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  • lm36
    Since our hiking mileage wasn’t large, maybe six miles or something, we took several breaks during the hike to campsite H. We got behind a slow group of hikers on a very narrow trail, stopped to check out a clematis, and refilled our water at the last place before climbing up the bluff. It was the furthest campsite out at the park and I thought maybe we’d be alone….which of course was dumb of me to think.

    The campsite is up a bluff and we took the long way around to see what the rest of the trail in that area looked like. Unfortunately we were mostly socked in with Ashe juniper all around us, but no matter we still made the best of it and it probably blocked the wind for the night. If there is a hated tree in Texas I think it might be the juniper. First of all it is the preferred nest tree for the golden cheeked warbler an endangered bird that pisses all land developers off in central Texas. Secondly, it has become a nuisance tree in the form of its second and third growth as it has colonized what used to be more open spaces. I’ve done a little bit of reading about this tree and its supposed problems (supposed because I don’t necessarily take the view of the land managers) and I’ll have to do more in the future, but I find the politics behind it fascinating. There’s even a website called People Against Cedars….now what I want to know more appropriately is where is the People Against Chinese Tallow/Brazilian Pepper/Melaleuca/Australian Pine at? But all of this is another rant for another day.

    So, yes, socked in we were. But we pitched our tent around the corner in a nice thicket of cedars, away from the Boy Scout group, and took a nap. Chris napped a little while longer but I went around exploring, seeing what I could find.

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    We had dinner along a downed cedar log and retired early when the sun set. Makes for a long night but we planned on getting up early in order to make our way out of the park before the crowds arrived.

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    2 Comments

    1. Leigh says:

      I don’t think juniper is so much the problem as fire suppression and preventing natural cycles from being carried out on the land. It’s a native species, and as you mentioned with the warbler it has its benefits too. When I was living in Austin, a lot of people also despised it because of their allergy problems. At least there we also had groups trying to combat ligustrum, tallow tree and chinaberry instead of native trees that are prolific.

    2. Michael - Plano Prairie Garden says:

      Misti, thanks for leaving some comments on my blog so I could find yours. Your photos are beautiful. I don’t travel much so I enjoy seeing the places you have gone.

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