Ursula Goes to the Hill County: Part II

There is nothing quite like the Texas Hill County. It's quite a bit of a drive away from any large city. I remember driving back from Colorado this summer and we had to drive through it at night. There was a giant full moon, the dark night sky was a dark purple and you could see the outlines of the hills along the highway. UGH. It was amazing. Anyway, it is most beautiful during the fall season. The best place to go to for a hike. The weather is nice and cool, the leaves change and air is just so crisp. Weather here in the south is typically extremely hot and humid. This time of year is welcome by all. Luckily, this year it seemed to get colder much earlier. Typically, it gets cold around late December, not early November. It's kinda weird, but welcome. 
*Sigh*


Ursula Goes to the Hill Country: Part I

So, I'm honestly not sure how many parts this series is going to last, BUT I'm just gonna roll with it until I run out of photos. I recently got back from my trip to the hill country. We stayed in Kerrville, TX in the cabins that are provided by my boyfriend's job. We had gone last year to Lost Maples, but I wasn't such an active blogger as I am now, so I didn't take as many photos as I should have. I definitely took a lot this year. 
 Going out into nature really calms me down. Suddenly, the stresses of life seem to fade away and get lost in the breeze that runs through the trees. 


Ursula Goes to Bastrop State Park

This is going to be a long post. I can tell. 
I haven't been to Bastrop State Park in well over 8 years. It was the first state park I have ever been to. It's what started this whole mess. It was literally the most beautiful place I had been to (at the time). Bastrop is also known as "Lost Pines" since the trees are very different from other trees in the region:

"The Lost Pines Forest is a 13-mile (21 km) belt of loblolly pines (Pinus taeda) in the U.S. state of Texas, near the town of Bastrop. The stand of pines is unique in Texas because it is a disjunct population of trees that is more than 100 miles separated from, and yet closely genetically related to, the vast expanse of pine trees of the Piney Woods region that covers parts of Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma." [source]

I had joined the "Adventure Club" in high school and they took us to these parks. It was the only way I could go see something like this because I was too poor to go on my own. Anyway, Bastrop was a milestone for me.
I had heard that the place was hit by wildfires in 2011 and was very upset. The place holds a very special place in my soul and the damage was very apparent. It was really heartbreaking. Most of the park was burned (except for the camping areas). I had been wanting to post about Bastrop since I started this blog, but I wanted to share it with you, the way I remembered it.

  

It was my first time seeing the results of a forest fire. It's really devastating and sad to see, but it's also very inspiring. There is green coming out from the ground. Trees growing one or two new branches. There is new life among all the broken trees. A few weeks ago I was really down in the dumps. like REALLY. (Probably why my blogging has become sparse.) I've recently been feeling a glimmer of hope. Going to this park and seeing life trying to come back made me feel like even when things seem at their worst, things will always get better. They will not immediately go back to what they were. That will  take time, but eventually with a lot of growing, things will be perhaps even better than before. 

Ursula Goes to the Medina River Natural Area (Yes, Again, But I Love It There)

This place is sooooooooooo close to where I live. I will probably be going here much more often now that it's getting "cooler." This time that I went there was a LOT of wildlife everywhere. I saw two snakes, big lizards, little lizards, huge spiders, etc. It was nuts. The snakes are terrifying. Well, as long as you keep a reasonable distance they are harmless, of course, but they are big and according the the "park people" they are poisonous. I was very nervous about venturing further after seeing a snake THE MOMENT I WALKED INTO THE PARK, but I kept going. I took a photo of it, but its too crappy of a photo to share as I am trying to stay miles away from the snake. However, here are photos from my little visit. 
SO MANY CRITTERS. Baby, tiny lizards were all over the place. It was insane. I would constantly hear things moving around in the grass around the trail as I walked. I kept my eyes open. The activity usually isn't so apparent when I visit, but today it was very active. I wonder whats going on...