The remark deck at Horseshoe Bay Nature Park offers an overlook for guests and a large view of the park. With the suitable lens, you can seize some nice pictures from this vantage level. The shade it gives in August isn’t unhealthy both. Employees picture by Dakota Morrissiey
Horseshoe Bay Nature Park is an 11-acre slice of recovering Texas Hill Nation habitat. Strolling by way of the park, it is apparent an immense quantity of consideration, love, and time was invested into the event of this miniature Highland Lakes protect.
At first look, the park seems easy and well-made. The matching development, hidden trash cans and loo, and minimalist design all contribute to the pure aesthetic of the park. A shaded remark deck gives an overlook that reveals the sloping gradients of the whole protect.
Clear maps, path markers, water fountains, informative signage, and benches appear to be positioned in good areas all through the path system. A half-mile loop winds by way of the park and mild foot paths meander into hidden alcoves.
For the entire growth within the park, the habitat itself is sort of completely untouched, and that’s by design.
“It is restoring the land again to its native state,” stated Vicki Adcock, a Highland Lakes Grasp Naturalist and member of the Horseshoe Bay Nature Park Board of Administrators.
Eight eco-regions exist within the park, every with its personal micro-ecology that may solely develop if left alone. Little or no mowing is finished on the protect, bushes aren’t trimmed, and invasive vegetation are eliminated when found.
As I made my manner by way of the park, I used to be taken with the vitality that was current each step of the way in which. Even within the lifeless of summer season, the flowers was extra vibrant and diverse than I used to be used to seeing. Silverleaf nightshade bloomed alongside the loop and Texas plume peeked out from the granite. Small bushes emerged from swaying grasses that might usually be cropped quick from mowing or cattle.
When designing the park, even the rocks and earthwork got in depth consideration. Solely granite and river rock have been used on the paths and within the landscaping as a result of these are the pure rocks discovered within the space. The park has no paving, protecting the soil permeable so water can soak into the bottom. Contour swells have been constructed as much as information rainfall in mild instructions to forestall heavy erosion and runoff.
Each time I ended to take a photograph, it appeared like a bench had been positioned within the precise spot wanted to get the most effective angle. This, too, was by design. The park’s Board of Administrators consulted with the Nationwide Audubon Society to seek out the most effective areas for benches, creating best remark factors for birders.
Brushpiles are positioned all through the park to offer cowl for small animals to flee predators. These would happen naturally, however they take time to kind. The piles find yourself being wildlife hotspots, as animals really feel extra comfy with a secure place to cover close by.
Dozens of species of birds could be seen on the park as a result of untouched nature of the habitat. Bushes like Texas persimmons and Ashe junipers present meals sources which are often absent when land is cleared for grazing or growth. A small pond sits throughout a close-by fence line and attracts waterfowl when full.
As a result of there’s little to no mowing, flowers are in a position to go to seed. Because of this, when spring rolls round, extra blooms will seem, attracting pollinators similar to monarch butterflies and ruby-throated hummingbirds.
Nesting bins for nesting birds, chimney towers for chimney swifts, and beehives for bees give shelter to animals that might in any other case be absent from the ecosystem.
Whereas my stroll by way of Horseshoe Bay Nature Park was quick and candy, it was spectacular. I can’t wait to return within the spring to see it in full bloom.
Horseshoe Bay Nature Park is positioned at 1514 Golden Nugget in Horseshoe Bay. Entrance is free. Discover a park map and guidelines on-line.
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