Escapito #1 Focus Study: The Ballad of Goatheads Galore

I remember all too well our brief stay at Percha Dam State Park, and the little drama our dog, Luna, experienced while we were searching high and low for the elusive rufous-backed robin. Our birding naturally took us down sandy trails beneath the cottonwood gallery lining the Rio Grande River. Disappointed we never did see the robin, we were relieved when we got Luna back to BagoBago. Whew ……. I vowed to cement the memory in my mind by composing a ballad of her experience! Read on for the full story.

Below is my page recounting the memorable events of March 14, 2022. We had just arrived at the State Park campground, leveled BagoBago, and headed out to explore. Not wanting to miss a sighting of the rare-to-NM robin, we hastily hoofed on over to the river trail. Luna was so excited; after all, this looked like promising rabbit habitat. No sooner did she set paw to sandy trail, she winced, limped and came to a screeching halt! What the heck? Roy inspected one raised foot, and then the other and, oh good grief, Goatheads! At least 8 per paw. Definitely trouble, and nowhere safe for a barefooted dog!

Goatheads are not to be messed with!

Because it was necessary to print very small on my journal page, the Ballad is a bit hard to read, even for me. So here’s the lyrics typed.

We never did find that rufous-backed robin!

Maybe it’s time to get out my ukulele and turn this Ballad into a blues song? What do you think?


  1. Jane Nichols says:

    Hey Barb, such a wonderful tale yet it makes me sad about poor wee Luna’s paws, so glad she has healed! Hopefully you will find your elusive rufous backed Robin on another trip!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jane! Luna is definitely happy to be home! As far as seeing the robin, maybe a long shot. Maybe not until late in the year now.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sarah Reid says:

    Oh yeah! A Blues song fer sure, with a little bit of back-up by a howling canine! Arrr-arr-arrrrowwlll! Goatheads are not to be messed with … our marriage is peppered with phone calls “Honey, can you come get me? I just got another flat from the **** goatheads.” That in the voice of one exasperated man who was doing the right thing by commuting to work on his bicycle (40-mile round trip), even back in the 1980’s. He still commutes on a bike, though that one of old is long gone, and he uses tubeless tires these days especially when riding the backroads of Sonoma County. He always carried a spare tire and a patch kit, but the goatheads won-out after a second flat on the way home from work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh do I have goathead stories too! Most in bare feet, but a few bike tires lost it along with my cool. Poor Luna. This was her first major encounter. They were seriously everywhere, like piranhas swimming in the sand. After a week, her feet are still tender, but I know if she saw a rabbit hopping through the brush, off she’d go in a flash!


  3. Poor dog! Sounds painful and glad she is healing. I haven’t heard of these invaders! At least you turned it into a clever ballad and journal page! Hoping for continued healing!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was a pretty pitiful episode. Luna was glad to move on to another camping area. Watch your step out there ….. goatheads are everywhere! Thanks for the comments Karen!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. goodlifecp says:

    Poor Luna! Max can sympathize as I’ve had to remove them from his paw a time or two when we’ve been out hiking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goatheads are Luna’s nemesis!

      Liked by 2 people

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s