Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Back to Elephant Butte - Goatheads, Squirrels, Boxers and Roadrunners

We've moved a little bit in the last week or so.  We were at Caballo Lake, up in the parking area overlooking the lake for one night, then moved to Riverside Campground, just down the road.  I really like parking up there, and every time I do I love it until we take our first walk around the area.  Here's why we don't last long up there:

Goathead stickers.  This is my shoe after a short potty walk with Katie.  If we take a longer walk, the bottom of my shoes are covered.  You can imagine Katie trying to walk on these things.  I always forget, then the next day we usually move down to Riverside Campground along the Rio Grande.

We were the only campers in the Riverside Campground along the primitive area.  We had camped here in the spring, and I chose a large site that I had last time.  Right on the Rio Grande.  The developed sites in the campground have TONS of squirrels, so I don't park in the regular campground any more, but this area along the lake didn't have squirrels in the spring.  WELL...   this time, they were all over the place.  Here's our campsite - that's the river behind the trees:

It's just beautiful there.  When we went to bed, it was warm, so I opened the window in the overcab bunk.  I could smell the damp fields right across the road from our site.  It smelled so good.  I was happy to be there - and no goat heads.

We went to bed that night, and the next morning we had a whole crowd of squirrels.  They had built a huge hole in the ground 20 or 30 feet from The Palms during the night.  When I first went outside in the morning and saw this huge hole, I couldn't imagine what had built it.  Something big, for sure.

Here's Katie next to the hole, sniffing the dirt - she could have fit in the hole:

A bit later, here come the squirrels.  I don't know if they are the critters who dug the hole, but they were going in and out of it, and there was another smaller opening across from the big hole.  The squirrels were coming in and out of both and seemed very comfortable:

I was afraid of having a hoard of squirrels popping in and out of that tunnel and running all over the place near The Palms, and I was also feeling a little isolated, so I decided maybe we'd better head back to Elephant Butte, and we did.  We'll be back - but maybe further down toward the end there won't be as many squirrels, and hopefully there will be more RVers in that area.

We were extremely lucky to drive in on a Saturday morning and snag a non-electric campsite.  Someone must have just left - SCORE!   And so here we are, settled in for a bit.

We had a visitor yesterday - I don't know if he's a stray dog, or a pet who is off the leash, but he was back again today, walking through the campsite, and visiting our neighbor, Ellie and her son, Justice, who are next door.  I thought he was a Pitt Bull, but Justice said he's a Boxer. He is a beautiful dog.  I put out some food, he seemed so needy, and then gave him a treat, but I kept away from him, just in case.  As much as I hate people leaving their dogs off leash, I'm hoping he does have a home. He keeps going back up to the spot where we were on the little loop over the lake, so maybe one of those campers owns him.  And here he comes:

Eating a little of Katie's food - he finished the bowl and then had some water from the other bowl.  They are paper bowls, and I was surprised he didn't knock them over:

Yum - thanks, Katie!

See ya next time!

And away he went.  He seems like a sweet dog, I hope he's okay.  Katie was keeping a close watch on him.

I mentioned in the last post I'd tell you about my close encounter with a Roadrunner.  It was the best.  Short, but very sweet.  I was in the first campsite here at Elephant Butte, along the loop overlooking the lake.  I noticed the heron down by the water and went outside to snap some photos.  I was standing there, watching the bird through the close-up lens of the camera when I heard a weird noise.  It was kind of a double sound - a chirping and gurgling at the same time.  Weird.  I thought it was one of the weird insects that fly around making weird noises.

It kept making that sound, but it wasn't flying away, so I lowered the camera and glanced to my right, and there - right there - was a Roadrunner looking up at me.  A big guy, looking right at me.  I think I was in his way, blocking his path to get down the hill to the lake.  Up close and personal - he looked very soft and fluffy.

Here he comes:

Rushing by:

Heading past me on his way to the lake.  That was a pretty cool few minutes.  I've never been that close to a Roadrunner before.

WELCOME to our newest Follower, Leslie Alpen!  Hi, Leslie - thanks for following along with me and Katie.  I don't see any info about you, but if you have a blog, please let me know, and I'll share the link.  Welcome aboard!  :)

From me and Katie, have a great Wednesday, everyone!


  1. Hi Barb and Katie! Your visiting dog: mostly pit bull. Some boxer mixed in. Pits can be very sweet dogs, but don't let Katie around him, for sure. (I've been in dog rescue 20+ years - take it from one who knows). :-)
    What a COOL encounter with the roadrunner! Lucky you! And oh my gosh - the goatheads - we have them here in this part of Texas, too. And they HURT when they stick in a bare foot or a paw. (And many will go right through a flip flop, too).
    I love that you are mostly in the New Mexico area. That is what I would do in an RV. It would be so great to go from spot to spot in NM. Have you ever been to the area around El Morro? About an hour south of I-40 (Gallup). There is a very cool little RV park and cafe: Ancient Way cafe. (see I think it is considered Ramah, NM. I used to have property about 2 miles from there and we would camp there every summer. Too cold for winter, but great in the spring and summer. Anyway, I love following along with you and Katie. Thanks for your wonderful blog.
    Jool in N. Texas

  2. Your visitor looks more like an American Staffordshire Terrier to me. My son has one and he is extremely well behaved and friendly; however, we do keep an eye on him around the dachshunds because he is only two and wants to play...those feet are really big so we worry about a foot coming down.

  3. Thank the gods of roadrunner encounters for your beautiful images.

  4. Great pictures, again. Gee, I never knew that tree squirrels, like grey squirrels, made dens in the ground like that. Learned something new today from you.

  5. Those squirrels must have prarie dog ancestors! Yikes! Close encounter of the Roadrummer kind--a memorable experience. Love the photo of Katie watching the interloper through the window..."Just keep on walkin', Buddy".

  6. Not sure what breed that dog is but he needs to be neutered. Keep a close eye on Katie (I know you will) because any intact male, no matter how sweet-seeming, can turn aggressive in a split second.

  7. a boxer has a more squished in face.... yes, watch those un-neutered males.... those squirrels were very industrious!!!

  8. Ditto with the others on this dog. He is very much pit. You may want to talk to a ranger about him. He isn't even wearing a collar

  9. Also @ El Morro, the national park has a small campgound with about 10 sites that is free. It's not too far from Grants. Love the roadrunner shots, lucky you. Becki

  10. Roadrunners are cute and very popular. My early roadrunner posting got way over 6000 page views.I hat those goat heads. Very bad for dogs too

  11. I would just bet that the stray, definitely not a boxer, has been dumped. Definitely let the ranger know. He needs to be picked up by a rescue group or animal control. Starving to death, being hit by a car, or people shooting it is not a good way to die. I always feel so sorry for these dogs. I can just imagine he is coming back looking for his so called owners. Our neighbor is squirrel heaven, and I have never seen them did a hole. Just eat holes into the roofs of houses and tear the attics up! How interesting. Guess I will have to google that!

  12. Those goat heads are terrible for the feet, both human and canine! Those squirrel holes are huge!
    Mr Roadrunner is really showing off for you!

  13. Knowing that there are those burrs, would it help to sweep out an area for Katie to do her thing?
    I have some squirrel holes by my rig and have put huge pine cones in them so that I don't step in them. I don't need a twisted ankle.

  14. Those burrs were in Ga . Lola got them in her fur and Sammy got one stuck in his paw. Ouch!!!!!
    Loved seeing the roadrunner! Beep beep

  15. Lady and I were both Easterners by birth and at heart, and we hated all the burrs and stickers and thorny grasses. There is just no escaping them.


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