Hill Country (part two) wild flowers in Texas

11 Apr

It has been a real eye opener for us to see how green and lush this area of P1120328Texas is, we almost could feel we were back in England with the rolling fields and leafy trees. We certainly chose a good time to be here, Spring is in full swing and the wild flowers are blooming everywhere, making for a very colourful drive from Fredericksburg to Inks Lake State Park. Once again we had a view over the lake, or a small part of it at least enabling us to watch the water birds including a heron stalking for one of the numerous fish we could see making ripples on the water.

P1120327-1Several hiking trails run out from the far end of the campground and we chose to combine two of them. Again the wild flowers were everywhere, each turn brought a different colour and mix of flower, many of which were new to us. The Texas Blue Bonnets – we would call lupin’s – mixed with small pink phlox and tall prickly poppies, Indian paint brush and purple Tradescantia 

Photos can not do justice to the many pretty views we had, and certainly there isP1120343 no way the delicate smell could be conveyed, wafting on the breeze as it did, just enough to be interesting without being overpowering.

Some of the trail was a little rocky and our walking shoes proved to be the P1120342correct footwear to scramble along the sometimes not too well marked bits of the route.

From Inks Lake we drove to Pedernales Falls State Park, we could only have a site for one night as the weekend was fully booked. Having chatted to the ranger when booking in we decided to try to walk from the campground along the river to the falls. There was not a marked path but the ranger thought it should be ‘do-able’. The afternoon was sunny but with a breeze to keep us cool it was great walking weather. Apart from more wild flowers our first encounter onP1120363 the trail was this little guy and his small friend who kindly posed for our pictures. We looked him up later and discovered he is called a zebra lizard because of the stripes on his tail. I wanted to call him a scorpion lizard as when he ran off he curled his tail up over his back like a scorpion. The bars on his side looked like flaps or gills and made him look much bigger than he was.

For some of the time we were able to walk by the sandy banks of the riverP1120375, the water was quite deep in places, flowing swiftly with many swirling currents. After a while we ran out of proper trail and began making our way through the tallish grass and wild flowers.

There could have been a path there for all we P1120383know but the lushness of the vegetation would mean it would grow over within a day or so. At one point we disturbed a Turkey Vulture feeding on a fish he had caught, he flew to a branch on the opposite bank and waited for us to pass before returning to his kill. Eventually we had to admit defeat, we probably had another 2miles before the falls and with no clear path the walk was not so enjoyable. We returned and took a short cut across the group camp area, in all we walked about 5 miles, feeling further because of the unevenness of the terrain. Robert maintains this does not add to the journey – I think otherwise and so do my muscles.

Not to be out done our view of the falls, next morning we took the easy way out and drove to the car park to walk the short path to the overlook.P1120397 A nice set of stone steps led a way down to the rocks, then promptly stopped in the middle of no where leaving you to find a route across the rocks. Robert and his long legs were able to jump over a gap I would not attempt, bringing back pictures of how the water has scoured and shaped the rock.

P1120401Flash flood warnings are posted all over the walks beside the river, it is obvious greater volumes cascade over the rocks at times and would be a sight to see.

From the peace of the State Parks we headed towards San Antonio, staying one night near San Marcos to break the journey. The KOA at San Antonio is on a bus route which would enable us to visit the city without parking haRVey in the centre – not a good idea. For $1.10 each we rode into the centre on SaturdayP1120420 afternoon, the bus stopping in the heart of the river walk area. Steps took us down to this cool lush manicured walkway where river boats convey the visitors between the old historic buildings mixed amongst the newer hotels and bars. Each boat ‘driver’ gives an account of the surroundings, bits of which, as you are not too far distant on the bank, you can pick up for free as they pass by!

We strolled around the loop of river with many others, enjoying the atmosphere P1120426and old buildings  then did a little people watching with a glass of wine at one of the waterside bars before taking the return bus back to the campground.P1120430

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One Response to “Hill Country (part two) wild flowers in Texas”

  1. soos April 14, 2010 at 4:01 am #

    Looks like you are having a great time! We were in San Antonio a few months ago- in addition to the usual (Riverwalk, the Alamo etc) we enjoyed the Tower of the Americas. There is a LOT to do in that area!

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