Archive for the 'State Parks' Category

New Pictographs Discovered

Monday, August 21st, 2017
Pictograph at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site.

Pictograph at Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site.

This is Passport to Texas

For thousands of years, people have trekked to the rock hills in far west Texas where they found rainwater pooled in natural basins called huecos.

Today, visitors to Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site enjoy the rock hills for bouldering, which is a form of rock climbing, and the rock paintings, or pictographs, left by those ancient people.

After a year-long survey using D-stretch image enhancement technology, researchers discovered previously unknown pictographs in 29 locations. These areas will remain closed to recreational activities to protect the fragile artwork from potential impacts.

A list of closed climbs has been provided to the guides and to visitors on the North Mountain.

The majority of the pictographs are in the Jornada style, named for the prehistoric Jornada Mogollon culture of western Texas, southern New Mexico and northern Mexico.

These Native Americans were the first farmers in the region, and it’s believed they created the paintings about 550 to 1,000 years ago for use in prayers for rain. Some things never change.

Hueco Tanks is a significant cultural resource in the El Paso area that reflects at least 10,000 years of history. Find more information about the site at texasstateparks.org.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

LBJ — In His Own Words

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017
LBJ and Lady Bird enjoying the wildflowers in his beloved Texas Hill Country.

LBJ and Lady Bird enjoying the wildflowers in his beloved Texas Hill Country.

This is Passport to Texas

Even though Lyndon Baines Johnson spent many memorable years in Washington DC, the Texas Hill Country held a special place in his heart.

Here is where I would always return, to the Pedernales River, the scenes of my childhood. There’s something different about this country, from any other part of the nation.

LBJ often credited these pristine surroundings of his youth as a major influence in his life and presidency.

It is impossible to live on this land without being a part of it. Without being shaped by its qualities. This molds the character of the people here. But it is also a bold and beautiful land, where the air is clear and the water is pure and the wildflowers flashing in the sun

And it is where he returned when he left the White House.

I guess every person feels a part of the place where they were born, he wants to go back to the surroundings that he knew as a child and this is my country, the Hill Country of Texas.

The LBJ State Park and Historic Site, located near Johnson City, gives visitors a chance to experience the land which President Johnson held dear.

There’s something about this section that brings new life and new hope and really a balanced and better view point after you have been here a few days.

Learn more about the LBJ State Historic Site, log on to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife… I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Eye on the Sky for Meteor Showers

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017
Meteors

Keep an eye on the night sky and you might see a meteor.

This is Passport to Texas

Small fragments of cosmic debris that enter the earth’s atmosphere at high rates of speed become visible as streaks of light we call meteors.

The Perseid meteor shower peaks mid-August. Enchanted Rock SNA will host a star festival August 12-13 to celebrate. It is a recognized Dark Sky Park, and you may see up to 75 meteors an hour. The festival runs from 6 to 11 p.m. on Saturday. Park hours will be extended until 3 am to view the Perseids.

The Orionids is another meteoric spectacle that takes place from early October through Mid-November. In a normal year 20-25 meteors an hour streak across the sky; in a great year, as many as 50/hr.

The Leonids, created by the comet Temple-Tuttle, are visible much of November. They have offered stunning meteor storms in the past, but expect only 15 meteors an hour through 2031; that’s when the comet reappears.

The Geminids, visible from early to mid-December, are bright and intensely colored. Meteors start showing up before 10 p.m., so you don’t have to get up in the middle of the night to see them.

Whether you see 1 or 100 metors, it’s always a thrill.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Less Crowded State Park Gems

Monday, July 17th, 2017
A Texas State Park is closer than you think.

A Texas State Park is closer than you think.

This is Passport to Texas

With an increase in state park visitation by more than half a million over the past four years, parks stay pretty busy.

Some, too busy. In fact, the more popular parks in the system, such as Enchanted Rock, Garner, and Pedernales often close their gates early due to maximum visitor capacity.

To get around the crowds, try visiting during non-peak hours. Usually during the week. Check each park’s social media for the latest closure updates.

Of course, if you’re already there, instead of waiting in line for the gates to reopen, visitors are encouraged to consider the nearby alternatives to their favorite Texas state parks.

For example, if you find yourself on the wrong side of the gate at Garner State Park:

Lost Maples State Natural Area,

Hill Country State Natural Area,  and

Kickapoo Cavern State Park are three sites located within an hour of Garner.

And, just south of Enchanted Rock State Natural Area and Pedernales Falls State Park lie four hidden gems waiting to be discovered:

Old Tunnel State Park,

Lyndon B. Johnson State Park and Historic Site,

Blanco State Park, and

South Llano River State Park.

Find a map of all Texas State Parks at texasstateparks.org, or download the Texas State Parks Mobile App, from iTunes or Google Play.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Face Time with Bison

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017
Bison at Caprock Canyons State Park

Bison at Caprock Canyons State Park

This is Passport to Texas

When you visit Caprock Canyons State Park you may come face-to-face with one or more of the over 150 bison roaming freely within on the park.

You do want to give them respect.

The animals make up the official Texas State Bison herd. Donald Beard is park superintendent, and says when on the grounds, remain aware of your surroundings – which is true even if there weren’t one ton animals ambling about.

They are a wild animal and they are capable of running very fast. So, you want to give them at least a 50 yard buffer. Of course, they don’t have to follow that rule, so they could come right up to you. And if that’s the case, then what you want to do is just stand still; no sudden movements. And wait for them, they’ll just pass right on by.

As tempting as it might be: do not approach the bison, and do not feed them.

This goes for all wildlife. Every one of these. You don’t approach the wildlife. This is their territory. You have to respect that you’re in their house. So, you just give them the right of way and let them do their thing.

And you can do your thing Saturday September 23 at the Annual Texas State Bison Music Fest in Quitaque. Money raised from ticket sales funds bison research and conservation. Find the music lineup and ticket information at bisonfest.com.

That’s our show for today… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti