Mexican Free-tailed Bat Colony Has Returned
In caves, under bridges, in attics, church steeples and almost any dark nook or cranny all over the Southwest, bat species have established summer colonies. The most prolific species in our area, indeed, the whole of North America, are the Mexican (or Brazilian) Free-Tailed bats, Tadarida brasiliensis. In fact, they are one of the most abundant mammal species found in this hemisphere.
Our bats have established a major colony under the railroad bridge at the corner of Wilburn and Downie, on the west side of Sanderson. Vehicles can park off-road and watch from this vantage point as the bats depart in the evenings at sunset for nightly feedings or return in the mornings at day-break. Very often, birds of prey such as the red-tailed hawk swoop in to snatch unsuspecting bats on the wing for their evening repast. But, they are a minor concern to the thousands of bats as they pour out from under the bridge in ever-darkening clouds and take to the skies. Bats arrive at the colony with warm weather in late February and leave at the first cold front in October, depending on the weather conditions. The viewing area is free and open to the public, but the colony itself is on private property. Respect the owners’ property rights and do not trespass. Bat Brochure
(Click title for downlodable brochure.)
The 1.7 mile Cactus Capital Hiking Trail winds around the hills northwest of Sanderson to give a magnificent bird’s-eye view of our little valley. The trail begins with a kiosk and visitor information at the corner of 1st and Mansfield Street. Following a white line painted on the street, the entrance to the trail proper is at School and Mansfield, at the foot of Old Baldy, also humorously known as Hominy Hill. Climbing up from the valley floor one is afforded a spectacular view of Sanderson and the Terrell County Eagle Stadium. Then the trail descends to the Eagle track field, crosses the canyon and back up to the mountain top for another spectacular view. The trail ends at the foot of Javelina Hill just off Wilson and Pine. Along the way, small signs identify the unique flora found in our county. Park benches are spotted at intervals for those needing a breather. Hikers must bring water with them...there is no water on the trail. Public restrooms may be found at the Terrell County Courthouse or the Terrell County Visitor Center at 2nd and Oak (Hwy. 90.)
The trail was provided as part of a parks improvement program funded in part by a $180,000 matching grant from the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife and by a half-cent venue tax approved by Terrell County voters in 2000. Crews from American YouthWorks of Austin, an AmeriCorps program for youths and young adults, created the trail in 2007.
Terrell County and Sanderson are proud to present the Cactus Capital Hiking Trail. Named for the official state designation for Terrell County, we are the Cactus Capital of Texas. Our unique landscape has more species of cacti than anywhere else but Mexico. Five different biomes come together in this, the fourth largest county in Texas, and each has its own, typical cacti species. The Chihuahua Desert, the Edwards Plateau, the Great Plains, the Sonora Desert and the South Texas Scrub region collide in a spectacular landscape of canyons, mesas and mountains, with Terrell County at its heart.
The Sanderson Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to promoting a wonderful life style with clean air, best-tasting water, striking desert panoramas and the sounds and sights of nature around you. If you enjoy these things, we invite you to come and discover a better way to live. Come visit, open your own business, or vacation in our area and see for yourself.
Chamber Meeting ~ Last Tuesday ~ 12:00pm
Terrell County Convention Center
P.O. Box 734 ~ Sanderson, TX 79848