Laguna Atascosa NWR


The 94,000 acres of Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge are a haven for birds, amphibians, but also for the endangered Ocelot.  The refuge used to have a 14 mile auto route but two years ago one of the endangered Ocroadtolagunaatascosaelots was killed by a visitor on the autoroute;  the route was closed off and a few months later a second cat was killed in another part of the refuge.

Since then there have been plans drafted for an ocelote safe autoroute.  Our hopes were that by the time we returned — this year — the work would have been completed but alas that proves not to be the case.  Not only have they not completed the work, aside from agreeing upon a new plan the work hasn’t even been started.  Which means it will be another couple years before there is once again an autoroute.

Even more to the bouncy, shakey, point — the road from the South (Highway 100) is betting bumpier and bumpier with semi-tire size potholes that you could lose the front half of your car in!   I’m told that you can take General Brant Road for an easier acess to the refuge but we have yet to try it.  For now, I’m staying off Buena Vista Road!   I should shout that to myself so I don’t forget!

laguna-atascosa-nwr-1This is a beautiful refuge — in the way that natural, unspoiled places are beautiful.  Momma Nature does here what she does best and there’s teaming life here whether or not you see it.

We drove out to Osprey Point while there and saw thousands and thousands and thousands of migrating waterfowl.  One of the larger masses of birds I’ve ever seen.laguna-atascosa-map  I’m sure we’ll return with cameras but it was lovely today not to be bothered dragging around cameras and lenses and be able to just enjoy the life around me.

While we were there I was tickled to see a Mexican / Rio Grande Ground Squirrel — these are very unlike the 13 Stripe Ground Squirrels we have in Wisconsin and I was glad to see them (Ictidomys parvidens)  Don’t worry, I’m not that good at critter idenfication.  There were a group of Texas State students present on a naturalists tour who clarified my uncertain identification — thank you very much!

There you have it.  Another day not-quite-South-of-the-Border! 🙂 Still overcast and drizzle-y — better weather promised in a couple days.  It all serves me right for going out a week ago to get a better fitting swimsuit — ever since then the skies have been crying.  (But at least my trunks wont fall down around my ankles) 🙂ictidomys-parvidens

Thanks for stopping, and I’ll be here again tomorrow.

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4 Comments

  1. Trunks falling down to you ankles is a good thing…though skies crying sure can put a damper on things. Can you please sent that rain over here.

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  2. Enjoyed Laguna when we were there last year. Drove back and forth for a week with another volunteer to paint one of the residences over there. Interesting road. Would love to volunteer there someday, but not with having to navigate that road everytime we went in and out.

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    1. Thanks for the article. Amazing how much money EVERYTHING costs nowadays!!!!

      That road is pretty rugged, and only getting worse. I’m sure nothing has been done to it in the 2 years since we were here and actually, I think nothing has been done to the damage since I was there in 2009 on my own without Peggy.

      I’m finding myself re-thinking the volunteer thing. Even with the cardiac meds I’m unsure how much activity I’m supposed to be engaging in and until we have some different testing done in April I’m kind of saying ‘our volunteer days might be over.’ Not sure yet, and what we would do would have to be lighter duty, but we’ll see what the doc says after the other tests.

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