This weekend my husband and I went hiking in Government Canyon State Natural Area, northwest of San Antonio. It's a fairly new addition to the state parks system--it opened in 2005--and is only open Friday through Monday.
We were only able to hike the front country trails because we had the pup with us. We'll have to sneak out of the house without her next time so we can check out the backcountry.
The mountain laurels there were a bit past their peak, and not much in the park showed signs of spring. In fact, much of it looked like what I thought Texas looked like before I moved here--dry, dusty, and brown. Only tumbleweeds were needed to complete the picture.
But as I looked closer, I realized that flowers aren't the only form of beauty. I loved the textures of the dried seeds pods, the twisting bark on the trees, the spikes of the cactus, and other architectural forms highlighted against the sky.
These grasses were flattened, making the whole area look more like a river than a field.
Whenever I see these dying (?) prickly pear, I always think they have such a brutal ending. More out of a horror film than a nature preserve.
On the other hand, I found this dying plant more beautiful.
Even the trail marker had texture. I tried to find out who Mr. Lytle is or was, and to find a picture showing his 'stache in real life but no luck.
I did finally find one flower in bloom--in the parking lot.
(On another note, is anyone else having difficulty posting pictures via blogger? It took me two days to get these photos loaded. Is typepad worth the price?)