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The Thundering Herd-January 2019

Another year in the books and the start to another!  I truly hope that each of you had a great Christmas spent with family and friends.  Here at Caprock, we are busy planning out this year’s events and updating our calendars to reflect what we currently know this new year will bring forth.  It’s what we don’t know this new year will bring yet that’s weighing on our minds.  Perhaps, weighing isn’t really the word to use because that seems to imply a sense of dread.  And, we certainly aren’t dreading the events that are to come.  We are waiting in hopeful anticipation, because we know that Caprock Canyons State Park is one of many Texas State Parks that brings families closer, puts a spark of joy and wonder in the eyes of children, and creates that memorable moment of simply being out in nature for many of our visitors.  So, here’s to 2019!  May there be lots of joy had, great experiences, and a whole bunch of visitation and opportunity to share Caprock Canyons State Park and its unique resources with others!

Here’s a look at the events that took place last month:

  • The Adult Deer Hunt went well with 2 mule deer bucks and 3 mule deer doe harvested.  Congratulations to those hunters!
  • Lake Theo received its annual stocking of rainbow trout on December 12th!  We have already received lots of reports of fishing success!
  • The Aoudad Hunt was also a success with 3 rams harvested.  Congratulations to those hunters who stuck it out and braved those chilly winds!

What to See & Do This Month:

Make getting healthy a priority!  I know, I know….  Everyone says that this time of the year, but we want you to know that getting healthy doesn’t always mean going on a diet to get those extra pounds off.  What we’re talking about is making time for you and taking care of yourself both physically and mentally.  Caprock Canyons State Park is a great way to do just that!  With over 25 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding trails, (not to mention the 64 miles of Trailway), and Lake Theo, Caprock offers great recreational opportunities and a whole host of ways to immerse yourself in nature.  If you’re new to visiting a state park like Caprock or you simply want some company, join us for our “First Day Hike” on January 1st at 2:00 p.m.  The event is FREE with your paid park entrance fee!

Ranger Recommendation:

This month’s ranger recommendation comes to us from our park host Mary Gustafik.  This has been Mary’s first time to host at Caprock and already she has made great strides in helping us out to get ready for 2019.  She is an avid birder and is currently keeping us updated with any new feathered friends she sees.  Among other tasks, she has been helping us with the upkeep of the wildlife viewing blind and has graciously volunteered her time to create a list of some common birds to see this time of the year in the park.

Being the avid birder that she is, Mary suggests taking some short walks down to the various creek areas of the park where there is water and some dense vegetation.  These areas support a variety of bird species some of which are here year round and some that make places like Caprock Canyons State Park their home for the Winter.  After being here a little less than a month, Mary says that she has seen upwards of 30 or more different bird species so don’t miss out!

Programs & Events:

January 1st:  “First Day Hike”, 2:00 p.m., Meet us at the South Prong Parking Lot at the Upper Canyon Trail trailhead.  Event is FREE with your paid park entrance fee.  Pets are welcome!

January 1-5:  The Park will be closed beginning at 5:00 p.m. on January 1st to conduct wildlife management activities and will reopen on January 5th at 2:00 p.m.

Quote of the Month:

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.”  ~James Thurber

Pic of the Month:

American Robin perched in the branches of a Red-berry Juniper during the last snowfall by park host Mary Gustafik.

Interpreter’s Corner:

Just as easily as most of us experienced 2018 flying by, our life can quickly pass us by in the mere blink of an eye.  Especially, if we aren’t being mindful of our own body and thoughts.  We can even begin to experience physical limitations and illness due to our lack of awareness.  According to Meriam-Webster, the definition of mindfulness is the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis.  Being mindful can include taking a break, so to speak, from life and carefully observing our thoughts and feelings and also how our physical bodies are doing.  It can be a great way to help manage our life, current situations, and physical wellbeing while also assisting us to identify solutions to any problems we might be facing.  Mindfulness techniques have been proven to successfully treat certain conditions, lower stress levels, fight against depression and anxiety, and improve overall health.  While you can certainly find a way to practice mindfulness at home or at work, unfortunately for many of us, mindfulness doesn’t come naturally and we often need a place of escape to help us refocus.  We invite you to utilize Caprock Canyons State Park as that place as often as you can!