Sunday, April 01, 2012

Two-tailed Swallowtail at Madera Canyon Trail

Yesterday, we hiked the 2.5 mile trail on Nature Conservancy land just a short distance from McDonald Observatory north of Fort Davis.  We found this Two-tailed Swallowtail in the muddy area by Chico Tank along the trail.
The trail offers a  moderate hike through pinyon-oak-juniper woodlands to offer views of Mount Livermore.
The trail is easy to follow and beautifully maintained.

Though it received fire in last April's wildfire, there are signs of regrowth.  We saw birds, lizards, butterflies on the trail yesterday.
Tree lizard on a rock on the Madera Canyon Trail

The trail is open from dawn to dusk, 365 days a year.  To find it, head north from Fort Davis on Hwy 118.  As the sign indicates, the trail is a part of the Far West Texas Wildlife Trail.  The trail's map says this about the site:

"Proceed northwest from Ft. Davis on Hwy 118 for approximately 24 miles to the Lawrence E. Wood picnic area adjacent to the highway on the left (about 10 miles past the McDonald Observatory.) The 2.5-mile trail is a loop that begins and ends at the picnic area’s east side and is marked by a sign and wooden split-rail fence.
Hikers will walk through stands of stately ponderosa pines, pinion-juniper woodlands and grassy meadows. Wildlife that may be present, particularly at dawn or dusk, includes gray fox, ringtail, Western Scrub Jay, Acorn Woodpecker, Montezuma Quail, Golden Eagle, Davis Mountains cottontail, javelina, white-tailed and mule deer, mountain short-horned lizard and, rarely, mountain lion. At dawn, visitors may listen for the bugeling of elk in the fall or the chorus of coyotes any time of year. The Williamson's Sapsucker has been sighted along the trail in winter."

Read more about the Davis Mountains Preserve in Far West Texas  here.

Here's the link to the rest of the Davis Mountains loop on the Far West Texas Wildlife Trail. 

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