Island in the Stream

 

Bigtooth Maples (Acer grandidentatum) and the Sabinal River serve as primary attractions at Lost Maples State Natural Area near Vanderpool, Texas. 

The ‘lost’ maples, native trees that survived in a few spots after the end of the last great ice age, provide some of the most glorious autumn color in Texas. In the protected canyons of Bandera county, they thrive in the company of Chinquapin Oak, Black Walnut, Linden, Cedar Elm, and Black Cherry. Understory plants such as Mexican Buckeye, Carolina Buckthorn, Witch Hazel, and Mountain Laurel add beauty to seasons other than fall.

The Sabinal River isn’t the only water coursing through the area. Can Creek, which flows alongside the Maple and East trails, is laced with grasses like those shown above. While not as dramatic as the trees, they have their own subtle beauty.

Comments always are welcome.

Going Solo

 

During a visit to the Big Thicket’s Solo Tract, I found a single stem of coastal plain yellow-eyed grass (Xyris ambigua) glowing with unexpected beauty.

 

 

Comments always are welcome.