Honey Creek State Natural Area

Nature

The vegetative diversity of the Honey Creek property is one of its most compelling features. Ashe juniper, live oak, agarita and Texas persimmon dominate the dry, rocky hills, and a few grasses such as little muhly and curly mesquite somehow find just enough soil in the cracks to persist. As the juniper and baccharis are being removed from the upland flats, the stands of native grasses are increasing and Indiangrass, little bluestem, and switchgrass are reasserting their dominance. As one moves down into the canyon of the creek itself, one is struck by the increase of cedar elm and older junipers and the rather abrupt appearance of Spanish oak, pecan, walnut and Mexican buckeye.

Finally, the terrain levels out again in the narrow floodplain and the creek itself. Here, the dominant species are sycamore and bald cypress, associated with an assortment of floodplain species. Texas palmetto, columbine and maidenhair fern occur along the rock banks, spatter dock floats on the surface, and a number of emergent plants are plainly visible in the clear blue-green water.

Overall, the nine soil types which occur on the property can easily be distinguished from one another by changes in the dominant vegetation.

The diversity of habitat types, naturally enough, gives rise to a varied and abundant fauna. All of the typical Hill Country species, from wild turkeys to fence lizards, ringtails to leopard frogs, and many types of fish can be found on the property. Several species of endemics with limited ranges also inhabit the preserve. Of particular interest are Cagle's map turtle, Guadalupe bass, four-lined skink, green kingfisher, Texas salamander and the Honey Creek Cave salamander. In addition, Honey Creek is one of the nesting sites of the threatened golden-cheeked warbler.

Whether watching deer and jackrabbits feeding in the uplands, gazing at fish hiding under lily pads in the creek, or listening to the distinctive call of the canyon wren announcing his territory, Honey Creek is a special place for all visitors.


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