Pedernales Falls State Park in south-central Texas features a 6-mile stretch of the Pedernales River, which runs through a rugged gorge and has some waterfalls. There are also canyons with creeks, oak woodlands, and wildlife including deer, bald eagle, and wild turkey.

Activities: The park has about 20 miles of trails for hiking or backpacking. Fishing is available along the river.

Camping Regulations: Camping is limited to one designated area, which is located along the 7.5-mile Wolf Mountain Trail.

For Further Information: Pedernales Falls State Park, Route 1, Box 450, Johnson City, TX 78636; (512)868-7304.


As its head breaks the surface, still with the eyes closed, the tightly- closed nostrils open wide and it breathes in and out a dozen or more times, exhaling the stale air from its lungs and breathing in fresh oxygen. Once this is done, the nostrils close and the seal turns and sinks head first below the surface, giving a flip with its forelimbs to take it down to the bottom again, or sometimes just drifting downwards until it touches the seabed. This behaviour has been recorded on various occasions in seal colonies, when they appear like yo-yos bobbing up and down. Grey seals, like humans, are warm-blooded mammals, but they also have a thick layer of blubber which insulates them from the cold waters of the North Sea and acts as an energy store when food is scarce. The Farne Island seals were hunted and killed for their skins and blubber for oil lamps and other purposes for over 800 years and by the beginning of the 20th century, the colonies were down to only about 100 animals. In 1932 the Grey Seal Act was passed, which gave them almost complete protection, resulting in an explosion of the seal population. By 1966 there were so many seals that it was decided that a cull was necessary to protect the vegetation and topsoil of the islands, which was being slowly destroyed. In 1970 nearly 2,000 pups were born and the colony expanded to well over 9,000 once again. Many of the seals were dying or suffering bad health and the main nurseries on Brownsman and Staple had become so cramped and overcrowded that by the end of December, virtually all of the plant life and a large part of the topsoil had disappeared. This also had a devastating affect on birds like the puffin, which needed the soil to dig their burrows.

Maybe You Like Them Too

Leave a Reply

27 + = 35