Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

Early Evening on the Upper Fisherman’s Trail | Inks Lake State Park

Sand Phacelia, Phacelia patuliflora

Texas Ragwort, Senecio ampullaceus



Shepherd’s-Purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris







Texas bluebonnet, Lupinus texensis


Western Tansy Mustard, Descurainia pinnata

Texas Paintbrush, Castilleja indivisa






Texas Toadflax, Nuttallanthus texanus


Texas Ragwort, Senecio ampullaceus




Selaginella corallina

We arrived to Inks Lake State Park in late February on an early Friday afternoon. Being as it was Friday, the park itself was rather quiet at first, before the Austin weekend crowd arrived. There were some folks already set up in their RVs, trailers, and tents but otherwise it was a quiet situation. Our campsite was tucked away on a quiet loop towards the back of the park next to a fishing pier and cleaning station—the first was exciting for Chris and the second was a source of fascination for Forest every time we walked by. He wanted to see the cleaning area even if there were no fish in it.

Camp was set up and that fishing pier was luring Chris too much and a playground we passed on the way in was luring Forest too much so Forest and I walked over to playground to play for a good chunk of time, enough time for Chris to get his fishing needs met (at least for the time being). After both boys got their fun in, we drove over to near the park entrance and parked at the trailhead to scope out a short hike before dinner. Immediately on trail I was oohing and ahhing at the wildflowers. Even though it was very early spring, we’d seen enough on the drive there to know that there would be plenty in bloom. And I was not disappointed! Wildflowers were everywhere!

The trail was filled with gneiss rock formations which was an instant lure to Forest. There was a short trail that he kept being enticed by that lead to a slight overlook where park housing was located and no matter how many times we walked down that trail he had to take the side trail to see, even though he knew what was on the other side.

This time around we stuck to the Upper Fisherman’s trail, leaving the lower trail for a few days later. It provided scenic views of the lake and dam in the distance, and of course plenty of wildflower opportunities for me! The Selaginella at the end there was so intriguing! Growing in such harsh conditions, I was just amazed to see it over the next few days. What an interesting plant!

And I really want to get my hands on some Texas toadflax seeds—must dig around online for some as I think they would be a great addition to our ROW plantings.

This was just the tip of the botanical wonder at the state park and I can’t imagine what it looks like now or just over the last few weeks. I’m sure so much different is in bloom!

Stay tuned, lots more coming your way!


  • shoreacres

    I recognized the toadflax (new to me, recently), the phacelia, and the ragwort. The shepherd’s purse was new, as well as the Selaginella (what a great name!). I am curious about the second photo of the Texas ragwort. When I looked at it, I thought immediately that it was Packera plattensis: prairie groundsel, or prairie ragwort. I ran into it in the Hill country, up on the Willow City loop, and have some photos of the buds and leaves. The flowers are similar to Texas ragwort, but the buds are distinctive. It’s worth considering, anyhow.

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