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The Last Challenge of 2016, Explore the Lake

Our last challenge for 2016 at Lake Corpus Christi State Park brought the whole Team out & we discovered new species of plants & animals, learned the names of some things we've seen before, & got a lesson on the CCC.
Team El Lockett

The CCC is the Civilian Conservation Corps Company 886 that developed the park from 1934 to 1935. The CCC buildings included a bathhouse, park residence, a refectory, and Park Road 25. The architect was Olin Boes and only the refectory remains today. Local crushed oysters, caliche, was used to form bricks to make the structures in the park. 

We saw many animals and plants along Catfish Point Trail. The path had alot of Red Harvester Ants ( Pogonomyrmex barbatus). We caught sight of a beautiful Monarch Butterfly (Dania's plexippus). A Texas Spiny Lizard ( Sceloporus olivaceus) was quite happy to stay still while my mom took several pictures of it. 

There were several species of plants that we saw that we hadn't identified before that provided us with an opportunity to show how nature adapts to dry and drought conditions to survive. The most unusual plant that we had never seen was the Desert Christmas Cactus (Opuntia leptocaulis)and it is a master at surviving droughts because of how it retains water. The Lantana (Lantana camara) and a Bracket Fungus that was growing at the base of a tree have adapted to dry conditions by growing in the shades of other plants. 

In reference to water, there are ways humans can conserve water before it runs out. Turning off the sink when brushing teeth or rinsing dishes, taking shorter showers, watering yards before 10:00 a.m. and after 6 p.m., and collecting rain in barrels are a few ways society can help. Our water is a very important resource. 

When we were turning in my Junior Ranger Pack we sat at a picnic table to rest. We were joined by an injured 5 legged Katydid Leafbug and my Dad introduced me to a bug I had never seen before. It is called an Antlion (Myrmeleon tidae) and this animal was also nice enough to allow us to take it's picture along with the Leafbug. This challenge reminded me that there is so much more for me to discover in nature. 

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