Wednesday, July 20, 2016

One Million Pageviews - WOW - and Morphy Lake Critters


I remember way back, a number of years ago, I didn't think I'd ever get 1,000,000 Pageviews.  Some other bloggers I read had passed that mark, and I wasn't surprised, but never thought Me and My Dog ...and My RV! would get that many views.

I need to REALLY thank my readers for stopping in day after day, even when (lately) I'm not giving much back.  So,

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your continued support;  although this blog is a travel journal for me, I'm so pleased that other people enjoy following me and Katie.  I don't know if I'd still be posting in a blog if not for all my loyal readers.

Now to catch up!


After leaving Elephant Butte, Katie and I stopped in Albuquerque to get gas for the truck at Costco, then headed on to Storrie Lake State Park, NM.   The weather was cooler, but still pretty warm.  We lasted for two weeks in, six days out, and two more weeks in, which is the regulation.  As on BLM and Forest Lands, the maximum stay is 14 days.   Then you have to leave the park for six days.

The good thing about Storrie Lake is that there's a town, Las Vegas, NM, with a Wal-mart three miles away.  It's SO convenient, but there's only one place to overnight while in town for the six nights, and that's the Wal-mart.  They are wonderful about it.  I've never heard a complaint from Wal-mart or another RVer.  I know we RVers aren't supposed to stay more than one night at a cooperating business, but I think the business we give them must factor into their decision to let us stay longer.

I always leave their parking lot in the morning and go into town, to the library, there's a good health food store where I got local honey, etc.  There's also a nice laundromat in town, which is clean and large enough that I've never had to wait.  Just walking around the old town is nice.

I try to get one household/RV task done each day, then drive to a park or somewhere that I can park for the day, and around 5ish I head back to Wal-Mart, always parking far from the store. 

The town is really old and has lots of history.  I was going to use my next 6 days out of the park walking around with my camera, capturing all the old buildings which are just beautiful.  Some are not being kept up, it's a poor town, but the architecture is still beautiful and can still be appreciated.

Because it was so hot, when my second two-week stay in the park was done, we headed northwest and I didn't get my photos of the Las Vegas buildings.  Maybe next time.

Okay, so...   I do have photos of Storrie Lake, but I'll post them next time.  While we were at Storrie Lake, I met up with a new friend, Bill, who said he always drove to Morphy Lake, another New Mexico State Park nearby, when he was at Storrie Lake.  It's higher in altitude and the temps were cooler than where we were.  It's a very small area, and the road there is so narrow it's scary - I would NEVER try to bring The Palms up that road unless it was being blocked at one end for my safe passing.   And of course, that will never happen.  But the lake is gorgeous, and there are campsites for tent camping that would be really nice.  Good fishing, good temps, a beautiful area.

So we decided to take a drive up there to get out of the heat.  Katie and I jumped into Bill's truck and off we went, thankfully HE was driving!  Here's Bill, photo posted with his permission.  I'll bet some of you know him - super nice guy.

We arrived at the lake and parked in one of the spaces in front of the lake.  Then Bill noticed they were stocking the lake with trout:

We walked over and watched them.  Some of the fish were good sized, and would be legal catches.

I've never seen the stocking procedure before - they just lift up the gates on the truck and they FLOW out in all the water right into the lake.  It was pretty cool to see.  I didn't get any good shots of the trout - they were moving around too much, probably so happy to be FREE!

But I did get photos of two other kinds of fish.  There are also some Koi that we saw right there at the edge of the lake.

Look at the blue and white fish below.  He was pretty, maybe 12 inches or larger, and the only one we saw that was this color.  I don't know what kind of fish he is.

The insect below is called a Beautiful demoiselle.  There were tons of them flying right above the water.  I got two photos that were pretty clear:

Here's another Beautiful demoiselle:

Morphy Lake was just FULL of living creatures.  I've never seen anything like it.   The next picture is teeming with minnows:

Here are more minnows at the top of the photo with some tadpoles in the middle and more Beautiful demoiselles at the bottom:

There were TONS of frogs here.  They were the kind that squeaked when they felt danger, before they jumped.   The next photos are of the tadpoles that were growing into frogs.  They were good sized - probably somewhere around three inches long.  Some had their tails still, some were losing their tails and growing legs.  I remember collecting tiny tadpoles from the creek when I was young, and watching them morph into frogs.  I haven't seen that since then.

Here are some full grown frogs - they let out the strangest squeak before they jumped into the water for safety.

Three frogs sunbathing - aren't they sleek and beautiful?

Here's a larger photo of the one above, showing more of the frogs at the water's edge:

The lake edge was also full of crayfish - I think that's what they're called - that were beautiful.  It looked like there were different kinds.  Look at this beauty:

Across the lake we saw a Great Blue Heron - Bill spotted him.  I had to zoom in all the way on my camera to even find him over there, but finally focused on him:

It was a warm day, even up at Morphy Lake, and I was so surprised to turn around and see Katie walking around in the water, exploring.  She's never done that before on her own.  She actually had muddy legs!  She was having such a great time! 

Look at that mud!  She was doing a little "rolling" in the mud, too.

Bill always hikes around the lake when he visits Morphy, but I wasn't willing to climb over rocks, etc. - there wasn't a good trail, and I was worried about Katie, so we just went a little way until the easy part ended and there were some large boulders blocking us.  Then we climbed up to the road and walked back down to the truck.

On the way out in the truck, Bill (he's got the BEST vision!) spotted this guy - he's a  Kaibab Squirrel.  They have tufts of fur sticking up from the top of their large ears, and white on the underside of their tails.  When they run along with their tails in the air, you can really see the white.  This was a new critter for me.  Bill stopped the truck so I could get some photos. When he got out of the truck, the squirrel had run down to the lake and was drinking, but I wasn't able to move Katie, get the camera, climb out of the truck and focus until he was on his way back into the forest.  I feel fortunate to have gotten these four shots:

And the last photo is of a tiny Antelope Squirrel - it looks like she's a female who has a batch of babies at home in her nest:

Although I'll probably never stay at Morphy Lake because of the narrow roads and small campsites, it is sure worth a visit to see this beautiful place!

In my next post, I'll show you the best of the photos I got at Storrie Lake.

Thanks, everyone, for continuing to follow along with me and Katie, and to have been a part of our One Million Pageviews!  Have a great Wednesday - Social Security Wednesday for me!  Yay!  :)