Today I got up early. I’m getting good at early weekend mornings. I met some of the Master Naturalist chapter in downtown Cameron and we carpooled off to a genuine field trip, like in the old days! We went to the Balcones Canyonland National Wildlife refuge. It’s a place I’ve driven by many times but never stopped at before. So glad we went there!
It’s there to protect the endangered golden cheeked warbler (who is out of town right now). It’s huge, which is good because suburbs are creeping toward it rapidly. There’s not gonna be much nature within a big radius of Austin soon.
We had lots of fun on a good walk with Chris Harper, an old friend of our chapter, who now works at the refuge. We learned lots about the flora and fauna of the area, which is like where I used to live in Brushy Creek.
I enjoyed finding new plants, even though most were past their prime. Still, there’s much beauty in a Hill Country autumn. Here is just a sampling of what we saw. It’s such a beautiful place, with a creek, meadows, and limestone hills.
I also took a lot of pictures of plants of course. I just love the unusual plants that grow in this area. The karst and limestone make for interesting flowers, not just Ashe juniper that you usually see.
Anyway, it was fun guessing what the dried up flowers were when in full bloom. The liatris, a vivid purple in bloom, is now pale and whiteish. It’s still pretty.
You don’t need to reading me analyzing each plant. But here are some.
See. I didn’t even label them all! But I enjoyed it. If you want to know you can always go to iNaturalist and search for sunasak.
To be honest, I’m in pain. From somehow wrenching my diaphragm muscle yesterday slipping on horse poop while running after the doofuses yesterday. So. Time to rest.