Monday, November 9, 2009

Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne

Last Sunday I had a need to get out of town. The weather that weekend was gorgeous, and I needed an outdoor fix that my garden and the rest of Austin couldn't fill. I had long ago put Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne on my short list of places to visit after reading Pamela Price's tweets about it. (She also kindly assured me that dogs were indeed welcome to visit. After our trip last summer to Blanco State Park where we found out only upon arrival that dogs weren't allowed in the river, I wasn't going to make that mistake again.)

The trip takes about two hours, about the maximum distance for a relaxing daytrip. I wish I could have gotten a good picture of the Gulf muhly-filled meadow we crossed to reach the creek. Moths and butterflies covered the meadow. I almost had to swat them out of the way.I was actually surprised at how much water was flowing in the creek. I guess all the recent rain had helped fill its reservoirs.We walked the trail along the creek for most of our visit. It was cool and shady, and the cypress trees actually offered some fall foliage color.Benches and shelters throughout the center offered chances to sit and marvel at the foliage and enjoy the weather. Never afraid to multitask, we used our little breaks to make a dent in out leftover Halloween candy. (We might have had less if we'd actually been home during trick-or-treating hours, but that seemed an inefficient way to end up with more candy for me.)
Among the many native plants, this one was my favorite: I can't decide if this is a sunflower whose yellow has faded or this color was its original shade.

Here are some of its compatriots further along in their lifespan.After reaching a pretty obvious sign that we'd hit the end of the trail,

we turned uphill where the trail is shared with horses.The visitor center is closed on Sundays, but it certainly looks like it would be worth a return trip.
We headed over the Haupstrasse aka Main Street after our hike. I'm not a big shopper but if you are, there are lots of stores to check out. I was more interested in some of the signage than the stores. This flower decorated one of the shops.This store name left me a bit puzzled:Does the store offer one antique? antique pickles? or the unusual combination of old stuff and pickles?

It was this store, however, that really threw me for a loop:
The only dingo I know is the one that ate the baby. Who knew it could also be hip?

We were too stuffed from our Cocina de Consuelo's breakfast burritos to take advantage of Pamela's lunch suggestions: Boerne Grill and the Hungry Horse but perhaps on a return trip.

On the way back, we set the GPS to take the most meandering route home and enjoyed seeing some really gorgeous rural areas.

I wish that we could have made this trip and attended Novella Carpenter's panel at the Texas Book Festival. I highly recommend her book, Farm City, about her efforts to farm, raise, and harvest vegetables, chickens, ducks, and even pigs.

Alas, we couldn't do both but I think Novella would understand the need to be in nature.