Tag Archives: Austin

Pedernales Falls SP: Fishing

This past Saturday I made it out to Pedernales Falls SP again. This time I brought the fishing gear with me and headed to the Pedernales Falls overlook area.

The spot I chose was just North of this spot though I won’t give away the exact spot. Where’s the fun in that?

Here’s the first giant I caught. No laughs. I was in it for the sport and not to find dinner.

And the biggest catch of the day…

It was a lot of fun until the families with untrained children showed up and thought it was a good idea to throws rocks into the water. I wish I had the camera out to get a shot of the fish throwing up the peace sign and disappearing never to be seen again.

By the way, “Harassment of Hunters, Trappers, or Anglers (Sportsmen’s Rights Act) is punishable by a fine of $200 to $2000 and/or 180 days in jail.”

Until that point it was a wonderful day out on the river. There were some bigger fish in this spot, but they weren’t interested in the bait I tried. Maybe next time.

*No fish were harmed in the production of this blog post.

Pedernales Falls State Park Bird Blind

After the storms on Monday, I headed out the Perd to see if the rains had any impact on the water level. While out there I remembered that there’s plenty about this park that I haven’t experienced yet. One of those things is the bird blind at the park.

My expectations were really low because I thought “low budget and state park must mean bench and tree = bird blind.” Boy was I wrong.

If you haven’t had the pleasure, put it at the top of your list for your next visit to the park.

From the park store, head towards the main falls. Keep an eye out on the left side of the road for the parking area for the blind. It is well-marked and should be easily found.

To get the most out of your visit and to be respectful of others at the blind:

  1. Turn your radio off before you turn into the parking area.
  2. No talking unless you are able to whisper (not all people are able to in my experience)
  3. When you park, try to park at the far end of the lot away from the entrance to the blind.
  4. Close the door to your car as quietly as possible
  5. Don’t set your alarm. Lock your doors, but no honking of the horn to set the alarm.
  6. Enter the blind quietly (don’t let the gate slam)

There are two large bird blinds once you enter. The first one on the right, pictured below, has a few hummingbird feeders.

I saw several different species in just a short time in this blind.

There is another blind in this area that has a special visitor right now.

I was lucky to get there around feeding time. The volunteer, Mr. Strickland, said that the baby fox, pictured below, shows up every day around 5pm and stays about an hour.

According to Mr. Strickland, there is a mother and a couple of other young foxes. However he had not seen them in a few days and the worry is that something might have happened to them. Hopefully this little guy is not on his own so young.

The park is in the middle of a large project at the blind/surrounding area. They are building a large star gazing area. Mr. Strickland said that there would be a telescope and accompanying facility. I look forward to visiting this facility when it opens.

Pedernales Falls (again)

I made it out to Pedernales on Monday after the heavy rains. Got some great pictures with the old camera I dug out of the closet. Easy to say that this park is my favorite so far. Every time I visit I see something I haven’t seen before.

picture of rocks at state park

limestone cave at state park

old tree at state park

Doeskin Ranch – Creek Trail

map of park

The creek trail starts at the informationschool at Doeskin kiosk near the restrooms* and follows the old homestead (no longer there), school (mid to late 1800’s structure), and then continues along the creek until it meets back up with the main trail (rimrock trail).

The old school building provides a small picture of what living on the ranch must have been like.

Even though the creek trail is only a half mile from the ponds and prairies trail the landscape is completely different. You’ll also see lots of grasshoppers along this trail. Watch for snakes (depending on time of year) and keep an eye out for the many birds and butterflies. The creek will have water in it if there has been a recent rain. Otherwise you can explore the old creek bed.

The old trees on this trail also provide plenty of photo opportunities. This was one of my favorite from today.

old tree at ranch

McKinney Falls State Park (2nd try)

My friends and I decided to give McKinney Falls another chance. Maybe February just isn’t the best time to visit the park. After some much-needed rain and a different choice in trail I gained a new appreciation for the park. The wildflowers were blooming and it was nice and green.

We parked by the Smith Visitor Center and took the trail along the river, past the visitor center, and on to the rock shelter.

This massive tree was along the trail.

As you walk under the rock shelter used by the Native Americans so long ago take notice of the nests of spiders along the roof of the cave.

If you’re brave enough and the conditions are good take the path from the cave down to the river.

It is rather steep and slick so be careful. It was worth it for us though.

I’m glad we gave this park another chance. Hopefully some of the pending increase in funding from the legislature will make it to the other sections of the park.

LBJ State Park

Nestled out in the beautiful Texas Hill Country are two parks that illustrate what life was like for our 36th President Lyndon Baines Johnson (LBJ). I’m going to write about LBJ State Park in this post. I’ll follow up tomorrow with the National Park and the Texas White House.


The state park is west of Austin out on Highway 290 about 13 miles west of Johnson City. If you’re coming in from the East I recommend turning onto Park Road 1 and coming into the State Park from the North Entrance. It is a nice drive through the surrounding farms and sort of gets you in the mood for the park you are about to visit.

LBJ State Park is home to the Sauer-Beckmann Living History Farm.

picture of sign at road

This farm is a working farm operated by two volunteers. They dress, act, talk, and work the farm as if it was 1915. 1915 was a good year for the farm, but I’ll let them tell you that story.

If you have an hour or two hang out at the main house and listen to the stories. One of my favorite was when the couple explained what they do with the milk. Did I mention that the lady still milks the cow every morning? She also gets eggs from the chicken coop. Back to the milk. They have a good demonstration in the kitchen about how they don’t waste the milk. It’s used for various dairy products for the farm and they do it all by hand. Ask about the milk. You’ll thank me.

The couple uses the vegetables from the garden and the meat from the farm to feed the volunteers/park employees at lunch each day. So expect some traffic around lunch time, but it is nice to see what they are able to do with a 1915 kitchen. It really makes you think.

The pictures don’t do this park justice, but that seems to be the case with every park I visit.