Honey Creek State Natural Area

Saturday, July 19, 2003

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See all of the pictures taken at Honey Creek here!

Honey Creek State Natural Area is located near Bulverde and Spring Branch , Texas.  The Honey Creek State Natural Area is adjacent to the Guadalupe River State Park.   The Texas State Parks web site has information on the natural area.

The natural area was originally a Nature Conservancy holding.  The Nature Conservancy passed the property to the State with the stipulation that it be returned to a natural state.  In practical terms, that means that access to the area is limited.  You can't enter the area unescorted.

Fortunately, on every Saturday there is a two-hour guided interpretive tour.  My guide was Ernie Lee Master Naturalist.  Also along was Wilson (don't have the last name) who is the editor of a Bulverde newspaper.  Wilson is an accomplished amateur archeologist.

Eddie is a volunteer for the Friends of Guadalupe River and Honey Creek.  The group does lots of good work supporting both the Guadalupe River State Park and the Honey Creek State Natural Area.  The tours help the group get donations to continue the efforts to improve the parks.

The interpretive tour starts at the Rust House.  The Rust House, pictured below left and below was built around 1910 and is most likely one of those Sears Catalog houses that were popular at the time.  It has been restored (to some degree) to its original 1910 condition.  We were allowed to wander about the house.  It is very nice.

At the bottom of this page is a topographical map showing the route we took.

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

The above two planters above are next to the Rust House.  Below left Ernie Lee discusses the geology of the area and how the Trinity Aquifer recharges.  Below right is sunlight streaming through Spanish Moss.

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

Below left, Ernie the Naturalist is describing how Yellow Belly Sapsuckers caused the circular wounds around the trunk of the tree directly behind him.  At first I thought he was joking.  A Yellow Belly Sapsucker is a type of woodpecker and the tree is a type of gum.  The woodpecker pecks the bark causing the tree to weep sap.  Insects are attracted to the tree sap which is sweet and aromatic.  Since the sap is sticky, bugs get stuck in it.   The woodpecker returns later and eats the sap trapped insects.

Below right is the large Giant Bald Cypress I've seen so far.    It is hard to tell how large it is from the picture.  The tree, and many of the other following pictures were taken along from the banks of Honey Creek.

Honey Creek flows into the Guadalupe River.  It has never run dry.   The creek starts from a spring inside of a cave a few miles up the creek from the Natural Area.

The original European settlers in this area of Texas were from Germany.   They were lured from Germany by advertising describing Texas as the land of milk and honey.  Was Honey Creek named for the land of milk and honey or is the naming cynical?  I've been living in Texas for some time.  I can see why a recent immigrant from Germany might not view this area as the land of milk and honey.   However,  if they lived here any amount of time, they would know that a spring fed creek that never runs dry is truly the land of milk and honey.

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

The kids below have found tadpoles in the creek.  They were all delightful.

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

Wilson, the newspaper publisher and sometimes archeologist, found a dart point.  This is somewhere in size between an arrow head and a spear point.

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

Click on image for larger format picture.  Honey Creek State Natural Area//

Near the end of the tour, Ernie pulled a fast one.  He asked the group to name all of the different types of oak trees.  Post, chinquapin, red, live, and burr.   There are other oaks as well.  Ernie asked if anyone had heard of the Cactus Oak.  He was joking of course.  Above left is a Live Oak tree with a Prickly Pear Cactus growing out of the tree's bark 10 feet off the ground.

Below is a topographical map showing the route we took on our tour.  The Rust House is the fourth marker from the top left.

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Copyright © 2003 Larry Pearson - All Rights Reserved.