The Lost Pines chapter serves primarily Bastrop and Caldwell counties of Central Texas (click here to find a statewide list of chapters). These counties are predominantly in the Post Oak Savannah and Blackland Prairie Ecoregions. In addition, our area includes the unique “island forest” of the Lost Pines, the westernmost extent of the loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), separated by about 100 miles from the pine forests of East Texas. Species in the Lost Pines are particularly adapted to the drier conditions here, and provide unique habitat for varied flora and fauna that can be seen in Bastrop and Buescher state parks and other nearby natural areas. You can learn more about what makes these parks so special and see pictures of them by visiting our “State Parks & Natural Areas” page; you can also find many links to information about the native plants, animals and ecology of the Lost Pines region on our resources page.
- Haunted Houses & Other Dark PlacesHalloween gives rise to strange happenings. Take, for example, a building that grows its own fur. October in Alaska gets pretty chilly but who would’ve expected a structure to grow its own winter coat? Shortly before Halloween in 2018, an administrative building in Glacier Bay National Park began to cultivate a beard. That’s right, long… Read More →
- Moonbeams in a JarNostalgia is an ever more important part of my life these days. I get all fuzzy inside remembering warm summer evenings with fireflies as a child. Watching the dark blue velvet dusk turn all sparkly—like silent fireworks in the grass, or glittering clouds of fairy dust. Memory is a warpy sort of reservoir, an imperfect… Read More →
- Back Roads Nature–Stephen F. Austin State ParkIt’s a chance discovery, totally unintended. We’re about 50 miles outside Houston on the road to Stephen F. Austin State Park. Up there on the left are a couple buildings and a statue. We pull in to get a closer look. The sign says “San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site.” Turns out, this is… Read More →
- Your Distant Cousin Was a Honeybee!Among the sciences, genetics has rocketed to the top of the leader board. Monumental breakthroughs are changing our existence. With a simple swab we can now produce incontrovertible evidence freeing wrongly convicted inmates from death row and solve crimes that have been cold for decades. Through knowledge of our own genome, we now create new… Read More →
- El LagartoCopeland, Florida, 2011. Margaret Webb, a 90-year-old at the time, was walking by a canal near her home. It was a perfect day. The sky seemed like blue porcelain, and a gentle breeze brought with it a premonition of fall. As she labored along, the reflected sky ran like a vein of silver in the… Read More →
- Back Roads Nature–Kickapoo CavernsIf you’re one of those people who grew up in silence and wide-open spaces, accustomed to solitude, and uncomfortable in the presence of crowds, you’ll be as happy as mountain water among boulders at Kickapoo State Park! Concealed in the extreme western reaches of the Texas Hill Country, this park is not for everyone—you must… Read More →