Davis Mountains-2006
Jul 5, 2010Public
Photo: Joe, Ron, Pete and I drive to Fort Davis via Balmorhea, where San Solomon Spring pumps 22 million gallons of water/day into the CCC-constructed pool.
Photo: The first mountain view for Joe and Ron.
Photo: Along Highway 17 outside Fort Davis we spotted this blooming cholla...
Photo: ...and prickly pear cactus.
Photo: We made a brief stop in the town of Fort Davis, in part to measure our new state champion Little Walnut (Juglans microcarpa).
Photo: The Davis Mountains Preserve is Texas Nature Conservancy's largest holding, at 32,000 acres -- including part of the historic U-Up-U-Down Ranch.
Photo: The view of Mount Livermore -- the highest point in the Davis Mountains -- from our cabin.
Photo: We head out to the upper reaches of Madera Canyon, spotting this Southwestern White Pine (Pinus strobiformis) along the trail.
Photo: Joe quickly spots the source of Ponderosa Pine mortality -- and the primary reason for our visit -- Western Pine Beetles...
Photo: ...whose larvae eat the inner bark of pine trees, leaving a "map" of where they've dined.
Photo: Ron tries to read the map.
Photo: The new state champion Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum) is likely to be found either here in the Davis Mountains or in Guadalupe Mountains National Park.
Photo: Pete and Oscar show the right way to measure circumference.
Photo: All sorts of interesting species thrive in this canyon, including this Birchleaf Buckthorn (Rhamnus betulifolia)...
Photo: ...and this Fendler Ceanothus (Ceanothus fendleri).
Photo: Higher still, we get our first peek at the peak.
Photo: Oscar, with Mount Livermore in the background.
Photo: Right next to the trail, we found the Ponderosa Pine we heard rumors about. At 11' in circumference, it's our new state champ!
Photo: We measured circumference right here.
Photo: These two Silverleaf Oaks (Quercus hypoleucoides) are just 100' further up the creekbed from the big pine. The tree at right is our new state champ.
Photo: A few hundred yards above Tobe Spring, we ran into this big Southwestern White Pine, which is also a new state champ.
Photo: Oscar shows where we measured.
Photo: We continued climbing and looking for the next big tree, all the way to the head of Madera Canyon, flanked by rock spires.
Photo: This is as high as Pete cared to try...