Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   


June cover image


Our new photo feature allows you to test your ability to identify Texas landscapes.

If you recognize our locations, send us a note at Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine, 4200 Smith School Road, Austin, TX, 78744 (write "Where in Texas?" on the envelope); email us at magazine@tpwd.texas.gov; let us know on Facebook; or post a comment to tpwmagazine.com.


This spring-fed swimming hole has been a favorite cooling-off place for generations of Texans. The waterfall, fern-filled grotto, bald cypress trees and refreshing waters make it a Hill Country oasis. Camping is also available at this privately owned park, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.



Check back next month!


This Texas fort served as one in a line of western defensive forts in the late 1800s. Ruins of the fort remain at what is now a historic site operated by the Texas Historical Commission. A musical pageant celebrating the area's history is performed each summer.



May’s Where in Texas? presented a striking scene showing a set of ruins with lightning flashing in the background. The ruins are part of Fort Griffin State Historic Site. This was a land long dominated by bison and the Kiowa and Comanche of the Southern Plains. Fort Griffin was established in 1867 to help settle the frontier. The nearby town called The Flat was one of the West’s wildest places, filled with buffalo hunters, cattle drivers and gamblers. The area’s history is commemorated each June in the Fort Griffin Fandangle, an outdoor musical.

Reader Carolyn Buckley noted similarities between the ruins at Forts Davis, Lancaster and Griffin but recognized these as Fort Griffin’s.

Paul Barner says he immediately turns to Where in Texas? when his issue arrives and is “still batting 100 percent on having visited all the places you have photographed.” He noted that Fort Griffin and The Flat are chock full of Texas history.

Bill Webb says he travels from his Fort Worth-area home “to photograph the night sky at this great spot.”


Red poppies brighten the field next to an Alsatian house in this Hill Country town known as "The Little Alsace of Texas." The fachwerk house, originally built in the 1600s and shipped from France in the 1990s, serves as the town's visitor center.



April’s Where in Texas? took us to a town rich in history. Castroville, west of San Antonio, is known as “The Little Alsace of Texas.” The first European settlers in the area were farmers from Alsace, a region of France near Germany. They settled along the Medina River in 1844, led by Texas land empresario Henri Castro. Castroville residents say they treasure the fachwerk house (shown in the photo) that serves as the town’s visitor center; reader Janie Posas says she always enjoys the poppies. The Steinbach House was originally built in the 1600s in France and was relocated to Castroville in the 1990s.


This live oak earned its place in history when a famous Texas leader camped under it during the chaotic time between the fall of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. The tree is known by a couple of different names — the name of the leader and the name of the historic event taking place at the time.



Our readers know their history — and their trees. They knew that the tree featured in March’s Where in Texas? is the Sam Houston Oak, also known as the Runaway Scrape Oak, outside Gonzales. In the dark times after the 1836 fall of the Alamo, Gen. Sam Houston ordered that Gonzales be evacuated and burned. Soldiers and settlers fled east in the Runaway Scrape, and Houston and his soldiers set up their first encampment under this centuries-old live oak. Reader Paul Barner stopped by to see the tree recently when he visited Palmetto State Park. The historic 1840s McClure-Braches House tipped off some readers. Reader Walter Stubbs lived in the house, a former stagecoach stop, with relatives during World War II. A water well near the big oak is “where we took our baths in a number two washtub, using lye soap, every Saturday night, year-round. Brrr!” Tommie Ann Mudd Knesek “couldn’t believe it” when she saw the photo. Her dad and his family farmed the land and experienced a few ghostly occurrences, including phantom horses and rattling chains, at the house.


This location, an important stop for migratory birds, is the oldest national wildlife refuge in Texas and is host to one the largest concentrations of sandhill cranes in North America.



Many of you knew the answer to our first-ever Where in Texas? photo challenge. We received dozens of responses through email, Facebook and written letter. The sandhill cranes in the photo were wading in a shallow lake at Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge in the Panhandle. Large concentrations of the birds gather there each winter, and reader Rae Logan says that "anyone who has seen this sight will not easily forget it."




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