Our stay at Caballo Lake Riverside Campground is pleasant like the warm sunshine. Our friendly neighbors, Mike and Patty, an amiable elderly couple from Colorado have been full time RVing for four months. Mike Stauder is a writer, a photo artist, and a futurist. Mike invited us to their big RV and showed his stunning composite photos on his huge flat screen TV. The vibrant colors, interesting composition, surreal effects of landscape and space art intrigued me. It was an eye opening experience. Mike started writing fiction novels since 1995 and his eBooks are available at Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes & Noble. Most of his writings are near future adventure, as he put it. He thinks humanity is on the wrong track and tries to find solutions to it. He designed disaster proof OsumPODS, sustainable independent unishell modular concept houses. I hope he can build one in the near future when he gets a piece of land in Utah. His website is www.michaelatman.com. Their son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren are also camping on this campground.
There are always waterfowl in the shallow Rio Grande River. Ducks, blue herons, and sandpipers are common sights. Ducks are skittish. Most often, they took off immediately at the presence of humans. But this morning the wind was breezy, I gingerly walked down the bank to the edge of water, and they didn’t take off. The sound of wind might have masked the noise of my footsteps on the grass and rocks. Several green-winged teals, a female merganser mingled with ducks. They dabbled in the water, cruised on the water, or took a nap with their heads tucked under their wings. Killdeers ran a few steps on the exposed riverbed and paused and pecked on the mud. They made a loud kill-deee sounds when they flew away. Maybe that was how they got their name. A great yellowlegs waded in the shallow water and ducked its long bill in and out of water looking for food. Yellow-rumped warblers flew to the water to get a drink and back to the trees. They chased bugs in the air in a short wild dance and then retreated to the trees.
A group of bluebirds like to perch on the power lines by the park entrance. They probably like the view of the river and the warm sunshine. We also saw Wilson’s snipes probing the mud by the river. They had long bills and looked like small version of woodcocks. Loggerhead shrikes were cool birds with black eye masks. They like to perch on the low posts on the campground. Their sharp bills can tear up snakes and small rodents. They also eat small birds like hummingbirds. Lookout hummingbirds!
There were large sized fish stirring up the mud and clouded the shallow water. A big splash of water appeared on the surface of water when they jumped. Blue herons liked to stay still by the water’s edge and the water mirrored their images. When disturbed, they usually took off and landed on the hill and waited patiently till it was clear. An elegant blue heron once landed near our campsite gracefully early in the morning. It hid to the nearby bush shortly. We walked to that area and found out the nearby narrow water channel for irrigation. There was a small concrete structure by the dam releasing water to the water channel.
Besides birding, we ride bikes on the paved road. I ride my bike all the way up to the steep road that leads to the dam where a good view of Caballo Lake and Caballo Mountains could be enjoyed. There is a big empty group shelter with concrete floor in the park. I picked up my Taichi workout there. The ethereal sounds of flying sandhill cranes flow into our trailer like melody at dawn and in the dusk. In the late afternoon, on the far end of the newly planted fields adjacent to the park where short green crops are emerging, there gathered a big flock of sandhill cranes. When the sun set lower on the horizon and painted the sky with warm hues, they flew home in the north.
Although the world is changing dramatically everyday, days went by slowly and simply as my favorite mellow country music was playing in the trailer.