Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Walk at McKinney Falls

McKinney Falls is a state park a few miles from my house. I was originally going to call this "Birdwalk at McKinney Falls," but I realized I had taken only one picture of a bird. I got there in the afternoon and there were few birds out, but the walk was enjoyable nonetheless. The baldcypress trees in the creek are having their moment of autumn color--imagine a deciduous fir tree with autumn-maple-leaf colors in the fall, at least in some years. Some years they just turn brown and the needles fall off, but this year they are a nice red and orange. The splash of color above these kids playing in the creek is a glimpse of cypress branch just starting to turn. The photo was taken from the so-called Smith Rock Shelter, a limestone overhang above Onion Creek which, according to archaeologists, was inhabited from 500 AD until the mid 1700s. The vantage point of the photo was the oldest dwelling in Austin, in other words.

Some other photos of the day:

Wafer ash (Ptelea trifoliata) leaves in the sun, framed by a cedar elm trunk. These plants are also called hoptrees in some parts of the country, and in other places they are called skunkbushes--the leaves have a smell somewhere between skunk and crushed orange peels.

A few days ago I put up a photo of a buckeye (butterfly). Here is a buckeye (plant) seedpod splitting open. This is a red buckeye, Aesculus pavia.

Another buckeye pod

And another

A fall aster (I don't know what species) somewhat the worse for wear, by the Smith Rock Shelter.

A crow, going away.

No comments: