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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Adventurous day in Balmorhea

I hadn't gone oding in the Balmorhea area ever before, so wasn't sure what to expect. It was great fun and not disappointing other than I took a tiny misstep and hurt my hip.* The pain was unbearable. Just stepped slightly off-balance due to a small dirt berm alongside the road. I managed to get into my pickup since I was only a few feet away. Then I took ibuprofen and just sat there for a while. I'm still in pain but managing.

One other "incident," but it was in pursuit of a lifer (well before the hip incident). Totally justifiable. At the San Solomon Cienega in the state park near Balmorhea I was scoping out the canal behind the cienega. The canal is way down a steep bank and I was walking above looking down with binoculars. I saw a lifer ode that I just had to photograph so had to go down the steep bank. My plan was to hang onto a mesquite tree and ease my way down, but the bank was made up of loose rocks and my body just scooted down. The only thing the mesquite accomplished was to scratch my arms. A clump of grass at the edge of the water kept me from sliding into it. The water was about two feet deep, I guess. But I did get my lifer Four-striped Leaftail. Worth all the work!

Another ode that I saw a lot of, but read is supposed to be uncommon, is the Desert Whitetail. I checked with some experts and apparently it's not that uncommon around Balmorhea and other places in West Texas.

This next Eastern Amberwing is a common species. I have them here in Alpine right now, but I almost never see a female, and near Balmorhea Lake today females were abundant. Go figure!

And here's a damselfly that hasn't been identified yet. Possible, Dusky, Sooty, or even Tezpi.

A couple others besides the above one, I sent off to Greg Lasley for IDs. Will update when available. Gotta go rest my hip. Sitting is the most painful.

*What actually happened was I went to step up on the berm made by a road grader with my right foot and didn't put enough energy into the step up, which caused me to lose my balance backwards off the berm. To catch myself and not fall, I landed back with my weight jolting onto my left foot. (Something I have probably done normally since a toddler without ever feeling it.) That's the side with the bad hip. For a few moments I literally couldn't move.

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