|Sunrise over the mouth of White Rock Creek at the Trinity River|
|Flagged trail from Buckeye to White Rock Creek|
The terrain here for the most part is pancake flat. Most of the trees in this section of William Blair Park are 40-50 years old, punctuated by the occasional Bur Oak or Bois d Arc tree that is much older. Bill Pemberton, a local resident told me that much of this land near White Rock Creek was open pasture until the middle part of the last century. When the land was sold to the city much of it reverted to a pioneer class of forest. Unlike the Buckeye Grove upstream this area is blessed with a lack of invasive privet. As a result you can see a couple hundred yards in every direction while hiking.
I included in the map photo above some of the routes I have taken in the past on the east side of White Rock Creek. I would classify these trails in the category of marked but unmaintained. The trails see far more coyote traffic than human. They are marked to some extent and make for rather easy hike considering the lack of established trail. It does not lend itself to mountain biking but would be great for off leash dog hikes.
The only difficult areas are as you approach the mouth of White Rock with the Trinity River. The confluence forms a two story peninsula of sorts that extends about 100 yards out towards the river. The top of the peninsula is fairly thick with greenbriar and somewhat of a challenge to negotiate. A machete makes quick work of it. Two minutes with my parang and it was easier to get through. No big deal.
The past few winters, Bald Eagles have been seen in this area too. Migratory non-nesting pairs who hunt for the ducks that call the wetlands in this part of town a winter home.
The Burning Bush On The Trinity
|Chagall's Moses And The Burning Bush|
Maybe it was an Eastern Wahoo Tree, Bill Holston and a mess of feral pigs that could have been the inspiration for Marc Chagall's rendition of Moses And The Burning Bush?
|Eastern Wahoo Euonymus atropurpureus Buckeye Trail|
|Coralberry Symphoricarpos orbiculatus|
Also of note is the Coralberry, a close relative of honeysuckle. This time of year the pronounced pink berries stand out in contrast to an otherwise muted view of the woods.
Much of the land where William Blair Park now sits was once a dairy farm.
Joseph Metzger, a Swiss immigrant and the founder of Metzger's Dairy, crossed into Texas holding his only possessions in a pack above his head while the Red River was at flood stage in 1875.
In 1893 Metzger began purchasing land within the old John M Crockett survey for the purposes of relocating his dairy. At that time 64 acres were purchased less 1.8 acres which were to be used as the county road known as Miller's Ferry Road. Thus began a succession of street names(later Holmes Street and Hutchins Road) for the street now known as Lamar Street. A deed dated February 28, 1893 and filed the same day describes the land as extending from west of the railroad to the river. Metzger continued to acquire parcels of land until 1904. After all purchases were made, the farm which became the home of Metzger's Dairy contained 159.6 acres.
|Original Bon Ton Addition Plat|
|Metzger's Store location 1900 (red dot)|
|Dairy location and buidings circa 1922|
|View from Lamar across from the Borden's Dairy|
Deer in the Park
Luckily during the rut this fall, I was able to photograph a few nice sized does and some yearlings in the park proper. On the flood protected side of the levees. They were browsing out in the open which was a welcome change from the usual panicked escape I usually invoke. Deer are becoming more and more common in this area which is a nice thing to see. Plenty of food for them to eat and a sign that things are getting better rather than worse.
|William Blair Park Whitetail|