Zen Pools of Enchanted Rock in the Texas Hill Country

The views from the top of Enchanted Rock are incredible. You can see for miles and miles across the rugged Texas landscape that is the hill country. While these vistas are breathtaking, rare ecological gems are often scattered across this wide granite uplift. Formed by weathering and erosion over thousands of years, vernal pools form in the depressions in the granite. Also called soil islands, these small water collections can provide life to a broad range of plant and animal life. Tadpoles, insects, and even fairy shrimp can inhabit these pools. As the rains come and go, these vernal pools are often changing shape, as well.

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Zen Pools of Enchanted Rock 2 : Prints Available

On a picture perfect late afternoon in the Texas Hill Country, the vernal pools at Enchanted Rock are full of water. Rains had fallen for weeks, leaving these little sanctuaries strewn across the granite summit of this famous Texas landscape. Within the small bodies of water, the depressions teemed with life. Some of these pools resembled the yin and yang, so I named them the Zen Pools of Enchanted Rock.

On a recent walkabout at Enchanted Rock State Park, I was struck by the color, the beauty and shapes of these pools after a very wet spring. A few of these pools resembled the Tao – the yin and yang of the zen.

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Zen Pools of Enchanted Rock 1 : Prints Available

Vernal Pools are an important part of the ecological system at Enchante Rock State Park. This gem in the Texas Hill Country offers so many different places to explore. In this Texas landscape, at the higest point in the iconic Llano uplift, the pools formed by depressions in the granite give life to many plants and even animals – tadpools were everywhere in this calm pool.

Another looked like a heart or an arrow.

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Heart Pool at Enchanted Rock 1 : Prints Available

Thousands of years of erosion atop the granite summit on Enchanted Rock leave areas called Vernal Pools. These collections of water pop up after rains and provide sustenance for both plant and animal life. They also provide beautiful subjects for photography. Just as the weather changes constantly, so goes the ebb and flow of the water level, leaving always unique shapes for these ecologically important pools. I named this little depression the Heart Pool, though it will surely look different in a week or so. This is sunset across the Texas Hill Country and this rugged landscape.

And still others housed grasses that stood several feet high. These vernal pools can be found throughout the park, but are most noticeable on the top of Enchanted Rock and Little Rock.

To see more, please visit my Texas Wildflower Gallery.
And follow my current photographic adventures on my Images from Texas Facebook page.

Happy travels!
~ Rob