Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mother Nature Gives and Takes

The fluctuating levels of Lake Texoma offer an ever-changing landscape around the lake shore and the Sandy Day Use Area at Hagerman NationalWildlife Refuge is no exception.    On a recent visit we were amazed to see that the current lake level, about 611.6’ elevation, has created a very wide beach - a wonderful place for animals to get water and for people to stroll.

On the other side of the equation, high waters over times have eroded Sandy Point and threaten to undermine one of the concrete picnic table units.  Those who choose to enjoy lunch at that table are truly on the edge! Fortunately another table is available, because Sandy Point is the perfect picnic spot. If you have not yet visited there, add it to your to-do list on your next trip to the Refuge. 

The PhotographyNavigation Guide produced by Becky Goodman for the Friends of Hagerman describes it thus:
“In the Sandy Day Use Area, you may see Osprey in the summer and Bald Eagles in the winter. Roadrunners are common. On the road to the picnic area, watch for deer in the open areas and various birds including Cardinals, Wrens, and Painted Buntings in the wooded sections. Wildflowers attract bees and butterflies along the road. Raptors such as Red‐tailed Hawks and American Kestrel frequent this section of the Refuge.”

On our visit last week we saw a large flock of gulls working the water just off the beach, ducks and herons flying by, and families out for a walk. If you stand far out on the point, look back to your right and you can just see the Refuge Visitor Center.  Look straight across Big Mineral and you can see Flowing Wells Resort and Marina, look left along the shoreline and you can see Big Mineral Resort Camp, and still further away, appearing like a bunch of tiny needles, the masts of boats at Cedar Mills Marina.  

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