For “Travel Tuesday”: Let’s Visit Love Creek Preserve, near Medina, in The Texas Hill Country.
The Texas Hill Country is one of the most beautiful regions in the country. Rolling hills, spring fed rivers and lakes, diverse art and music offerings, specialty shopping, and the state's capital city make the Hill Country a favorite destination for Texans and out-of-state visitors alike. Discover the beauty of the Texas Hill Country Region.
Texas, Rich in Natural Treasures
You love Texas! See how we conserve and protect our land, water and wildlife for people and nature.
Protecting Texas' Water
Our projects benefit nearly a dozen different waterways around the state, including the Devils, Blanco, Brazos, Frio, Guadalupe, Nueces, Sabinal and Pedernales Rivers, Barton Creek and Caddo Lake.
The Love Creek Preserve is in Bandera County, on FM 337 west of Medina.
“Medina is at the intersection of State Highway 16 and Farm Road 337, twelve miles northwest of Bandera in central Bandera County. As early as 1865 a sawmill had been built in the area, and several families were settled nearby. The Medina post office was established in 1880, and by the end of the next decade the community had a gin, a corn mill, a hotel, a private bank, two churches, three general stores, and a population of 150. Many area residents raised stock as their primary occupation.
By 1914 Medina had a population of 400; it fell to 250 in the early 1930s, when the Great Depression caused many residents to move away in search of jobs. The community recovered fairly rapidly, however, and had a variety of businesses, four churches, and 475 residents by the late 1940s.
Most of the area land was devoted to livestock and to recreational hunting leases until the 1980s, when apple farming was introduced to the area. Baxter Adams, Jr., started an experimental orchard of dwarf apple trees in 1980, and the first apples were ready for sale in 1984. The dwarf trees produced regular-sized apples that were 40 percent sweeter than large-tree varieties and proved to be an extremely efficient use of the land, with 1,000 to 2,500 trees an acre.
In 1989 the Texas Department of Agriculture declared Medina the Apple Capital of Texas. The 300,000 trees in the Medina area produced 100 tons of fruit in 1990, and more orchards were being planted each year. The annual Medina Apple Festival, held on the last Saturday of July, attracted 20,000 visitors in 1990. The population of Medina was listed as 515 in 1990, but the actual number of residents in Medina proper was closer to 250. By 2000 the population had more than doubled to 515 residents.”
“The Cider Mill and Country Store. This store is located in downtown Medina, Texas, on Main Street. It sells Love Creek apples from June through November as well as apple products year around. Look for apple butter, sauces, vinegars, jellies, syrups, pies, and even apple ice cream. If you're ready to start your own orchard but don't have the room, you can buy the "patio apple orchard”, a dwarf tree grown in a trellis in a wooden planter.”
Love Creek Preserve.
Freshwater conservation is vital to the Bandera Canyonlands.
In a region the Conservancy calls the Bandera Canyonlands in the western Hill Country, crystal-clear water flows from numerous springs and seeps originating from the geologic seam separating the porous Edwards limestone from the dense Upper Glen Rose formation. These perennial, life-giving waters etch through deep, cool canyons, enabling a wide variety of Texas native plants and wildlife to flourish on the Edwards Plateau.
From late October to mid-November, these rocky cliffs are adorned with some of the most dramatic displays of autumn color found in Texas. These scattered remnant stands of bigtooth maples – often called the "lost maples" for their rarity throughout most of Texas – display brilliant, contrasting shades of yellow, orange and red as temperatures drop and days shorten.
Love Creek flows through the Conservancy’s 1,400-acre preserve for 2 ¼ miles, giving it its name, then the creek joins with the West Prong of the Medina River, eventually contributing to the Edwards Aquifer. The preserve protects a representation of one of the most diverse habitats in the nation and some of the most scenic land in Texas.
The exposed upper Glen Rose formation is the primary reason this region attracts so much biological interest. The surface water that emanates from this location provides habitat for a wide variety of native plants and wildlife. Rare plants such as Texas mock-orange, sycamore leaf snowbells, darkstem noseburn, spreading least-daisy, scarlet clematis, buckley tridens, big red sage and tobusch fish-hook cactus are some of the floral natives in the region.
Rare golden-cheeked warblers and black-capped vireos are found on the preserve, as well as Acadian flycatcher, Louisiana waterthrush, summer tanager, indigo bunting, blue-gray gnatcatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, a nesting pair of zone-tailed hawks and many other bird species. Native mammals on the land include white-tailed deer, armadillo, rock squirrel, bobcat and raccoon. Aquatic species found include rare salamanders of the Eurycea species, and a species of tiny, freshwater jellyfish (Craspedacusta sowerbii).
From scattered artifacts found in Love Creek and along the lower stream terraces, there is evidence that prehistoric people inhabited this region. These steep canyons provided shelter in caves, food from the abundant diversity of plants and animals, and an essential ingredient – water. Several tribes of Native Americans roamed the Bandera Canyonlands, including Lipan Apache, Apache and Comanche. The first European visitors to the area were the Spanish explorers of the late 1700s.
In 1982, Baxter and Carol Adams moved from Houston to purchase 1,863 acres along Love Creek, calling their Hill Country homestead Love Creek Ranch. The next 19 years saw substantial changes to the property as they began to experiment with ways to produce a livelihood from what Baxter calls "a rock garden," resulting from years of minimal rainfall and intensive grazing activity. Thus, the Adamses began their journey to understanding the intricacies of the natural systems that form the Bandera Canyonlands. The results of their experimentation and careful stewardship is a slice of land that yields superior water and biological resources. The Conservancy acquired 1,400 acres of the ranch in April 2000 to create Love Creek Preserve. A substantial gift from Baxter and Carol as part of the purchase demonstrates their commitment to conservation and helps ensure their legacy will be enjoyed by future generations of Texans.
The Nature Conservancy of Texas is working with other private landowners in the region to promote wildlife management, natural resource stewardship and to demonstrate land management practices compatible with habitat conservation. The Conservancy also will work with other conservation organizations and agencies in the region, including Texas Parks and Wildlife, Environmental Defense and the Hill Country Land Trust.
Prescribed burning may be used as a future management tool to encourage regeneration of native grasses. Control of destructive feral hogs is desirable to protect native species, and white-tailed deer management also is scheduled for population control.
Are you interested in volunteering at Love Creek Preserve? We'd love to hear from you—email Becky Flack at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information.”
“This 1,400 acre preserve contains a 4.5 mile trail and a stand of bigtooth maples for your enjoyment. Golden-Cheeked Warblers and several other bird species inhabit the preserve. Be sure to call first to arrange a tour. Lots of photo ops here and you could head over to the Frio River to take a cool plunge when you finish at the preserve.”
On This Day:
Edward VIII abdicates, Dec 11, 1936:
“After ruling for less than one year, Edward VIII becomes the first English monarch to voluntarily abdicate the throne. He chose to abdicate after the British government, public, and the Church of England condemned his decision to marry the American divorcée Wallis Warfield Simpson. On the evening of December 11, he gave a radio address in which he explained, "I have found it impossible to carry on the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge the duties of king, as I would wish to do, without the help and support of the woman I love." On December 12, his younger brother, the duke of York, was proclaimed King George VI. (Queen Elizabeth's father)
Edward and Wallis lived mainly in Paris, and Edward made a few visits to England, such as to attend the funerals of King George VI in 1952 and his mother, Queen Mary, in 1953. It was not until 1967 that the duke and duchess were invited by the royal family to attend an official public ceremony, the unveiling of a plaque dedicated to Queen Mary. Edward died in Paris in 1972 but was buried at Frogmore, on the grounds of Windsor Castle. In 1986, Wallis died and was buried at his side.”
Germany declares war on the United States, Dec 11, 1941:
“On this day, Adolf Hitler declares war on the United States, bringing America, which had been neutral, into the European conflict.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor surprised even Germany. Although Hitler had made an oral agreement with his Axis partner Japan that Germany would join a war against the United States, he was uncertain as to how the war would be engaged. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor answered that question. On December 8, Japanese Ambassador Oshima went to German Foreign Minister von Ribbentrop to nail the Germans down on a formal declaration of war against America. Von Ribbentrop stalled for time; he knew that Germany was under no obligation to do this under the terms of the Tripartite Pact, which promised help if Japan was attacked, but not if Japan was the aggressor. Von Ribbentrop feared that the addition of another antagonist, the United States, would overwhelm the German war effort.
But Hitler thought otherwise. He was convinced that the United States would soon beat him to the punch and declare war on Germany. The U.S. Navy was already attacking German U-boats, and Hitler despised Roosevelt for his repeated verbal attacks against his Nazi ideology. He also believed that Japan was much stronger than it was, that once it had defeated the United States, it would turn and help Germany defeat Russia. So at 3:30 p.m. (Berlin time) on December 11, the German charge d'affaires in Washington handed American Secretary of State Cordell Hull a copy of the declaration of war.
That very same day, Hitler addressed the Reichstag to defend the declaration. The failure of the New Deal, argued Hitler, was the real cause of the war, as President Roosevelt, supported by plutocrats and Jews, attempted to cover up for the collapse of his economic agenda. "First he incites war, then falsifies the causes, then odiously wraps himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy and slowly but surely leads mankind to war," declared Hitler-and the Reichstag leaped to their feet in thunderous applause.”
Miss Priss, the little orphan kitten sure keeps me on my toes. When she is out of her big cage, every time I let Misty out, she dashes into the hall, and I have to find the kitten before I can open the front door.
Fortunately, it was warm enough to keep her on the screen porch for a lot of the time. But things changed in the afternoon, we were expecting a low of 28, so Ray and I had to cover our plants, and protect the pipes, etc. It’s too cold out on the porch this morning, so she is playing with the wires behind this computer, and often my mouse slides out of sight.
It was quite a struggle for me to get the non-working printer in the box HP had sent me for shipping it back to them. How many hands are you supposed to have to keep the Styrofoam in place while getting it in the box? Tape to the rescue.
After I had done the usual cleaning out methods, my desktop computer was still acting so slow that it couldn’t catch a cold. I even connected my laptop to the phone line, to see the difference between it and dial-up. The cable company had raised the price on the cable, but it wasn’t much faster than dial-up.
After putting up with it for a while, I got fed up with it, and called the cable company. I had reset the cable modem and the router after we had a power outage, but she asked me to do it again. She had me go to speedtest.net, and the results showed it that it is much slower than it is supposed to be. She very patiently waited while I got on my hands and knees to go through the many wires so that I could disconnect the router, and try the speed test again, but that made the speed slower. So she is sending a tech out today.