Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Enchanted Rock, part 2

with 40 comments

We hadn’t been to Enchanted Rock in years, and on our previous visits we always worked our way to the top of the main dome. That wasn’t the case this time: instead we headed out clockwise along the Loop Trail, which rises and falls modestly as it circles the park’s higher and more prominent geological features.

Boulders of various sizes abound at Enchanted Rock.

In the previous picture and the next one, notice the markings on the rocks.

I played some of the boulders off against the day’s fleecy clouds, as you see below.

The bottom of the picture above hints that you can see interesting things
by looking down. For example, take the textures and white vein in the rock below.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 1, 2019 at 1:46 AM

40 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Fascinating. It would be beautiful to go back and shoot at golden hour.

    Michael Scandling

    December 1, 2019 at 2:38 AM

  2. I agree with Michael. Soft golden light from the setting sun would really cause the granite to glow.

    Steve Gingold

    December 1, 2019 at 3:07 AM

    • For me that would mean late afternoon rather than early morning, given that Enchanted Rock is two hours from home,

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 1, 2019 at 7:10 AM

      • That is why I said setting sun. I know you are not a crack of dawn person very often…especially with a two hour ride. I’ve done that when going into Vermont for just a day trip but even for me that’s early.

        Steve Gingold

        December 1, 2019 at 9:07 AM

        • Right: we usually work opposite ends of the day. The only way it’d likely be sunrise rather than sunset for me is if I spent the night near the site.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 1, 2019 at 9:41 AM

  3. The third photo not only suggests a rock fence built by giants, it’s wonderfully Texan, given the prickly pear and what appears to be a ball-mossed tree on either side of it. All the images (save the last) suggest the ability of plant life to thrive there. When I first read Allred’s book, I was surprised to learn that fungi, ferns, and wildflowers thrive there as well as cacti and lichens. Clearly, there’s much more to see than ‘the big rock.’


    December 1, 2019 at 6:54 AM

    • All the ferns I’ve seen there have been down at the base of boulders, where water tends to collect and where the rock and the angle of the sun keep the ferns from getting baked by too much light. There’s lots of ball moss in the trees, so much so that the next post features it in every picture. As for flowers, the little white dots in the lower right of the third picture are rain-lilies; they’re identifiable as such in the full-size image viewed at 100%, even if not in the blog-sized version of the photograph. So yes, there’s much more to see than ‘the big rock.’

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 1, 2019 at 7:23 AM

  4. On the third and fourth picture, the boulders look like as if giants had placed them to erect a wall. I encountered this geological phenomenon quite frequently, where nature produced something that looks like a man-made structure.

    Peter Klopp

    December 1, 2019 at 8:10 AM

    • You’ve had the same vision as Shoreacres, who spoke of “a rock fence built by giants.” Pareidolia is the name given to the phenomenon in which people look at a real scene or an image and see something that isn’t actually there. The imagining needn’t be of something human, though it often is.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 1, 2019 at 9:38 AM

  5. I’m a little embarrassed to say this, but I’ve never been to Enchanted Rock. I’ve driven past, numerous times, enjoyed the view from a distance. It’s so popular now that one has to really plan a hike there and I haven’ done that yet. Thanks for the visit. You probably know this, but the next big solar eclipse will occur in this area. Early reservations, anyone? 🙂 https://texashillcountry.com/2024-total-solar-eclipse-will-better/


    December 1, 2019 at 8:59 AM

    • My mother spent almost her whole life in and around New York City but never made it to the Statue of Liberty. You wouldn’t want to follow suit with Enchanted Rock. Now that the weather is cooler you’ll have plenty of ideal days for a visit. If possible, go during the week rather than on weekends.

      A few weeks ago I came across a map showing the two eclipses in the next decade whose paths will include Austin. Woo hoo us!

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 1, 2019 at 9:52 AM

  6. I love rocks. They make such satisfactory subjects, don’t they?


    December 1, 2019 at 9:51 AM

    • For my purposes they sure do. They’re good in their own right and often enough they have lichens on them, as is true with many of the boulders at Enchanted Rock.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 1, 2019 at 10:00 AM

      • Oh, yes, layers of textures and color.


        December 1, 2019 at 10:47 AM

        • Esthetically yummy.

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 1, 2019 at 1:16 PM

          • Nicely put 😀


            December 2, 2019 at 8:24 AM

            • Esthetically and yummy come from different registers of English speech (formal and informal, respectively), so they make an unexpected combination.

              Steve Schwartzman

              December 2, 2019 at 8:27 AM

              • Yes, like fruit added to a savory dish.


                December 3, 2019 at 7:44 AM

                • Eve added some dates to the sauteed vegetables she prepared yesterday.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  December 3, 2019 at 9:25 AM

                • Mmmmm….


                  December 4, 2019 at 9:00 AM

                • Give it a shot and see what you think.

                  Steve Schwartzman

                  December 4, 2019 at 9:21 AM

                • I have in the past but haven’t thought to do it for awhile. It will work perfectly tonight.


                  December 5, 2019 at 8:26 AM

  7. I’m glad you weren’t close to the rock trying to take a photo when one of those huge slabs broke off, Steve! 🙂


    December 3, 2019 at 9:58 PM

    • So am I. When I come across boulders or slabs of rock that have obviously broken off from a higher place and fallen or rolled down, I sometimes wonder if anyone had the misfortune to be standing in the way when that happened.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 3, 2019 at 10:02 PM

  8. Such a great shot of those fleecy clouds and those boulders 🙂


    December 8, 2019 at 8:04 PM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: