Fun in the Forest : Red-cockaded Woodpeckers

CyberCelt | May 25, 2009 in Birding,Camping,Hike/Bike/Run,Horseback Riding,Lakes,Nature,RV Travel | Comments (2)

Leaving Stubblefield Lake campground, we turned back toward FM 1375,  passing the cutoff to the multi-use trailhead. We stopped at the Red-cockaded Woodpecker Interpretive site.

red_cockaded_woodpecker_site

Red-headed Cockaded Interpretative Site

The Red-cockaded Woodpecker lives in  mature southern pine forests. Often the woodpecker selects pine trees that have an inside core of  dead wood. This allows the woodpecker to easily dig out a cavity. As the woodpecker pecks, the pine tree bleeds pitch around the nest hole. The heavy flow of gum helps keep tree-climbing snakes away from the nest.  It also makes the nest easier to spot.

We were standing there looking for the woodpeckers and their nests.  All of a sudden, we heard them.  Tok, tok, tok.  We remained still and then realized the woods were full of woodpeckers.

woodpecker_trees1

Where the Red-cockaded Woodpeckers Live

Can you spot the cavities in the trees excavated by woodpeckers?  Look for cavities with stains beneath them on the trees.  This is where the sap has run.

multi-use-trail

Multi-Use Trail

Past the interpretive site was a road crossing for the Lone Star Hiking Trail (LSHT) and one for the multi-use trail.  Horses and mountain bikes are allowed on the multi-use  trail; but, evidently, it is too sandy and not many people use it.  We have heard about a mountain bike trail at Double Lake Recreation Area. We will check it out tomorrow.

ferns_under_pines

Ferns

I continued to be amazed by the lush greenery everywhere.  Look at the ferns growing along the roadside (above).  The only place you see ferns growing in Texas is on a rock face after a hard rain or under a waterfall.

We crossed back over Lake Conroe and turned right on FS 205 into the Cagle Recreation Area.  Cagle RA has a boat ramp, hiking trails, and 47 full-hookup RV camping sites.  The camping sites are situated along two loops under the pines, Sweet Gum Loop (19 sites) and Sycamore Loop (28 sites).  Some of the camp sites are overlooking Lake Conroe.

dogwood

We followed FM 1375 to Highway 75, the original highway between Houston and Dallas that was replaced by IH-45. We headed south through the small towns of New Waverly, Montgomery, Esperanza and Willis.  When we pulled back into Thousand Trails we were greeted by a newly blooming tree in our camp site.


2 Responses to “Fun in the Forest : Red-cockaded Woodpeckers”

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  1. Comment by StrandurlaubMay 25, 2009 at 5:59 am  

    Really it sounds interesting and I never heard of it before. I learned much about the red-cockaded woodpecker through your post. Thanks for your information.

    Strandurlaub’s last blog post..Kreta – Insel-Urlaub in Griechenland

  2. Comment by Pages tagged "fun"May 25, 2009 at 4:50 am  

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