Monday, October 05, 2015


As I’ve mentioned before, Fall is my favorite time of year. This past weekend was absolutely glorious. The air was cooler but grass and shrubs are still nice and green though a few trees are beginning to turn colors. In our yard, a few oaks are tinged red at the edge of their leaves. The heat stressed elms are losing yellow leaves and have been for several weeks.

Bigtooth Maple at Lost Maples
Let me share with you a lovely place at this or any time of year in Texas. Lost Maples State Wilderness Area near Bandera, Medina, and Uvalde is a place of wonderment. Maples of various types are popular landscape plants. Bigtooth Maples don’t grow naturally in our state anywhere except in this lovely park. They’re truly lost from another time.

Entrance to the park
My daughter and I were here several years ago when I researched THE TEXAN’S IRISH BRIDE (now FREE in ebook). We loved our excursion as we do all the things we find “on the way”. To people from mountainous areas with diverse temperatures, you are probably wondering why I think this place is such a great thing. I grew up in West Texas where trees were not plentiful. Even now that I live in an area where trees are taken for granted, I still hold them in awe. 

The area used to be an escape trail for rustlers and comancheros heading away from their skulduggery. Now families enjoy visiting the cathedral-like atmosphere of the walled route. The tall rock sides carry sound so I don't know how well it worked as an escape. I suppose that when camped, the criminals could hear a posse's approach.

Lost Maples is an outstanding example of Edwards Plateau flora and fauna. The park is a combination of steep, rugged limestone canyons, springs, grasslands, wooded slopes, and clear streams. The feature that amazes me is a large, isolated stand of uncommon Uvalde bigtooth maple whose fall foliage can be spectacular. Generally, the foliage changes the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November. The park is extremely popular during the fall and is often crowded. There are camping spots for those into outdoor living but parking is limited to 250 cars.

Green Kingfisher
Rare species of birds, such as the green kingfisher above, can be seen year-round. The endangered black-capped vireo and golden-cheeked warbler nest and feed in the park in spring and early summer. Wild animals include gray fox, white-tailed deer, armadillo, raccoon, bobcat, rock squirrel, and javelina. I imagine the occasional cougar is also a visitor--and I mean the four-legged variety.

If you’re in Central Texas and would like a unique experience, head to Lost Maples even if it’s not truly “on the way”.

No comments: