Afternoon at Lost Maples | Late Spring


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Over Memorial Day weekend we headed off towards the Texas Hill Country west of San Antonio to do a little exploring. Our original intentions were to hit up Government Canyon State Natural Area since we always seemed to drive past it for other parks further west. Well, the weather decided not to play nice that weekend. Only days before we had been planning on kayaking along the Guadalupe River but a call to an outfitter and checking the river levels online revealed the river was a bit dry for running the river where we were planning. Then storms came through two days in a row causing flooding. Then there was too much water in San Antonio!

We’d checked night before on Government Canyon’s Facebook page for updates on trail closures and they had reopened. Now with storms rolling through San Antonio on Saturday morning we decided to find a McDonald’s for wifi to check on the park before getting into town. Sure enough they were closed as was Hill Country State Natural Area just a bit further west. But Lost Maples had somehow evaded most of the heavy rain and was still open! As we meandered through San Antonio on I-10 we saw signs for lower ramp levels closed due to flooding and later on found out the San Antonio river had done some localized flood damage. That’s flash flooding for ya!

I wrote about the bird feeders at the park where we had lunch, but then after lunch we headed down the trail. We opted for the west loop this time, walking in a counterclockwise fashion.

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We passed the ponds first, walking on relatively flat trail the majority of the loop.

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Water was available in the creeks but nothing over the top and overflowing the banks.

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Nothing like a mass of caterpillar to pull your off trail to investigate. I’m not sure what kind they are…anyone?

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Walking through the narrow canyon between the hills was fairly quiet and uneventful. Chris walked right past this green milkvine, Matelea reticulata. It was intermingled in a mass of Clematis texensis, which meant a good photo opportunity.

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I’m not sure which nightshade this is, probably Solanum elaeagnifolium?

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Mexican hat’s were providing a good dose of summer color (Ratibida columnifera).

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Phaon crescent butterfly

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Took me a bit to figure this one out since it wasn’t in my butterfly book—but I narrowed down to the blues and hairstreaks to get to Reakirt’s blue butterfly.

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Both it and the phaon crescent were sipping off of the frog fruit flowers.

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At least they were patient enough to hang around and let me get a few shots. Next time I need to snag the macro lens from Chris!

It was a pleasant walk through the park, though a bit humid towards the end of the hike. The crowds started growing as we were leaving with weekend campers backpacking in to the remote sites for the weekend.

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2 thoughts on “Afternoon at Lost Maples | Late Spring

  1. Chris says:

    Could the caterpillars be gulf fritillary? Do you remember what plant they were on?

  2. Beegirl says:

    Really beautiful photos…

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