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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Autumn is always welcome: Color in Texas!

Even the oaks rage red in Bosque County

Many people, especially ones from New England or the West, comment when they visit Texas, that they miss the seasons. They especially miss the autumn colors of Vermont or the aspens of Colorado. And it's true that our autumn color over all is nothing comparable to these areas. But then, Texas is huge, and cannot be expected to compete with the unique botanical specialties of much smaller states. We have counties larger than some of these regions. But east Texas has a wonderful charm when its sycamore and sweetgum turn. The cypress groves along the Hill Country rivers turn a fabulous gold and salmon. And some of the Spanish oak makes its own fire on the mountains.

If my travels all over America have taught me one thing, it is that Texas does have extraordinary beauty, and VARIETY, probably because of its size, and if you are willing to hike and drive, you can see the most beautiful autumn landscape in the world. These are all photographs I have taken, of the Texas Hill Country, the magnificent maples within the Guadelupe Mountains of west Texas, and also of my own, more accessible region...

I do believe that the McKittrick Canyon offers a gorgeous, jaw dropping beauty that is unsurpassed anywhere. The secret to seeing it is realizing that Texas covers two time zones and several distinct geographical climates. The cold mountain nights turn the colors first in the far west. You must start watching it in the southwest in early November and work your way northeast to the hill country, then all hell breaks loose. All over a two or three week period. The colors turn in my town in late November. If you do the reverse, you will miss it all. Most of you will not be able to go see it for yourselves... so I give these to you, to brag about what wonders God has done... In Texas!

Lost Maples State park near Vanderpool offers the most convenient collection of native Maple trees.

McKittrick Canyon, in mid-November, offers the best fall color in the Southwest. It is found in far west Texas near the New Mexico line in Guadelupe Peak National Forest.

Dogwood trees make spendid autumn foliage here in Grimes County.

Sumac decorates the roads near Salado in Bell County.

McKittrick Canyon in west Texas is loaded with Bigtooth Maples.

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