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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YL Ranch

In the far southwestern corner of Throckmorton County is the YL Ranch, encompassing 5,500 acres of responsibly-managed, grazing pasture among low, rolling hills. Two prominent waterways cross this property; Ranger Creek and Tecumseh Creek, both with exposed limestone bottoms. About 5 miles to the southeast is the famous Lambshead Ranch, established in 1880 after the area was purposely evacuated of the Tecumseh tribe of the Comanche Indians.

The area is dominated by Hackberry and Mesquite trees, along with plentiful grasses and short scrub. Abundant rainfall over the past 2 years has really benefited the perennials, and many early summer bloomers were showing their colors. It was the last day of spring and the temperature would reach the upper 90s. After taking a dip in one of the stock tanks, I set to document some of the more interesting species of the area.

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