Davy Crockett Paddling Trail

The stretch of the Neches River between Anderson’s Crossing and Route 7 has been designated the Davy Crockett Paddling Trail recently. I paddled this stretch of the river a few years ago when I first moved to the area. The river was running high then (normal for this time of year). This year, it’s not running so high. My paddle hit the bottom on several occasions, but the water level is still plenty high for canoeing. I wouldn’t run a motor boat down this stretch anytime soon, though. Even at this pretty low level, it was much clearer of debris than I had anticipated. Other stretches of the river force you out of the boat often to clear downed trees. Someone keeps this stretch of river clear enough that you can always find a way to paddle around an obstacle.

Canoeing the Angelina River South of Route 7

Today I took a short paddle trip with the wife along the Angelina River south of Route 7. To paddle it one-way downriver from here would take you all the way to US 59, and neither of us were up for an overnight canoe camping trip today. Instead, we did an out-and-back. The river is slow enough that paddling upriver was not a problem in the slightest.

The goal for the day was to scout an area on the southern edge of the Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest for a geocache, and canoeing there seemed the best way to go. Scouting operation successful, by the way. Stay tuned for my cache.

Wildlife Update: Red Fox or Coyote?

I have my infrared motion-sensing wildlife camera set up in the woods in my backyard. It had been out there for some time, and I wasn’t getting a single picture. I was really itching for a trail cam photo to blog about, so I baited the trap location with the juice from some moist cat food.

Red Fox


I’m really excited about this photo. My neighbor says the last time he saw a fox in the neighborhood was about 5 years ago…before my house was even built. I heard what I believe to be a fox bark in my front yard late at night earlier this year, but other than that, I have had no indication of a fox in the yard.

SFA Recreational Trails 10.2 Livestrong Day

The early October maintenance day for the SFA Rec Trails happened to fall on Livestrong Day. I made sure to represent Livestrong today. I arrived late, but I met up with the group installing some rock gardens on Upper Bois d’Arc.

SFA Recreational Trails SFA Recreational Trails

SFA Recreational Trails

In testing them out, they’re entirely rideable, but they add some technical challenge to a section of trail that is mostly a cardio challenge. I wouldn’t call them difficult because they’re short and as long as you have momentum, you can roll on through. But they can catch you if you hesitate and/or fail to carry enough momentum through them.

Garmin Oregon 450: First Hike/Geocaching

5 September 2010 SFAEFI got the new GPS out for a hike and some geocaching on this day. I started out by loading the USGS topos for the Stephen F. Austin Experimental Forest (SFAEF) onto the Oregon from Topofusion. I chose the topos because many (but not all) of the trails on the SFAEF appear on the topos. It also shows the boundary of the forest, locations of some pipeline right-of-ways, and locations of some wetland areas. Important information for what I wanted to do.

June 26th and 27th funness

I got out a bit this weekend.  My mileage isn’t super high yet, but I’m getting out and getting exercise.  On the 26th, I got a night ride in on the bike.  We’re trying for a regular Saturday night at 8pm group ride time.  Unfortunately, my main riding buddy couldn’t make it since his wife was out of town and he had to watch the kids.  I was there, though.  Nobody else showed up, which turned out to be a good thing.  The batteries on my headlamps were BOTH low (the indicator light was now glowing red instead of green), and I wasn’t sure how long to expect them to last.  So, I ran on one light, but kept both batteries on me so that in case one of them died, I’d have the extra to get back to the trailhead.

Wildlife Update: Gulf Coast Toad

I want to try to have a series of wildlife photo posts, and here’s my first official post in that series.

I captured these photos a few weeks ago. Every year in May and June, I get toads in the front. I think they really like my front gardens, where I use a lot of native pine straw as mulch and the soil is good and loose for them to search for prey.

gulf coast toad

gulf coast toad

I had a hard time getting a face shot, this guy was very photo-shy. The second picture is the best I could get. If you’re wondering what these guys sound like, here’s a nice video.

2010 Gardens Update

It’s been a little while since my last post. Forgive me, as I’ve been busy. The semester ended, and just afterward, I spent a week visiting family out of state.

I had hoped for some new GPS adventures from my trip, but the weather was rotten when I had time to get out, and when the weather was good and the dirt was drying out, I was busiest visiting with folks. Sigh…maybe another time. I had high hopes for enjoying new trails (to me).

Best of Texas Backyard Habitat

For this Earth Day 2010, I am making a commitment to get my backyard certified as a Best of Texas Backyard Habitat.

Thankfully, I have about .8 acre, so it will be relatively easy to meet the requirements of the certification program.

What do I need to incorporate?  Well, there’s a list of things you need.

  • An obviously native plant habitat. Volunteers will not count plants to see if you have a majority of native plants. If there are more than two plants listed in the Invasive Exotic Species section of this webpage, we will reserve the right to deny certification as a Best of Texas Backyard Habitat.

The Rise and Fall of the Great Lakes

Man, I can’t believe it’s turned up! A friend of mine found this video hosted online, and it was one of the Wittenberg University Geology Department favorites. I don’t know anyone who’s seen this who doesn’t have fond memories of the hapless canoeist jumping randomly through time and having all sorts of adventures in the glacial and modern Great Lakes.