Sunday, June 03, 2007

Enchanted Rock

Sunday afternoon, my friends Clint and Chex invited me to join them on a hike up Enchanted Rock about an hour and a half outside of Austin in the Texas hill country. It is outside a "crafty" town called Fredericksburg. If you ever want tons of German food, good locally brewed beer, or some of the best wine made in Texas, visit Fredericksburg - there are always bed and breakfast places to sleep.

Above is Clint heading up the trail with Enchanted Rock in the background. The hike up the granite slab is a climb of about 325 feet in a remarkably short distance. Because is is dome shaped, it can be rather deceiving - just when you think you are at the top, you take a couple steps and realize there is much farther to go.

We have had an unusually wet May in the hill country, so there are plants one doe not normally expect to see, like ferns growing in every spot a spore could get a grip of some soil. The lichens on the rocks made them some fantastic colors as can be seen in the picture above. Everywhere one turned, there were more little surprises of color and combinations of plants as is seen in the picture below. In it you see a mix of daisies, prickly pear cactus, and fern, as well as some hardy grasses which have sprung up.

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