Search results for "dark-sky"
Did you know that stars shine so bright in the West Texas desert that you can see in the dark on a clear night?
In a world where we are perhaps overly dependent on GPS—focused on getting from point A to point B as quickly and efficiently as possible—I’ve found that simply unfurling a road map and blindly jabbing a finger down on the page just to see what’s there is a surefire way of reopening my mind to the possibilities of exploration and adventure.
Marfa residents have grown accustomed to the unexplained lights that flicker out in the desert off of US 90, about 9 miles east of their small West Texas town.
This October features a full moon on its first day, known as the Harvest Moon, and another on its last, a Blue Moon—as in “once in a,” because two full moons in one month doesn’t happen every year.
Camping brings to mind full days of activities like hiking, climbing, and swimming. But one of the best parts of a camping trip actually happens when the sun sets for the day—stargazing. From any reasonably dark campsite in Texas, you can see prominent constellations, planets, and the moon. Some parks across the state have achieved designation as “dark-sky parks” because of their efforts to control light pollution, while some host star parties to introduce visitors to the night sky.
In a state where the stars at night are known for being big and bright, summer is the optimal time for viewing the Milky Way, when it is high in the southern sky and viewable through much of the night. State parks—such as Pedernales Falls State Park near Johnson City, where the night sky reflects in the still waters of the Pedernales River—are often far enough from light pollution for decent observation. Some of the best state parks for nighttime viewing are Big Bend Ranch, Enchanted Rock, Copper Breaks, and South Llano River, which are all designated International Dark Sky Parks by the International Dark-Sky Association.
If you’ve ventured out to Devils River State Natural Area in Southwest Texas, you know the skies can be awfully dark at night. Now the International Dark Sky Association is recognizing the 37,000-acre property for its relatively unspoiled skies with designation as a “dark sky sanctuary.”
“As Texas’ first International dark-sky sanctuary, Devils River SNA enjoys some of the clearest and starriest night skies in the continental United States,” says Adam Dalton, a program manager with the Arizona-based nonprofit association. “Owing to the area’s commitment to mitigating light pollution, the Devils River serves as a model for dark-sky conservation within the Texas State Parks system.”
I was lured to Kimble County by my fly fisher husband—his heart set on hooking the fabled Guadalupe bass and learning a trick or two at the annual Oktoberfisch fly-fishing festival. For three days every October, the Fredericksburg Fly Fishers invite first-timers and avid anglers to their event along the Llano River in Junction. The town—known as The Land of Living Waters, a nod to the county’s abundance of flowing waterways—sits where the North and South Llano rivers meet, so it’s a prime locale for such a fest.