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.
The purpose of a curse is to inflict misfortune with moral significance—even a sense of justice. Curses, otherwise known as execrations, are as old as dirt—if not older. In Genesis 3:14 God says to the serpent, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals.” Whether or not you believe this, you must admit nature is full of calamitous events (coincidental or not) that provide support for the idea that curses exist. Disease, predation, starvation, draught and wildfire—take your pick. In the human realm—also part of nature—we… Read More →
The proud Texas rancher quietly reminisced as he sat back and watched cloud shadows passing over the bushy hills, leaving dark bruises on the green slopes before him. Through hard work and persistence he’d found good fortune in Kimble County. Walter Buck Jr. didn’t invent air conditioned tractors or create the first automated stock gate . . . but he left his mark nonetheless. Having survived the terrible draught of the 1950’s, he appreciated the value of the Llano River chuckling through his land as it rolled vast… Read More →
It’s always discomfiting to encounter unusual animals, especially when they carry a distinctly prehistoric look. If we could really see their primal origins in the flesh, we’d probably come unhinged! Travel back with me 130 million years ago to a time when South America was cut adrift from what is now the west coast of Africa. This giant island raft was isolated from the rest of the world as were the animals that lived there. As you can imagine, strange things came to pass in the misty hillsides… Read More →
Whether it’s a sparkling, gin-clear oasis of spring-fed water or a river gliding by like a sheet of gleaming metal, here in Texas water has caused infinite tribal fights, skirmishes and border wars since the very beginning. Where it exists, life flourishes; where it doesn’t, life is extinguished. Most of us consider water common but it’s actually one of the most uncommon chemical substances in the universe. It can arise as rivers, snow storms, clouds, glaciers, fog or steam. Essentially amorphous, water significantly enables our lives—but it can… Read More →
As morning came around, the clouds lifted to reveal a coral dawn. I looked closely at the arroyos and gullies of Copper Breaks State Park—I couldn’t believe my eyes. Who would ever think to make a public park of such broken badlands and mesas, peppered with copses of cedar trees? Shouldn’t they call it “cedar breaks?” But upon closer examination (and a little reading) it all came clear. Among these eroded channels, all barren and lunar, you can clearly make out the gray-green streaks of raw copper running… Read More →