About Honey Creek State Natural Area Images
This gallery contains images from Honey Creek State Natural Area, located in Comal County in the Balcones Canyonlands region of the Texas Hill Country. In the mid-1800s, the Doeppenschmidts from Bavaria were among the German immigrants who accompanied Prince Carl von Solms-Braunfels to settle in Central Texas. They began to homestead in the Honey Creek area in 1866. Gradually, over the years, the Doeppenschmidt family members acquired many parcels of land including what would become Honey Creek Ranch. The various parcels were finally consolidated under the ownership of Adam Doeppenschmidt in 1894. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department acquired the land by deed from the Texas Nature Conservancy in 1985 and by deed from a private individual in 1988, and opened it for limited access in 1985.
The diversity of the Honey Creek property is one of its most compelling features. Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei), live oak (Quercus virginiana), agarita (Mahonia trifoliolata), and Texas persimmon (Diospyros texana)dominate the dry, rocky hills, and a few grasses such as little muhly and curly mesquite somehow find just enough soil in the cracks to persist. Farther down in the canyon of the creek itself, one notes an increase of cedar elm and older junipers and the rather abrupt appearance of Spanish oak (Quercus texana), pecan (Carya illinoinensis), walnut (Juglans microcarpa), and Mexican buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa). As the terrain levels out in the narrow floodplain and the creek itself, the dominant species are sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), associated with an assortment of floodplain species. Texas palmetto (Sabal mexicana), columbine and maidenhair fern occur along the rock banks, spatter dock floats on the surface, and a number of emergent plants are plainly visible in the clear blue-green water.