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The Thundering Herd- August 2021

This summer, we’ve been “focused on the family” you might say. From the families coming to us for family vacations, to those stopping through along the way to check things out, we see you! We also see those visitors stopping in for the day! In fact, we’ve had quite a few day users to the park recreating at Lake Theo.

We’ve also been focused on bats too! While summer might make others think of the beach or soaking up the sun along a shoreline somewhere, Caprock automatically thinks of bats! That’s because during the summer months is when you’re more likely to see them fluttering about on a summer evening and when our “Bat Tours” get underway. (If you’re not familiar with the Bat Tour, check out our events page or give us a call at (806)455-1492 to find out more information!) This month marks the end of the Bat Tour season so don’t miss it!

We’ve been spending quite a bit of time doing some outreach at various libraries and museums this summer. This past month, we participated in Quitaque Library’s summer reading program with the theme of “Tales and Tails”. And of course, our animal of choice to go along with that theme was the bat. We had such a great time educating the participants about the many different tales/myths about bats, debunking some of those myths, reading a Native American tale about bats, and making our own Mexican free-tailed bat for participants to take home. Thank you to the Caprock Partners Foundation for purchasing the supplies for this take home project!

Photo courtesy of Caprock Public Library

We also partnered with the White Deer Land Museum in Pampa to help educate our Panhandle students about their heritage. The park discussed the history of the bison and the important conservation legacy of the Goodnights while many others discussed pioneer life in the Panhandle. Thank you to the White Deer Land Museum for hosting such an amazing event and for making sure to include us!

Last but certainly not least, I finally broke through my comfort zone barrier and participated in an Instagram Live takeover on the main Texas Parks and Wildlife Instagram channel on World Ranger Day. I partnered with Margarita from Resaca de la Palma State Park clear across the state as we discussed the unique landscape and resources of our two very different parks. If you missed it, you can still check it out on the Instagram tv section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Instagram page.

Program and Events this Month:

August 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th, and 28th:

  • Bat Tours, 6:30 p.m., Reservations Required. $10 per seat. Call the park at (806)455-1492 to reserve your spot!

August 7:

  • Music in the Park featuring “The Dirt Storm Drifters” band, 6:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion. Event is FREE with your paid park entrance fee.

August 14:

  • Canyon Walk & Talk, 9:00 a.m., Meet at the Upper South Prong Trailhead. Dress for hiking and bring water. Hike is approximately 1.5 miles of moderate difficulty.
  • Goin’ Batty, 2:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion. Program is designed for children 12 and under but all ages are welcome.
  • Music in the Park featuring “the Brownlee’s”, 7:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion. Event is FREE with your paid park entrance fee.

August 21:

  • Canyon Walk & Talk, 9:00 a.m., Meet at the Upper South Prong Trailhead. Dress for hiking and bring water. Hike is approximately 1.5 miles of moderate difficulty.
  • The Bison Supercenter, 2:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion
  • Music in the Park featuring “The Magic Piano by John Walker and guitar by Roger”, 7:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion. Event is FREE with your paid park entrance fee.

August 27:

  • Music in the Park featuring “The Magic Piano of John Walker”, 7:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion. Event is FREE with your paid park entrance fee.

August 28:

  • Canyon Walk & Talk, 9:00 a.m., Meet at the Upper South Prong Trailhead. Dress for hiking and bring water. Hike is approximately 1.5 miles of moderate difficulty.
  • Prairie Dogs: Talk of the Town, 2:00 p.m., Meet at the Honey Flat Restrooms.

Quote of the Month:

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and gorgeous at the end.” ~Robin Sharma

Interpreter’s Corner:

This month marks the end of a chapter here at Caprock Canyons State Park. Our long time Office Manager Freda Hughes, and long time Bison Herdsman/Park Ranger C.L. Hawkins, are now retired. Lots of knowledge and history goes with them, but not before they imparted their wisdom and love for the park onto all of us. We will certainly miss them. Change is definitely hard, but I’m reminded of the canyons and the dramatic effect that change has on this beautiful landscape. Geologists surmise that our canyons here at Caprock Canyons State Park are changing at the rate of at least 1/2 an inch per year. That may not seem like a lot to us, but in geological time, it is really significant. This new change to our park and park family is definitely significant. We will certainly notice the void. But, with that void will come new and beautiful things. I know it has certainly come for Freda and C.L. in this new chapter of their lives. They aren’t gone forever, they’ve just weathered off the foundation and made their way further downstream to a different area of the canyon so to speak. Someday, we too will join them. Happy retirement Freda and C.L.! We’ll miss your laughs, talks, and friendship! But, most of all, we’ll remember you and the fun times we had, just like our visitors do when they hike the trails through the canyon landscape created by something none other than change. Happy trails ya’ll!