Our major hike at SLRSP was the Fawn Trail. We’d hiked a bit of this trail before the last time we were here when we’d connected it to the West Canyon Loop Trail.
For the first portion of the trail it more or less follows the contour of a creek bed.
Of course we took time to stop and inspect holes for potential wildlife…
And there were interesting hunting blinds to inspect.
Christmas Cholla, Cylindropuntia leptocaulis
Our first find was this interesting antique can, a relic from the property’s ranch days.
Cartilage Lichen, Ramalina celastri
Slender Orange-Bush lichen, Teloschistes exilis
Ruffle Lichens, Parmotrema sp.
The vegetation along the creek opened up and it wasn’t too steep so Chris jumped down to see what he could find. He came out with a piece of rock that had been worked in an attempt to make a tool by the first inhabitants of this land. And yes, of course we left the rock!
Next we found ringtail scat!
All three of us jumped down into the creek to follow it for a bit since we knew we could easily climb back out to follow the trail if we wanted.
In general, as you can see, there was no water in the creek, but we did find a seep or two that were gently running.
Texas sage/Cenizo, Leucophyllum frutescens
Texas persimmon, Diospyros texana
A hunting blind not covered in decoy vegetation meant Forest really had to check it out so he had a snack while sitting inside his makeshift fort!
The trail climbed slightly after that (I’m looking back to where we’d come from) so we could be getting bigger views of the Hill Country shortly.
Evergreen Sumac, Rhus virens
The Golden-cheeked Warbler Trail led even further back into the park but we would not be exploring the trail that day.
On our way down the hill we passed a couple coming up who mentioned a snake skin on the side of the trail. Sure enough, we found it and oohed and ahhed over it for a few minutes.
Snapdragon Vine, Maurandya antirrhiniflora
Once back down the hill we started seeing evidence of flood damage along the trail and on the adjacent creeks. I was very surprised to see how much vegetation was ripped up, including that cactus sitting 3′ off the ground in that shrub! You can see the green vegetation still pushed over where the water flowed over it and it had been about six weeks since the flood. Water is so powerful.
Horse Crippler Cactus, Homalocephala texensis
Probably Clematis texensis
All in all, a great hike! I bet this place is rockin’ during wildflower season! Speaking of wildflowers, I’ll be trying to get posts up soon of what we saw at Inks Lake State Park about two weeks ago. I’ve got one other post from Stephen F. Austin State Park in early February and maybe some ringtail photos that Chris managed to get on his wildlife cam and then hopefully I can get into Inks Lake! It’s a busy season!