The Painted Bunting Trail at Guadalupe River State Park


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Looking back at these photos from November feels like a lifetime ago. For one, it feels like nature was still abundant even if it was fall. There were butterflies and moths we saw during that Thanksgiving week we were camping—flowers blooming, nature was nature-ing. And now that we’re in this post-freeze haze and hurtling towards spring, I know growth is around the corner. But seeing these photos makes me happy. We’re going to go through the cycle once again.

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The Painted Bunting Trail is 2.8 miles and divided by the park road which allows you to park at one of two parking lots and allows you to make the complete loop or ditch and walk the road back to your parking lot as necessary.

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It was a gorgeous golden afternoon when we hiked and as we slowly descended down the hill there were amber and honey grasses leading the way. There was quite a bit of native grasses such as this little bluestem but I also came to realize that a good portion of it was the non-native and invasive King Ranch bluestem. What a disappointment!

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Baccharis neglecta, poverty weed.

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To be honest, I wanted to pull up a chair and sit in the field and just watch the light move across the landscape. It was easy to fall into a daydream with the grasses.

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On the west side of the loop there was this scene, a mix of frostweed thrown in for good measure. Again, a scene I just wanted to immerse myself in for the afternoon.

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White Lace Cactus of Texas, Echinocereus reichenbachii ssp. caespitosus

This is probably one of the busier loops in the park aside from the river trails due to the parking lot access ease. There are a couple of other trails that I will share soon that aren’t as accessed but you can guarantee they will still be fairly busy during peak usage times at the park.

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One thought on “The Painted Bunting Trail at Guadalupe River State Park

  1. shoreacres says:

    What a nice collection of lace cactus! The grasses are pretty, too. I’ve noticed around here that it almost looks like California in the fall. So many grasses I’ve never noticed have turned golden, and were it not for knowing the cause, they’d seem perfectly lovely. Well, they are lovely. But….

    It was fun to see that snow angel, too. One thing’s for sure. I’m with you in preferring post-hurricane to post-winter-chaos. I have to figure out some way to keep warm if this happens again, and I lose power. The few hours without didn’t bother me, but all-electric living is a problem in circumstances like those we just experienced. With ice on the roads and the whole state affected, it wasn’t even possible to go to friends’ homes in a different part of the state. THAT was a problem.

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