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.
- Keep Your Head in the Clouds“It was a dark and stormy night” is an infamous bromide that has launched a million pulp romance novels. In a few words it conjures emotions we’ve all experienced before. Weather and clouds express mood—nature’s emojis. Somewhere in our past, each of us has lazed serenely under a gentle summer breeze and a brilliant sky… Read More →
- Back Roads Nature–Mother Neff State ParkLazing beside a river shaded by towering cottonwoods, the afternoon sun filters through to the grass below. There’s a noisy picnic in progress, laced with the smell of fried chicken and blueberry pies while busy mothers set out the spread. Kids swim and splash along the shoals and fathers nurse cane poles from the bank—the… Read More →
- The Original SurvivorMan is the only species that makes war against its own kind. Some situations, like the recent coronavirus outbreak, pit man against an invisible bug or microbe. But how often have we battled for survival against the plant world? It was once so, a gigantic plague covering an area equivalent to the present day United… Read More →
- Killing UnicornsNestled atop a promontory overlooking the Colorado River, an old Tonkawa sits cross-legged as he watches the setting sun paint the water in fool’s gold. Harchuknni comes here often. Shell earrings set off his chiseled face, two tipped feathers punctuate his parted white hair, the braids cascade down his chest. He wears a long loincloth,… Read More →
- Back Roads Nature–Balmorhea State ParkIt’s a prideful secret that area residents would like to keep to themselves—many Texans have never heard of it. Thousands stream down Interstate 10 each day, unaware that one of the world’s largest natural swimming holes is just a few miles off the highway. It has existed as a desert oasis in one form or… Read More →
- Masters of DeceitIt’s a still, hot afternoon, no breeze blowing. The jungle is thick and muggy, rich from the abundant gift of rainfall. Near a stream, 100 yards away, is a clearing where the water bubbles down from the surrounding mountaintops. Mist, like the water’s breath, is visible in the shafts of light filtering through the canopy…. Read More →