The San Bernard Oak
Prior to visiting the art show at the Migration Celebration at the San Bernard NWR I took a tour of the San Bernard Oak, the largest live oak in Texas. The trail had been freshly mowed and maintained so it was not nearly as buggy as I was expecting. I took my time, meandering along, snapping photos of the way the light hit the vegetation along the trail.
Fairly certain this is a mustang grape…
A gas pipeline provided a nice opening for the sun-loving plants to thrive like these Mexican hats Ratibida columnifera.
Finally I arrived at the oak tree, however due to the tours (they were mostly self guided, however a guide was available to lead the tours too) there was quite a crowd and it was difficult to get good photos or to hang out very long there.
Some day I would like to return when it is quiet, to sit and enjoy it without a crowd.
I was chatting with the tour guide for a few minutes when I looked up into a nearby oak and saw those honeycombs up in the tree—only my initial look suggested they were some kind of tree fungus. I squinted a little bit and realized the mass next to it was instead a giant beehive I pointed it out to the naturalist who later recalled, after thinking a bit, that the hive had been there the previous year.
I highly recommend visiting this tree and trail if you are looking for something to do in the greater Houston area. Maybe a stop on your way to the coast?
Your pictures really make me want to go on more hikes.
I want to go! Those bees are strange.