If you are ever in doubt about the importance water makes to our lives, visit the Blanco Shoals natural area on River Ridge Parkway east of I-35. The 81-acre greenspace was set aside by the city and the landowner in consideration of a re-zoning of adjacent property. The strip of land borders the Blanco River and is bounded by cypress, cottonwood and sycamore trees many in fall colors.
Recent rainfalls of more than 3 inches in November makes for a lush greenery. The river is running and not dry. It was so attractive that it captured an artist’s interest in the majestic pecan trees in the moist, fertile riparian soils.
|Golden fronted woodpecker|
The natural area is a great destination for bird watching while the boardwalk at Spring Lake is temporarily closed. Birds abound in the rich riverbanks as woodpeckers are both heard and seen. Also heard circling overhead announcing his presence was a red-shouldered hawk. The usual mockingbirds, chicadees and sparrows are also easily seen and heard.
This is an undeveloped natural area with no marked trails, map or trash and doggie bag dispenser. Until it is, visitors are asked to leave the area as found. The rancher’s jeep track, although out in the open field, makes for a good path to transverse one end to the other. Travel next to the river is hampered by mud, cliffs and flora.
Best parking is at the curb before reaching either of the apartments. The TX State tram makes use of the turning radius of the cul-de-sac during university sessions.
by Lance Jones, SMGA Stewardship Committee