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