Spring Creek Forest Preserve

Spring Creek Forest Preserve is a protected greenspace managed by the City of Garland, saving this Blackland Prairie remnant from the development that has swallowed up the surrounding area. The primary topographic feature here is Spring Creek, which soon after meets Rowlett Creek and empties into Lake Ray Hubbard. The waterway is lined with buckeyes, juniper, and oaks, and this forest of native trees dominate the park. There is a clearing in a central area consisting of a few acres of shallow, limestone soils that support an abundance of native perennials, some of which were in bloom when I visited back in early May.

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Texas Buckeye Trail

Just a few miles southeast of downtown Dallas is The Great Trinity Forest, an urban park occupying the flood plain of the Trinity River. In this park, a mile-long trail lightly tracks through the damp forest floor and marshland to a large stand of Texas buckeyes (Aesculus glabra var. arguta) near the river bank. This area represents one of the furthest west communities of A. glabra var. arguta, with most populations occurring from eastern Oklahoma to Ohio. In Texas, you can also find this species in the Hill Country, the deep Piney Woods forest, and along the Red River. This buckeye is a pretty uncommon species for this area, so when I heard they were blooming locally, a hiking trip was in order. 

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Clymer Meadow

Clymer Meadow Preserve is a collection of properties owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy of Texas and with the partnership of surrounding private land owners. Its value is rooted in its ties to the Blackland Prairie, a prairie of dark, rich soil that runs 300 miles from south to north Texas, roughly following the Interstate 35 corridor. This temperate grassland is home to many flora and fauna that is critical to the adequate operation of this valued ecosystem. Only 1% of this prairie still exists in its original form, and great efforts are being made to preserve what is remaining. 

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Mesa de Anguila

Mesa de Anguila is a large topographical feature in the far western portions of Big Bend National Park, cut to the south by the Rio Grande. This uplift is one of the least visited areas of the park, and trails here are rough and precarious. The original goal was to hike cross country along an old pack trail to visit a small canyon along the river. It is February and Hunnemannia fumariifolia is blooming at this time. This small canyon is the only known location in Texas, and the US, for this species to occur. 

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Barn Wedding

Sarah loves wildflowers and wanted this reflected in her wedding flowers. She made specific color requests and I matched this style with the best blooms that are in season in the heat of summer. This was a slight challenge, but I believe the result was well worth it. The bride and I shared a vision and saw it to fruition, with beautiful results!

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The Window

The Window Trail is probably the most heavily traveled path in Big Bend National Park, and for good reason. The trail is so aptly named for the framing of the western desert floor by Carter Peak to the south (left) and Vernon Bailey Peak to the north (right). Rain that falls in the Chisos Basin gathers and runs through this opening between the mountains, supporting residents of the park, animals and humans alike. The trail follows this gradual slope down to the opening, crossing arroyos and rolling foothills of scrub brush. 

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