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.
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.
Another looked like a heart or an arrow.
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.