Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

Along Beech Creek

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I know we’re about to get really going with spring and all that it has to offer but today we’re going to go back to October and into the Big Thicket with a jaunt along Beech Creek in the Beech Creek Unit of the Preserve. Lobelia cardinalis was the star of the creek, the only brightly colored species blooming along the bottomlands here.

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While Forest and Chris kept towards the creek, I deviated over to a large patch of Netted Chain Fern, Woodwardia areolata, that I felt created a bit of a fairy forest effect.

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I was particularly enamored with the mossy trunks of the trees and the ferns surrounding it, wishing I could prop up a chair and paint the scenes for the afternoon. I didn’t have a good travel watercolor setup at the time but I’ve since put something together and I’m hoping in the future I can do something like that when I come across these quiet landscape scenes.

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We wound our way down the creek, stopping to peer into the tannic waters.

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I would have loved to have followed the creek throughout the entire unit of the Preserve. I did end up seeing someone else has followed the creek quite a ways further than we did when I saw their entries on iNaturalist. I’m sure hunters utilize this area at times but I don’t think there are many intrepid folks other than nutty plant people and hunters getting out to explore this portion of the creek.

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Crossfine, Bignonia capreolata, crawling up a tree trunk.

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A veilwort vignette, Pallavicinia lyellii. I love coming across liverworts and it is always a delight to see them! Usually you know you are in some quality and interesting habitat when you do see them.

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A healthy set of woodear fungi.

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Greater Marsh St. John’s-Wort, Hypericum walteri, another species I delight in seeing. It is rather uncommon and usually in specialized wetland habitats.

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I appreciated this juxtaposition in the photo, the pile of debris from the creek and the lone cardinal flower making its way in life.

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Swamp Star Grass, Hypoxis curtissii

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And a few videos to absorb more of the ambience!

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2 Comments

  • shoreacres

    Ohhhh… a part of the Big Thicket I’ve not visited! I do have Howard Peacock’s guide that has good directions to the Beech Creek Unit, but he only mentions the loop trail. Did you stay on that (sort of!) or did you go off trail to follow the creek? Any tips would be welcomed!

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