A photograph of a nature scene at dusk with blueish yellow sky and hundreds of small yellow fireflies

Photo by Kenny Braun

Photographer Kenny Braun was focused on shooting a different scene at The Nature Conservancy’s Independence Creek Preserve in May 2023 when he turned around and saw thousands of fireflies and stars over the creek. “It looked like some mystical scene out of a fairy tale,” he says. Located in Sheffield, the preserve is home to Independence Creek, which flows for 8 miles through the protected area and is typically open to visitors only one or two weekends a year. It likely won’t be open at all this summer due to a staff shortage, according to Dan Snodgrass, associate director of land conservation at The Nature Conservancy. But Texans should consider putting a visit to this preserve on their bucket list. As Snodgrass says, “The property boasts some of the most important cultural sites and aquatic and terrestrial habitat in West Texas.”

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