Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

Easter 2021 at Mission Tejas State Park

White fringetree, Chionanthus virginicus
Every time I look back at photos from last year I can’t believe I never wrote about hikes or trips here on the blog. Burn out was flaming high and the only way to tame it was to lay low and focus on other priorities. Thankfully I’m getting back into the writing groove, especially since today is meteorological spring! WAHOO! Which means that this coming week or so of warm weather will definitely awaken the plants and it will be grow-grow-grow from here on out. Thank goodness!

So, today we’ll look back at a few highlights from last Easter at one of my favorite state parks in Texas, Mission Tejas. And we’ll start with the glorious white fringetree, a species that should be in more understory plantings all over its range. It is so underutilized and would be a great replacement for the crammed in tract homes that get built when they try to put in the illogical two live oaks in every front yard—at least that’s what they do around here!


Mayapples! Podophyllum peltatum, nothing says spring like a forested slope of mayapples blooming!

Exploring the floodplain bottomlands near San Pedro Creek at the back of the park I found a little tiger moth clinging to Packera glabella


Chris and I were stumped a good while on this tree, trying to figure out what it was. It resembled a magnolia in some aspects and now I can’t even tell you what we decided to call it. Ok, so I looked it up on iNaturalist and we called it a shagbark hickory, Carya ovata.

Oxalis violaceae, violet woodsorrel. I’m started some seeds of this last fall and I’m hoping maybe it will germinate this spring.

Tulip-tree Beauty, Epimecis hortaria, as moth species that obviously uses tulip trees for a host plant but also magnolias, pawpaws, and sassafras.

Red Buckeye, Aesculus pavia

Virginia Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica

San Pedro Creek

The adjacent bottomlands on a sunny afternoon. I would love to pull up a chair and do some watercolors here, that or just poke around a bit more, too!

I’ll be sharing a few more photos from this trip soon, though those will be focused on the Davy Crockett National Forest nearby. And all of the spring flowers are going to propel me to finish editing Arkansas photos and write up some reports from there, too. Plenty to write and to share! Sending warmth to anyone still tucked under snow!


  • Anna K

    Oh, how I love those Podphyllums – especially an expanse like that. In my garden, they grow (and spread) pretty happily, but I don’t have the space to make it look like *that*. Still, I really enjoy them when they emerge. I agree with you on the Chionanthus. It’s such a lovely tree, it deserves wider admiration and use.

  • Patrice La Vigne

    Everything in Texas always looks so pretty through your lens!! I wonder if we’ll ever get back to your state … I feel like our days of epic road trips are over now that we live in AK

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