking about the banana peel that was thrown by a tree.
We watched the little ducks bobbing for fish in the lake. Several times they would look as if they would flip completely over. The kids were amazed at how they would go completely underwater and would count them to make sure they all came back up.
At first I thought these ducks were just common mallards but when I looked at the pictures close up I realized they had spoon like bills and yellow eyes. Audubon Field Guide says he is a the Northern Shoveler down here for the winter. I like winter walks because we get to see some birds we do not normally see in Texas.
Apparently the trail we took was not a defined trail or maybe it is an abandoned nature trail but we enjoyed it just the same. Maybe they will take the time and funds to turn it into a good nature trail one day. Next time you visit the zoo mention to them you would love to see a self guided nature trail around the lake, who knows they just might consider it!
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Actually if you followed the trail past the water tank (When you got to it, take a left) and up the thick grass you would have ended up in a large dirt area with a dirt path/road. If you had followed it up, past the HUGE mountains of dirt, up to the big grass hill and further you would have found a big “arena” type place where they fly large remote control airplanes on Sundays!
When I was in High School we ventured up there just as they were finishing because we had seen a very large (come to find out, remote control) airplane flying in the distance. It’s a cute little place and very grassy.