Monday, January 25, 2010

Cibolo Creek, Texas

A recent outing along the mostly dried bed of Cibolo Creek just outside of San Antonio didn't yield many birds of note, but a few interesting rock formations

Upon our arrival, we were greeted by a Western Kingbird (a lifer for me!), who only lingered long enough for a good look, and then disappeared.  There was, however, a cacaphony of cardinals among the trees lining the river bed.  I have never seen or heard so many in one place before.  Vultures soured overhead, both Turkey Vultures and Black Vultures.

Tracks abounded in the dried river bed, mostly those of coyotes and raccoon, but this track was of interest to me because of it's roundness, like a flower petal. 

However, it was the rocks that peaked our imagination this day.  I'm no geologist, and I tried to do a little digging, but wasn't able to uncover much information that I could understand.  I believe it's mostly limestone in this area, dating back to prehistoric days when the area was covered by the sea.

Here is a picture of the dried up river bed showing the fossil remains of hundreds of shells.


And upon closer inspection...

The rock formations along the bank of the river were incredible.  One looked like the profile of a face.

and for scale

We scrambled over rock formations, climbed down and across crevices, peeked into "caves", followed paths cut out by flowing water.

It was almost "other worldly".

We found treasures galore.

This would make a lovely necklace!

And this looks like a skull, abandoned and alone.

Evidence of flooding, 8 - 12 feet above the creek bed was everywhere.  Here is a small bird's nest, probably American Goldfinch, that had been ravaged by rushing waters.  It's amazing how something that appears to be so small and delicate, is strong enough to withstand nature's wrath.

We accessed the river bed from an overpass off the highway leading out of the city.  This shot from between the railroad tressles is looking back toward the highway.  See the gorgeous Live Oak off in the distance.

Cibolo Creek runs for 100 miles before joining up with the San Antonio River. I hope to continue following the creek bed further along on my next visit to the area, providing it is at a time during the year when there are no snakes!!


Carrie P. said...

Wow, those are very interesting rock formations. When is there water running in the river? Just a quick glance at the river bed looks like there is water in it but looking closer it is dry as a bone. It really is neat.

Anonymous said...

Carrie, There was a bit of water, but not much. These days the creek fills when we get heavy rains. On the otherside of the overpass there was water and is frequented by local fishermen.

Nice job, Mom. It was a neat place to go. I hope to take the kids at some point for an outdoor excursion.
No poop pictures?

Denise said...

What an incredible place to visit. I loved your photos and want to thank you for taking us along.

swamp4me said...

Wow - rocks!! I love rocks and we have absolutely NONE where I live. Thanks for all the photos.

KaHolly said...

Thank you for stopping by Carrie, Kirsten, and Denise. And thank you Kirsten for answering Carrie's question. No, honey, I didn't think the scat pictures went with today's post. Maybe another time! ha, ha

KaHolly said...

But, Swamp, you have a swamp!! I had lots of pictures, and it was difficult to choose which ones to post. Thanks for visiting my blog today! ~karen

Anonymous said...

Loved those fossils and rock formations. Seems like an excellent meeting place for wildlife and birds. These sanctuaries are treasured.

John said...

Hi Karen,

Now that looks a fantastic place to explore, I could happily disapear there for days just looking at the rock formations, and the wildlife. Wonderful post.


Marvin said...

Looks like a great place for exploring. No doubt many snakes could be found if it were warmer.

TLC_Texas said...

Hi Karen - I'm planning a field trip to Cibolo Creek for a rockhound group. I ran across your blog entry about it and was wondering if you could tell me more about where you entered/parked. I had another spot in mind initially...but, I didn't see any caves when I was there and that sounds really cool!