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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Guadalupe River State Park

Saturday morning dawned gloriously warm and sunny, so we headed to Guadalupe River State Park to enjoy some safe outdoors time, escape the unnerving sprawl of the city, and to check it out as a possible winter camping destination while I am here visiting.


Located in the Texas Hill Country, the park is comprised of 1938.7 acres along 4 miles of the Guadalupe River and is adjacent to the Honey Creek State Natural Area, another 2293.7 acres, which itself is only accessible on Saturday mornings during a guided interpretive tour.


The river is lined with enormous bald cypress trees, their massive exposed, gnarled and twisted root systems making an interesting walk along the river bank.

The Bald Cypress, Taxpdium distichum, is a deciduous tree that can grow to 130 feet tall and boast a trunk diameter of up to 10 feet.  Also called the Swamp Cypress, these native trees are most commonly found along riparian wetlands in the southeast sweep of the US from Delaware Bay to central Texas (range map).  The largest known living specimen, dubbed "The Senator", near Longwood, Florida is 118 feet (36 m) tall, and with a trunk diameter of 11 feet (344 cm). The tallest known, near Williamsburg, Virginia, is 145 feet (44 m) tall, and the stoutest known, in the Cat Island National Wildlife Refuge near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has 17 feet (521 cm) diameter. (Wikipedia)



Rife with winter birds who were too busy to pose for photos, I heard the staccato rattle of and observed my first Sage Wren (Cistothorus platensis) ever, several sparrows that I could not identify because they wouldn't sit still long enough for me to ponder, Phoebes, and more Northern Cardinals than I've ever seen in one place before.  The Park Rangers told me that earlier in the morning the trails were full of kinglets. 

A week exploring the abundance of this park on my own and at my leisure should be lots of fun.  Hopefully I will have more pictures to share!

Speaking of sharing, one of my favorite Texas blogs can be found by clicking right HERE.  Kay does an amazing job photographing and sharing information about all of the South Texas specialty birds that frequent her property.  You'll be so envious!

And for more Scenic Sunday posts, just click HERE!  It's as easy as that!

Scenic Sunday

16 comments:

Stephanie said...

I love the gnarled tree roots. Reminds me of the banyan trees in Hawaii. Looks like a beautiful day to spend outdoors, unlike Ohio where it's 25*.

KaHolly said...

Stephanie, we were blessed with 80 degree weather! Thanks for stopping by! ~karen

Linda Reeder said...

I love those wonderful root structures. Big, old trees area passion of mine, wherever they may be found. Even Texas :-)

NatureFootstep said...

those trees are amazing. It is notfair really that you have such nice weather. :) We do have cold as you saw on my iceroses. Your coment made me smile. :)

But the ice roses was last weeks entry. :)
If you want to finden me easily, put me on your bloglist. :)
Have a great week.

Just Ramblin' said...

I'm envious of your beautiful weather and the thought of camping and exploring the area. Love the pictures of the trees and their root structure. Today we have cold weather and a temperature inversion. I miss the sunshine. So, enjoy that lovely state park and sunshine. Nola

Carrie P. said...

those trees are art. amazing.
I went to see the wren and hear its voice and then I went to hear the other related wrens and their voices. so neat. thanks for sharing.

Linda said...

Thanks for sharing some of Texas with us. I've been to the Hill Country, but never to that park. Oh, but I've seen "The Senator" tree in Florida! Isn't nature wonderful?! I love seeing other parts of the US and the world. Continue to enjoy, remembering us who are shivering up north. Linda in Iowa, where it's 18* and flurrying at the moment.

walk2write said...

Isn't it wonderful to explore the wetlands at this time of year? No mosquitoes to bug you, and it's possible to get up close and personal with the trees. Where we hike, the cypress trees live alongside tupelo gum trees, which are just as massive or more so than the cypress. Are you feeling any effects of that arctic blast? We finally had to turn on the heat and leave the windows closed.

Gary said...

Not only interesting trees but a great site in all. Boom & Gary Of The Vermilon River.

Randi said...

What a beautiful parc! I have never seen such enormous cypress trees! The twisted roots are spectacular!!! Thanks for sharing this!

Tricia said...

My goodness, the cypress tress are beautiful & quite large... gnarly! LoL!

Thanks so much for stopping by & commenting on my blog... join in if you have a barn pic to post! =)

EG Wow said...

This sounds like a wonderful place to enjoy watching birds. Wiah I were there, though I will also enjoy the winter birds here. :)

The above-ground tree roots are amazing!

kasthurirajam said...

wow.........Beautiful shots

Audrey said...

Beautiful photos!! All you would see out here right now is snow, though that is quite lovely too sometimes :)

Denise said...

What a fantastic place that is Karen, all your photos are lovely. I especially liked the one in the collage where that huge tree is reflected in the water, but I enjoyed them all.

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Karen: Wonderful captures of those neat trees.