This week, the family and I took a much-needed mid-week break from our daily routines to soak up the lovely natural surrounding at Inks Lake State Park. The weather remains unseasonably cool this year in Austin, which means it is downright perfect for camping. Temps ranged from upper 60s in the early morning to upper 80s at the peak of the afternoon. Great swimming weather, very enjoyable in the shade.
|A dry creek on the way to Devil's Waterhole, as seen from the wooden bridge on the trail. My 4-year-old was looking for wildlife footprints and hoping to find some here.|
I wish I was able to snap pictures of the ample and diverse wildlife at this park. Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and Roadrunners appeared several times. Ducks and geese abound at the lake. Cardinals flit in male/female pairs among the oaks and brush. They were too fast for my iPhone camera.
We saw a skunk poking around near our cabin on our first night, and took great care to pack away all traces of food from then on.
White-tailed deer made several appearances, too.
|My crew, headed for the playscape, as was our evening routine. The sticker burrs out there make the ones at my parents' place in Dripping Springs look like marshmallows by comparison. Yowza!|
|A bed of xeric perennials was one of the few obviously human-influenced touches to the landscape. Autumn Sage, Blackfoot Daisy and a couple of others dressed up this dry, sunny spot.|
|Mesquite trees are just perfect in this rugged landscape, no?|
|Pencil cactus caught my eye, adorned with charming red fruits at some of its joints.|
|Granite + cactus + sunrise = a little bit of heaven|
|They have rain lilies at Inks Lake, too. These were smaller with spikier petals than the ones I see in our Austin neighborhood. I like the pink tips of the petals.|
|Another of the rare human-orchestrated vistas: Softleaf Yucca (or is it some variety of Sotol?) getting ready to bloom, anchored by granite boulders.|
|I did find the purple-blooming barrel cactus, though it wasn't until later in the day, on our way home, that I could catch the flowers starting to open.|