After taking a couple of iPhone pictures, I made a quiet retreat and stayed on the trail the rest of the walk.
This state park, Lake Fausse Pointe, also gave us our first real exposure to mosquitoes. Southern mosquitoes are big and nasty and it's not fair to have them around in January. Mary seems to attract them and we had several bouts later in Texas. They seem to find any small opening in the Airstream and with a white ceiling, give us a pre-bedtime ritual of swatting them.
Of course, you never know where you'll run into alligators. It didn't raise our confidence level when one park ranger told Mary, "Ma'am, don't worry about them -- they only go after the old and the slow." Well .... I tend to worry more about the dog hassling them and keep her on leash in alligator country. Some of these get pretty big -- here's one we saw at a Louisiana refuge.
Javelinas love to browse at feeding stations at Falcon State Park. They seem skitterish but when they have young ones with them, they reportedly can get ornery. We just give them a wide birth at any time.
And the worst critters we encountered this trip came at the end when both Penny and I hit infestations of ticks. Now, we worry some about ticks in New England and Penny is on meds for fleas and ticks but we were out in the brushy woods at Village Creek State Park, north of Beaumont, Texas, and just got whacked. I was wearing shorts and both of us were covered. These suckers were hard to remove and we kept finding them. We moved on to Mississippi and like an idiot, I went out again and apparently brushed by vegetation with more of them and we spent another evening searching and removing them.
I had bought some tick medicine from a vet in Texas. I normally use Frontline on Penny but she carried something else, saying that it was just as good. Well, these ticks just laughed at the generic substitute. Our friends Jason and Kevin picked up some Frontline for Penny and we dosed her in Mississippi and it did the trick. I just wore long pants and tucked in socks and stayed out of tick areas. Neither of us seems to have developed any issues from our encounters.
And lastly, while we were at Falcon, a neighbor told me about a scorpion that some folks found dead in the women's bathroom. He then showed me a live scorpion that he caught underneath a rock down by Falcon Lake. He was going to bring it to his grandson who reportedly was excited to get it.
The thought of capturing a scorpion to bring back to one of our grandkids never crossed my mind. I have a good relationship with my daughter and daughters-in-law and want to keep it that way. We left all the critters behind us.