Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Enchanted Rock a year and a half later

with 34 comments

Not having been to Enchanted Rock since November 2019, and not having gone anywhere that far from home in all of 2020 due to the pandemic, on April 12th we drove the two hours it takes to get to the largest pink granite monadnock in the United States. We ended up spending four sometimes strenuous hours there. The top view looks off to the side from part-way up the main dome. Below is a hoodoo that we got to after climbing all the way to the top of that dome and then descending part-way down the far side.

The first and third pictures show that “boulder-strewn” describes some parts of the site well.

And from the Philippine island of Cebu, here’s an account of a barking dog and an abandoned baby in Sibonga, which happens to be the home town of the Lady Eve.

© 2021 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 24, 2021 at 4:24 AM

34 Responses

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  1. Great to take what seem like big adventures following the CV restrictions. Life is still far from normal, but every favourite location revisited is a thrill.


    April 24, 2021 at 4:31 AM

    • Since we got our second vaccine doses four weeks ago, going farther from home is seeming less daunting. I hear there’s a world out there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 24, 2021 at 5:53 AM

  2. The rocks always are impressive, and the flora’s interesting, but the sky in that second photo is especially nice. The solidity of the rock and the ephemeral clouds make for a great contrast. I like the curve of the cedar limb in the last photo, too. It looks as though it’s holding the rock.


    April 24, 2021 at 7:24 AM

    • I included the second picture at least as much for the clouds as for the hoodoo. You make a good point about the contrast between the ephemeral clouds and the more enduring rock. The sinuous dead tree trunk shown at the end caught my fancy and I tried out various compositions.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 24, 2021 at 7:35 AM

  3. Looks like a cool area to explore, and I like the subtle colors of the rocks. Thank you also for the link to “inselberg.” Is a butte always a type of inselberg?

    Robert Parker

    April 24, 2021 at 7:32 AM

    • And April’s a relatively cool time to explore Enchanted Rock. I sure wouldn’t want to be out there for hours baking in Texas’s August heat. In any season, it seems like a butte would be an inselberg, butte I’m not a geologist. And if you could pile up every burger eaten in Texas in a year you’d have yourself one strange inselberg.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 24, 2021 at 7:48 AM

  4. That place really works your quads and calves. My daughters were all eager to go out there with me the first time, but not so much after that.

    Jason Frels

    April 24, 2021 at 8:08 AM

    • And afterwards Eve went out and bought a pair of shoes she hoped would work better on slopes like the ones there, especially coming down. We saw one elderly woman there who went up the slope on her hands and feet part of the time. It was an unusual approach but she made it to the top.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 24, 2021 at 8:15 AM

  5. I used to do a lot of rock climbing here back in the 80’s (before rock climbing was mainstream), but now the park is so popular, it’s overrun with people, so I no longer go there. Shame, because it’s a cool place.


    April 24, 2021 at 8:36 AM

    • It certainly was crowded when we visited, and that was during the week (a Monday). I’d never try to go on a weekend, although the authorities now require reservations at all times, so actually if you can find a weekend slot open the crowding may not be worse than during the week. Part of the reason for the crowds is intrinsic: the place is scenic. In the row of cars where we parked, I noticed more out-of-state license plates than Texas plates. A reason for the crowding now is that the weather is still pleasant. I suspect you won’t find the place full in the middle of August.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 24, 2021 at 9:22 AM

  6. What wonderful wilderness scenery you visited in your home state of Texas! Four hours of hiking and climbing must have put a strain on your physical resources. But as a photographer, your reward is always in the grand pictures you are able to take home with you.

    Peter Klopp

    April 24, 2021 at 9:20 AM

    • When we entered, the attendant told us that a new trail had been opened up. There’s an appeal in going to a place we haven’t been to, yet after four hours on the main dome and the temperature having risen to maybe 27°C, I didn’t have enough energy to do more hiking. I’d like to go back another time and explore further.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 24, 2021 at 9:27 AM

      • 27 C is out of my comfort zone especially if there is some vigorous hiking involved.

        Peter Klopp

        April 25, 2021 at 12:33 PM

        • Fortunately that was the ending temperature. When we started, the air was significantly cooler. Compared to how things will be here in the summer, 27°C is pretty moderate.

          Steve Schwartzman

          April 25, 2021 at 2:57 PM

  7. Are you planning to book a hotel for the next eclipse, which will happen just over Enchanted Rock? That’d be an equally great and much rarer bunch of shots! Beautiful photos, Steve! I especially like the middle photo, with that swirl of sky!


    April 24, 2021 at 11:42 AM

    • The swirl of sky intrigued me, too. On our previous visit to Enchanted Rock in 2019 we also had pretty good clouds, so we’re two for two in recent ventures there.

      I hadn’t given any thought to the next solar eclipse in Texas, which I now see will happen on October 14th next year, followed by another on April 8, 2024. We contemplated doing something with the most recent eclipse but by the time I looked into getting reservations somewhere I found most places were full and the few that weren’t were charging highly inflated prices.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 24, 2021 at 12:04 PM

  8. Like the middle shot with the sky and clouds above best of the three. We went there many years ago, and even then I would consider it somewhat crowded. I think I took my first photos of Cylindropuntia leptocaulis there, but my favorite photo was one of my wife at the summit and the sky and hills in the background. Also took some photos of little pools of water with the surrounding vegetation near the top. Thanks for the memory recall – and the excellent photos of the boulders (looking down), the hoodoo (had to look up to find the definition which you used — learned something new!), and the final shot looking up at the boulders with the curvy dead tree trunk providing a caress to the boulder above it. As always, I bow in respect to the Master.


    April 24, 2021 at 12:44 PM

    • The middle shot could’ve stood on its own but I’m so backlogged on pictures that I’ve been including several pictures in a post more often than I used to. In upcoming posts I’ll feature a few of those little pools you mentioned, all of which were dry but still supported life, sometimes a lot of life. You and shoreacres (above) had a similar reaction to the dead tree trunk in the last picture.

      Like you with pencil cactus, I sometimes remember the first place I saw a given species. Other first encounters are forever lost to memory.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 24, 2021 at 1:26 PM

  9. Those clouds steal the show in the second image. That does look like a challenging and strenuous hike. Impressed with your perseverance.

    Steve Gingold

    April 24, 2021 at 6:10 PM

  10. Looks like a really spectacular place for a first chance to get a bit further afield. We just had our second Covid vaccinations on Friday, so are still getting used to the idea that we will soon have more freedom. 🙂

    Ann Mackay

    April 24, 2021 at 6:31 PM

  11. I’m a fan of the first picture. Great contrast between de green trees and de impressive rock formations.


    April 25, 2021 at 3:06 AM

  12. What a beautiful landscape.
    Excellent pictures.


    April 25, 2021 at 4:00 AM

    • We’re fortunate that this property became a state park so people can visit these formations.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2021 at 6:46 AM

  13. Forrest and I keep saying we want to visit the Fredricksburg area and you have just reminded me that we need to make that trip (we also have family and friends to visit not far from there). I’ve subscribed to The Epoch Times for a while now and enjoy it immensely.


    April 25, 2021 at 7:24 AM

    • If you do go through with your plan to visit Fredericksburg, let me know and we can drive out to meet you. It’s only an hour and a half from Austin, which you’re welcome to visit, too. For Enchanted Rock, make sure you go to the Texas Parks and Wildlife website to reserve slots, as walk-ins at that popular park are no longer accepted. Early April is a good time: wildflowers are coming out and it’s not yet oppressively hot.

      We learned about the Epoch Times when a sample copy showed up in the mail last year. How they got our address, I have no idea. I, too, subscribed (digitally), to learn about things not covered in most other newspapers. Imagine finding a story about Eve’s home town of a few thousand people in the Philippines.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 25, 2021 at 8:02 AM

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