Wild Basin Preserve
Although I have taught quite a few insect classes and led countless hikes at this preserve, I never get tired of walking the trails. Bee Creek snakes through this lovely and sometimes rugged terrain.
Bright Leaf State Natural Area
Another preserve nestled in town between Mopac and 360, but not accessible to the public on a regular basis. My docent status allows me the freedom to visit the trails whenever the urge overtakes me!
St. Edward's Park on Spicewood Springs Road
Lots of memories there- aquatic insect sampling with Riley, walks by myself for downtime between work shifts at Dan McKlusky's, playing in the creek with Eli at two years of age, hiding out under some foliage with Sydney at 3 years of age, during a pouring rain!
McKinney Falls State Park
Miss my Tuesday morning stream surveys with the fifth graders from Earth Camp- one of the many perks of working for the City of Austin's Watershed Protection Department.
ALL-TIME Texas Camping Favorites
Colorado Bend State Park (approx. 1 ½ hrs travel)
Highlight: Gorman Falls, beautiful maidenhair fern cascading from the travertine deposits. The guided falls and cave tours are weather permitting because the rock trail is extremely slippery when wet. PRIMITIVE camping on the Colorado River. It was cold and misty when I went there with HCO in November 2003, but a nice roaring fire made for an intimate gathering! We spent the evening huddled around the campfire, swapping jokes and favorite movie quotes.
Big Bend National Park (approx 8 hrs)
What's so special about this place? I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Fredrick Gelbach, author of "Messages from the Wild" who describes this area as “a carpet of interacting plants and animals deftly woven on a geologic loom." I brought him in as a speaker for a Capital Area Master Naturalists monthly meeting before I ever visited Big Bend. One of the most beautiful views I've ever seen is that of the the sun setting through the Window of the Chisos Basin.
Devil's River near Del Rio, Texas (approx 8 hrs travel)
Chihuahuan desert meets with the Edwards Plateau never stayed in the TPWD primitive campground, but I've had the privilege of staying and conducting fieldwork at the Nature Conservancy's Dolan Falls Preserve and it was a life-altering experience.
If I had my wish, my ashes would be scattered over Dolan Falls. So many wonderful memories there, of the connections made and lessons learned from my mentor, Riley.
How can you tell it's a Texas stream? Cuz it's got a boot in it!"
"What are flies good for? Making more flies."
"You can never step into the same stream twice."
Lost Maples State Natural Area