Sunday, March 8, 2015

Number 54: Palmetto State Park

We didn't plan on setting out to a new park this weekend, but spontaneity won out and I'm so glad it did.  Palmetto State Park has made my list of favorites.

The trails are so beautiful, even in winter when brown usually rules.

Inspired by the grasses and wildflowers, I found many ideas to incorporate into my own yard.

When we got home, I got online and ordered 3 Red Buckeye plants like the ones here that I snapped pictures of to plant out back.

Honestly, I was surprised to find so many wildflowers already in bloom.

The park is aptly named, by the way.  Dwarf Palmetto Palms are scattered throughout the park along its many creek beds and boggy areas.

Raised walk ways have been built in the wet areas.  Another one of those inspirations I walked away with.

Would love one of these over the natural spring in the backyard that stays wet most of the year.

I'm serious enough about the idea that I took pictures of the construction for future reference

Love this park.  It had a little bit of everything.  Cactus in the prairie areas.

Mistletoe?  Crazy.

And a river that was the most amazing shade of blue.

And this Sycamore tree.  The park ranger said it's about 175 years old.  It was huge!

This Red Sholdered Hawk swooped in near us on the trail.  I had the right lens, but the wrong camera to get a good shot.  It wanted to focus on the branches not the hawk.

We enjoyed him for quite awhile before he flew off.

But the hawk was not even the best bird experience we had.  I walked into a wooded area with no less than 200 buzzards and more.  They were above and all around me.  Photos cannot begin to capture their numbers and only a video can describe the sound of their wings as they flew around me.  Here I offer a small sample of their numbers.  There are more than 50 in this one picture alone.

Check out the short video I took and you can see the trees are filled with the guys.

The other thing this park has was the most beautiful CCC built structure I have seen at a park yet.

The Refectory looks like something from a J.R.R. Tolken book with its foundation growing up out of the ground to form the walls.

And on the backside overlooking the San Marcos River, larger stones were used to build the walls jutting out to form benches.


Love this building.  Love this park.  Next time I'll bring the kayaks.