Experience night hikes at
Purtis Creek State Park
|By Linda K.
EUSTACE–They came from as far as Kerens and
Peeltown, the 20 or so adults and children to head into the
woods and into the dark.
It was the first night hike of 2008, hosted by Purtis Creek
State Park, Feb. 23.
Park officer Lisa Male lead the group along the hiking trail,
around an inlet of the lake and introduced us to how it feels to
get around in total darkness.
Well, almost total darkness. We were carrying flashlights
– but turned them off for short periods.
The trick was to step where the path was lightly colored (sand)
instead of where it was dark (tree root) while not walking into
the person ahead, of course!
It was still a little too cool for much critter activity, but it
was a lovely evening to be out under the stars.
And there were plenty of them, dusted thickly above our heads!
A couple of bug eyes were seen shining in the light from our
Frogs created a nice chorus, serenading from within the marshes.
It was a big difference from walking the trails during the day.
We rely so heavily on our sight that most of us have forgotten
how to use our other senses.
In the dark, hearing and smelling are key.
A whole different set of animals are about at night –except for
raccoons. They are such opportunists around the park that they
seek out meals anytime, day or night.
Male compared their seeking food to our heading for a fast food
“They just head for the campsites,” she said. A quick and easy
meal that doesn’t require much effort is always preferred.
In the coming month, the park plans to host a stargazing party,
backpacking seminar, canoe trips and other events.
A new bike trail is in the works and coming along nicely.
More information can be found at
|Purtis Creek Activity
March 9 (today) - Lakeside Cleanup, noon-4
p.m. - Help clean up trash on the lake and along the
shoreline. Canoes provided or bring your own. Open to all ages;
children must be accompanied by parent.
March 15 - Kids Camp Crafts, 5-6 p.m - Make a
rattlesnake, bluebonnet and a s’more using arts and crafts
materials. Open to kids of all ages.
March 22 - Easter Egg Hunt, 10:30-12:30 a.m. - How many
eggs will you find? Bring your Easter baskets and join in the
fun. There will be hunts for three age groups, 0-5, 6-9 and
10-13. Sponsored by the Friends of Purtis Creek State Park.
- Full Moon Canoe Tour, 6:30-9:30 p.m - Paddle down
Purtis Creek and then into the swamp and see nocturnal animals
at work with only the light of the full moon and test your sense
of smell and hearing. Open to all ages, children must be
accompanied by an adult; space is limited. Life jackets
required. $6 per person, free for children 4 and under;
reservations required (903) 425-2332.
March 29 - Basic Canoe Skills, 4-6 p.m. - Learn new
skills or improve current ones. This program focuses on safe
canoe entry, paddling strokes and steering. Open to all ages;
children must be accompanied by parent. $6 per person, free for
children 4 and under; reservations required (903) 425-2332.
April 5 - Stargazing, 8:30-10 p.m - Explore the night sky
and make a star wheel. Meet at overflow camping parking lot at
April 12 - Campfire Building, 8-9 p.m. - Campfires are an
enjoyable part of camping, but can be difficult to get started.
Here is a chance to learn firebuilding skills using safe
April 12, 26, - Interpretive Canoe Tour, 9:30 a.m.-noon -
Canoe down Purtis Creek and through a natural marsh reservoir.
See active beaver dams and native wildlife in their natural
habitat. $6 per person, free for children 4 and under;
reservations required (903) 425-2332.
April 19 - Full Moon Hike, 8-9 p.m. - Enjoy a leisurely
hike in the moonlight and learn about some of the nocturnal
animals that visit the park. Hike is about 1.5 miles. Wear
sturdy hiking shoes, trail may be wet, bring flashlight and
water. Small children must be accompanied by an adult. Meet at
trailhead parking lot.
April 20 - Earth Day Lake Cleanup, Noon-4 p.m. - Help
clean up trash on the lake and along the shoreline. Canoes
provided or bring your own. Open to all ages; children must be
accompanied by parent.
All events are accessible for the mobility, visually and hearing
impaired. Call park at (903) 425-2332.
‘A Night at the Oscars’
scheduled for March 24
Area resturants to serve up delicious samples
Special to The Monitor
MABANK–The annual “Taste of Cedar Creek Lake” Awards
Banquet is slated for Monday, March 24, at the new Mabank High School.
This popular event is in its 13th year.
With a theme of “A Night at the Oscars,” ticket holders can expect
glamour and fun surprises along with fabulous food.
The food vendors and dining tables will be set in the commons area of
Mabank High School and the program portion of the evening will take
place in the state-of-the-art auditorium, just a few steps away.
Dinner will be served from 6:30 until 8 p.m. and the program will begin
at 8 p.m. and last until approximately 9 p.m.
Participating chamber of commerce member restaurants will provide a wide
array of delicious samples for attendees’ dining pleasure.
Veteran “Taste” chair Bruce Easley of Capt’n “B” Florist is once again
heading up the volunteer committee with Kathy Kendrick of Lone Star Maps
calling on chamber member restaurants to ask for their participation.
Members of the Cedar Creek Lake Pacesetters Club, a group of area
fund-raisers and event planners, are Bruce’s back-up team, and help
ensure that all the many details are attended to.
In addition to participating restaurants, lake area businesses are
donating table decorations and other amenities and services vital to the
success of the 13th annual “Taste of Cedar Creek Lake.”
Traditionally, the beautiful floral arrangements that decorate the
tables are given as door prizes during the event, adding to the
excitement and fun of the evening.
Member businesses are invited to sponsor the table arrangements for $60
each (limited number available).
The much-anticipated awards presentation will once again be on the
agenda for the evening, as the “Citizen of the Year,” “Jean Nichols
Lifetime Service Award” and “Ambassador of the Year” are announced.
Recognition will also be given to winners of awards from the various
branches of the Chamber, including “Teachers of the Year” from the
The awards are given annually to volunteers in the community who donate
their time to worthy causes benefiting the entire Cedar Creek Lake area.
Look for some new awards and other surprises from the planning
Tickets for “A Night At The Oscars” will be $15 each, with all tickets
sold in advance getting reserved seating.
Tickets purchased in advance will entitle the holder to the same dinner
spot all evening.
When the advance sale ticket is presented at the door, the holder will
be given a card in exchange that they can place on the specially
designated tables to “hold” their seat while they visit, get food, etc.
Tickets sold at the door will also be $15, but purchasers will be seated
in the general seating area.
Those guests who purchase their tickets in advance will also be given
premier seating in the auditorium for the awards program.
Watch your local newspapers for announcements of ticket sales locations,
participating restaurants and entertainment details for “A Night At The
If you have questions, call CCLACC at (903) 887-3152 or email
Vote best hat; help pocket park
MABANK–Nine of the prettiest Easter Bonnets you’ve ever
seen are on display at The Hydrangea House in Mabank.
They’re not there to decorate the coffee shop, either. They’re part of a
contest to raise funds for the Mabank Garden Club to support its work of
planting a pocket park on Market Street.
The park would fill the spot where one of the old buildings stood before
a terrible 2006 fire burned four 100-year-old buildings.
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
AT RIGHT: Mary Odom displays her hat featuring the home of the Easter
Bunny, complete with vegetable garden and white picket fence.
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
AT LEFT: A photo of Marzette Boehme wearing
her hat accompanies her entry.
The ladies who designed the beautiful and creative
hats are members of the garden club.
If they can do that to a hat, just think of what they could do with
flowers in a park!
Each ballot costs $1 to cast, though you are free to spend more per
And a friendly, but fierce competition is in full force among old-time
Mabank residents, with a strong campaign pulling for Mabank’s favorite
citizen Opal Toney and her lace bedecked wide-brim straw sun bonnet.
Toney’s hat, Tonya Roberts has a bird nest-hat entry. Alene Gibbs offers
a hat festooned in purple feathers hiding a bunny at the top. Marzette
Boehme entered her pink dream with pheasant feather. Other entrants
include The Hydrangea’s Shannon Henderson, Nell Walker, Kathy Cryer and
The “votes” will be tabulated after the polls close Wednesday, March 19.
Monitor Photo/Pearl Cantrell
Alene Gibbs hat in purple sits in the window,
and Cinda Smith’s green tint and lace hat graces the pillar.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake
My name is Nelson. I am a
beautiful male Dachshund. I was brought to the shelter by animal
control, so I have no history. So far, I seem pretty laid back
and gentle. I am a wonderful boy looking for my new forever
My name is Oreo. I am a beautiful
female black Lab. I was brought to the shelter by animal
control, so I have no history. I seem to get along with other
dogs. I need help with leash training. I have been started on my
shots and need to be fixed. I am a beautiful girl looking for my
We are a whole litter of Shepherd
mix babies. We were brought to the shelter by animal control, so
we have no history. We have been started on our first set of
shots. We are good kids looking for our new forever homes.
I am a beautiful Border Collie,
who is four months old, or so. I was brought to the shelter by
animal control, so I have no history. I have not been at the
shelter long, so not much is known about me. I am a beautiful
kid looking for a new home.
Pictured are just a few
animals at the Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Seven
Points in dire need of a good home. Please call or stop by the
Humane Society today and rescue one of these forgotten animals.
The Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake is located on 10220
County Road 2403 in
Seven Points. For more information, please call (903) 432-3422
after 11 a.m.
We are closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
For further information
visit our website at