Sunday, April 4, 2010
The Flowers of the Aranama Trail: Goliad State Park
The flower was a beautiful bright red and it was easy to find in the book, a wine cup poppy. The parks interpreter had carried the book along as he is new to Texas and was trying to learn the plants along with us. He showed us the persimmon trees and described the bumpy corky bark of the hackberry.
We were hiking on the Aranama Trail, a very short loop, which begins and ends at the Mission Nuestra Senora Del Espirtu Santo De Zuniga. The trail winds through the trees and brush to the San Antonio river and takes one to the quarry and brick kiln used during the construction of the mission.
It was built in the 1700's and then abandoned due to indian raids and a general loss of interest by the Mexican Government and the Church. It fell into disrepair and the materials were cannibalized by locals for their own needs. Reconstructed in the 1930's it stands as a beautiful example of what the archaeologists thought it should have looked like when new and one wonders how much is really accurate?
The Aranamas Trail was named for the local Native American tribe who were assimilated into the local population and the mix of races that makes up the friendly people of southern Texas.
We stepped over large mounds of carpenter ants and walked along fields of a beautiful blue flower that wasn't in the book. I gave it the name puppy face so if anyone who reads this knows its name please help us.
Indian paintbrush grew in large patches and we walked under a large anaqua tree, which was in full bloom. The anaqua followed the settlements north from Mexico and is a draught resistant tree that is actually a series of separate sprouts that grow together into a large trunk. The leaves feel like sandpaper and that's the name the locals give it, the sandpaper tree.
Hackberrys and persimmons were everywhere and Spanish Dagger's were in full bloom. A century plant was sending up a tall spike full of separate branches, with buds soon to open. Renita and Jasper posed under the plant to give it a sense of scale.
Butterfly daises were also numerous along with many other flowers which we couldn't identify. It was simply a beautiful walk among the spring flowers of Texas, a time of year here which everyone should see. How could we spend the day better? Clear skies.