Lost Maples State Natural Area covers over 2500 acres of beautiful country in Bandera and Real counties in central Texas. It’s just north of Vanderpool on the picturesque Sabinal River.
Each autumn, thousands flock to Lost Maples to admire the beauty of the fall colors in a location many have come to think of as Vermont in Texas. Unfortunately, the extremes of heat and drought this year have taken their toll on the trees at Lost Maples and it looks like the colors this fall may be short lived.
According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife folks…
“This summer’s record heat and historic low rain fall has put the trees through their roughest test since weather records have been kept for this area. Due to the extreme heat and dryness this summer we are seeing a change in many of the trees already, about six weeks early. The change is stress related from the heat and dry weather. Many of the black Walnuts are turning yellow and dropping their leaves. Some of the smaller Maples have turned already due to the heat and dry weather. It has been a very rough year for the trees, as we had two storms this summer, one on June 30 and another two weeks later that had small tornados. We lost several very large Red Oaks in these storms, and one huge Cherry tree. Most of the tree varieties are showing some heat stress. Most of the very large Maples seem to be doing well and the ones back on the trails are doing good as they are close to the river and still getting some water.”
I visited this beautiful park a few weeks ago and found the Sabinal river to be almost bone dry. I’m hoping to get back there later this month if I can find the time. For now, I’ll have to content myself with the few nice shots I took one cloudy morning.