We’re taking a day off at Lost Maples State Park. It will be good for our bodies and morale. The park is named for the large, isolated stand of uncommon Uvalde bigtooth maple trees tucked away in the steep limestone canyons. These trees are remnants of a cooler time in Texas. Two million years ago, as ice advanced across the continent, the North American forests migrated southward, including the maples. Texas was never buried by the ice, but its climate was distinctly cooler and wetter than now. As the glaciers retreated, whole forests were wiped out, victims of the heat and drought. Yet remnants survived in sheltered spots such as here in Sabinal Canyon.
We have been here previously. Scott took me here shortly after I moved to Texas. It was the fall, and I was homesick for the New England fall foliage. Maple trees are spectacular as their leaves transition from green to red, orange and yellow. I had come to expect my environment to turn ablaze in color signaling the end of summer. I was disappointed when I realized, in Houston, there is no end to summer and very little fall foliage.
I was born in San Antonio, about 100 miles away from here. Dad was in the Army and was stationed there in the late 1970s. On our way to visit the park we had stopped by my old house, a small rancher located outside the city. We moved out of Texas while I was still an infant so I don’t have memories of this house. However, it wasn’t difficult to find. It was the only house in the development with maple trees out front. My mom, being a bit nostalgic herself, had planted the trees and despite the odds, San Antonio suburbs not being the best climate for growing maples, the trees had done very well. Mom had created a Lost Maples of her own.