I had a great time hiking in Garner and Lost Maples State Parks this past weekend with my folks! The Frio River was cool and clear, so much so that we could easily spot the endemic and restricted Guadalupe bass. We saw different tree species at different elevations: gnarled and bonsai-like evergreens higher up, deciduous trees (many oak trees) near the river. The woodlands were alive with wildflowers and birdsong. My dear mother excitedly recognized many interesting plant species as we hiked, much to our delight: mint, wild grape, rosemary, lavender, lamb’s ear, and others.
We saw two male and three female summer tanagers, barn swallows building a nest, two Carolina wrens, a male vermilion flycatcher, and feral goats in Garner State Park. In Lost Maples, we saw two white-eyed vireos and a male indigo bunting in breeding plumage. Near the post office of a nearby city, Concan, we saw a female or immature male vermilion flycatcher. We also saw male scissor-tailed flycatchers in Uvalde.
Yesterday evening, I quickly sketched these Texas live oaks on my iPad, with a Jot Pro stylus and Paper by 53, as the sun was setting: