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Greg Lavaty | profile | all galleries >> My Blog >> Fall Colors in Texas? Lost Maples State Natural Area 11-15-2012 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

The Colorful Visitors of Spring Migration on the Upper Texas Coast Part 1 03-12-2013 | Starting the Year in the Texas Tropics 01-16-2013 | So you want to become a birder? 01-08-2013 | What camera is for the birds? 12-26-2012 | Winter Birding in California 12-17-2012 | Fall Colors in Texas? Lost Maples State Natural Area 11-15-2012 | Machu Picchu Birding 11-01-2012 | Prehistoric Visitor? No, itís the Magnificent Frigatebird 09-25-2012 | Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Migrating Marvel 09-15-2012 | Birding Utah and Arizona, Eared Grebes and Red-faced Warblers 09-08-2012 | Fall Migration, Like Spring but in the Opposite DirectionÖ Sort ofÖ 09-05-2012 | A Landscape Photography Adventure out West 08-30-2012 | The Rainbow Bird, Who Doesnít Love a Painted Bunting? 08-14-2012 | Our Summer Wanderer the Wood Stork 08-11-2012 | Are These Guys Bathing? A Quick Peek into the Life of the Black Skimmer 08-07-2012 | Upper Texas Coast Birding Locations

Fall Colors in Texas? Lost Maples State Natural Area 11-15-2012

A little over a month ago I was contacted by someone who said they were interested in photographing fall colors and asked if I had any good locations to suggest. Immediately Lost Maples State Natural Area sprung to mind and I replied back suggesting it. I didnít really give it another thought after that until I was contacted again by the same person asking if I would be willing to go with them to Lost Maples and help them capture some of that fall color. I checked the foliage report, and while it didnít sound like it was the best year for colors at Lost Maples, I was excited to get out to the hill country and give it a try. We arranged to meet and drive to the park together and make a day of it. Lost Maples is a little less than five hours drive from Houston so I knew it was going to be a long day for me, but the allure of the foliage was strong motivation.

Lost Maples State Natural Area



Our trip was scheduled for November 13, and as the date approached I monitored the weather reports. The forecast was for cool weather and mostly cloudy skies, which didnít seem like ideal conditions, but I have learned over the years that it is usually good to try even if the weather isnít optimal. As we headed out of San Antonio Tuesday morning, I felt confident that we would do just fine. The drive from Bandera to the park was stimulating with plenty of curves and hills, making it fun to drive. It also didnít hurt that the light cloud cover enhanced the yellows, oranges and reddish-browns in the threes along the way.

Lost Maples State Natural Area



After all the driving, I was rearing to get out and explore Lost Maples and was already reaching for the camera before we even found a parking space. The morning was spent along the Maple Trail and the first mile of the East Trail. The scenery certainly exceeded my expectations, with plenty of vibrant fall color, as well as lots of interesting patterns and textures to photograph.

Lost Maples State Natural Area



Lost Maples is a relaxing place for photographic inspiration. Despite there being lots of other visitors along the trails it still felt peaceful, relaxing and natural. Wandering along the Sabinal River afforded us with plenty of eye-catching scenes to experiment with. One in particular was a large clump of what I think were ferns growing from the bank of the river.

Lost Maples State Natural Area



Around noon we drove to Utopia for a relaxing meal at the Lost Maples Cafť that concluded with some scrumptious pecan pie. The drive to and from Utopia left me with the feeling that the town was appropriately named, it is simply beautiful country.

Lost Maples State Natural Area



Our afternoon was spent along the western end of the East Trail, which seemed to have even more color than the Maple Trail. As we explored the trail I had my only real opportunity to do bird photography on this short trip when a Ruby-crowned Kinglet came in to check us out. This isnít to suggest that there werenít birds in the area to see. In fact we saw a number of interesting birds including Crested Caracara, Common Raven, Carolina Wren, Black-crested Titmouse and Canyon Wren without even looking for them. The purpose of this trip was, however, the foliage so we kept our focus on the leaves.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet



After a full day of exploring and clicking away at the multitude of colors that Lost Maples has to offer we decided that it was time to head out. Our trip home started shortly before sunset and as the sun approached the horizon the clouds that had been above us all day started to break up, giving us a beautiful sunset as we drove through the hills back toward San Antonio.

Lost Maples State Natural Area




www.texastargetbirds.com

Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Ruby-crowned Kinglet