The stars at night are big and bright, and summer is a great time to see them. Set out to see the Perseids meteor shower coming mid-August. Or plan a getaway around that ole Texas moon, beautiful at any phase but especially so when hanging full and low on the horizon. (Check your favorite astronomy Web site for dates.) The further you get from city lights and traffic, the more you’ll see skyward. State parks are a great, safe place to stargaze. One ideal destination for darker skies is west Texas with its bonuses of lower humidity and higher elevation. Davis Mountains State Park is known for its dark skies as described in this "Passport to Texas" radio program.
The State of Bats
Q. What’s the state’s official flying mammal?
Night Walks: Did You Hear THAT?
“Wow, what was that sound?” The summer nighttime can be the right time for an enlightening hike with an interpreter through a state park or wildlife management area. For guided night hikes, owl prowls and more, check the Birds, Bats and More and Hikes and Walks sections of the Events Calendar. Coming right up July 15, Bastrop and Bentsen Rio Grande Valley, and July 16 McKinney Falls and Purtis Creek state parks have night hikes scheduled.
Down Deep in the Heart of Texas
Caves are cool morning, noon and night! Longhorn Cavern for instance, registers a refreshing 68 degrees all year. Kickapoo Cavern State Park displays 4 million years of nature’s underground geologic handiwork. Colorado Bend State Park offers crawling cave tours. Caves are accessible by guided tour only, so before you go, check with park staff about interpretive cave hikes, mobility and equipment requirements, and reservations.
Time to Plan for Fall
“I feel a touch of fall in the air,” some hopeful early morning risers will say in a couple of months. Now is an excellent time to plan for that moment.
Fishing Weighs in as a Facebook Favorite
When Texas Parks and Wildlife Facebook friends were asked to vote for their favorite water activity, fishing came out on top – beating tubing, kayaking/canoeing and 31 other activities. With over 70 opportunities, everyone can enjoy this great American pastime ---especially in the cooler morning and late afternoon hours. Be sure to “like” Texas Parks and Wildlife on Facebook to join the conversation.
Featured Park: Copper Breaks
The darker nighttime skies of North Texas make it easier to see a sky full of stars. Copper Breaks State Park, near the Panhandle, makes a great destination for stargazing. Upcoming Starwalks are slated for July 30, August 27, September 24 and October 22. Other activities include camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, mountain biking, swimming, wildlife viewing, backpacking, kite flying, summer educational/interpretive programs, horseback riding (horse rental not available), astronomy, and natural and historical exhibits. A portion of the official State Longhorn herd lives in the park. Call the park to confirm dates and availability for park events.
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