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The Thundering Herd- April 2021

Spring has finally arrived and with it, a renewed sense of hope… In every sense of the word!

We all say that it’s a continuous learning experience here at Caprock Canyons State Park, no matter how long one has worked here. And like the many different species of animals and plants that cling to life in an often uncertain and changing environment within the park, we’ve learned an important lesson in the past few months… How to adapt. As we discussed in last month’s blog, the recent “snowpocalypse” did significant damage to our water storage tank as well as various other water related infrastructure. Well now, we are happy to say that in the very near future, Caprock Canyons will be able to open back up to full capacity just as many other Texas State Parks have recently begun to do with the reopening of Texas. We do still have a boil water notice in effect and our showers are currently closed, but we know that all will return to normal very soon. We, as well as our very patient park visitors and supporters, have shown considerable adaptability through this time and we are very thankful to be seeing the light at what proved to be a very long tunnel.

Last month, Caprock welcomed a new host family. Park hosts Phil and Jennifer Aggio along with their four young girls joined the Caprock family and have already proven their worth in gold to the park. The family has been helping with various maintenance tasks and does a fabulous job of being the “eyes and ears” of the park especially after office hours.

Caprock regularly has 2 Spring Breaks with part of the state and other states close by having alternating Spring Break weeks. However, to be honest, we really can’t tell anymore one week from another as our visitation continues to stay high especially on weekends regardless of the holidays or special events. So, we strongly encourage you to secure a reservation with us as soon as you can. You can make reservations 5 months in advance and we strongly encourage it, even for day use.

During Caprock’s second week of Spring Break, a long awaited event occurred and we had been anticipating and watching for it… New bison calves! Before the week was over, park staff had counted 7 new little ones and now there are many more! There’s perhaps nothing more exhilerating and nothing that will bring you such a renewed sense of hope than to see new members of the Texas State Bison Herd! But, you’ll definitely need to come out and see them for yourself. Just remember, mother bison are very protective! Be sure to give them even more space than the recommended 50 yards.

And there’s even more exciting news… Caprock Canyons State Park has returned to regular in-person interpretive programming! We’re still encouraging social distancing and the wearing of masks if a 6-foot social distance can’t be maintained during programs. Here’s a look at what’s in store for this month!

Programs & Events:

Friday, April 2:

  • Prairie Dogs: Talk of the Town at 4:00 p.m. Meet at the Honey Flat Restrooms

Saturday, April 3:

  • Canyon Walk & Talk at 2:00 p.m., Meet at the Upper South Prong Trailhead
  • The Bison Supercenter at 4:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion
  • Music in the Park featuring “The Dirt Storm Drifters” at 6:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion

Saturday, April 10:

  • Prairie Walk & Talk at 2:00 p.m., Meet at the Honey Flat Restrooms
  • Skins, Skulls, and Scat at 4:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion
  • Music in the Park featuring piano by John Walker at 7:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion

Saturday, April 17:

Saturday, April 24:

  • Canyon Walk & Talk at 2:00 p.m., Meet at the Upper South Prong Trailhead
  • The Bison Supercenter at 4:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion
  • Music in the Park featuring “the Brownlee’s” at 7:00 p.m., Visitor’s Center Pavilion

What to See & Do: Wildlife and Wildflower Viewing

This month, there will be many opportunities to see new life in the park. From bison calves to prairie dog pups and blooming wildflowers, you’re sure to get an eye full! The prairie dog pups haven’t come out of their burrows just yet, but we know it won’t be long!

Ranger Recommendation:

Bring a telephoto lens or some binoculars with you to see baby bison or prairie dog pups. Plus, there’s a wealth of birding opportunities right now as well!

Quote of the Month:

“Wherever life plants you, bloom with grace.” ~Unknown

“Bladderpod” or “Popweed” (Lesquerella fendleri)

Interpreter’s Corner:

I’m often reminded that life always finds a way out here at Caprock Canyons State Park. In fact, I often see plants that have taken up residence very precariously on the side of the canyon or even seem to be growing straight through rock. These plants are “living on the edge” so to speak. And even though they may find themselves in less than perfect conditions, they do make the most of it. For one, their eye catching. You can’t help but to notice them. And another, they’re hardy and strong. They’re growing there, because nature selected them for just that purpose. Wherever you find yourself in life these days, I encourage you to be empowered by nature’s way of showing us the best in life. Bloom where you’re planted and take root!

I’ll see you down the trail!