Enchanted Rock

Topics: Granite, 16th century, Batholith Pages: 2 (571 words) Published: April 8, 2013
Enchanted Rock

Have you ever wanted to get away? Away from everything, school, work, and all of the drama this area has? Well, picture yourself on the biggest rock in Texas, in the middle of nowhere. No lights, no cell phone reception, no worries. Well, when you visit Enchanted Rock, you find peace, and an inner calmness.

Enchanted Rock is an enormous pink granite pluton rock formation located fifteen miles north of Fredericksburg, Texas, which is about five and a half hours away. It covers approximately 640 acres and rises 425 feet above the surrounding terrain to elevation of 1,825 feet above sea level. It is the largest pink granite rock in the United Sates.

Archaeological evidence indicates human visitation at the rock going back at least 11,000 years ago. Folklore of local Indian tribes ascribes magical and spiritual powers to the rock (hence the name Enchanted Rock.) While attempting to hide from Anglo settlers in the area, the natives would hide on the top two tiers of the rock, where they were invisible from the ground below. The Tonkawa, who inhibited the area in the 16th century, believe that ghost fires flickered at the top of the dome. In particular they heard unexplained creaking and groaning, which geologists attribute to the rock’s night time contraction after being heated by the sun during the day. The name “Enchanted Rock” derives from Spanish and Anglo-Texan interpretations of such legends and related folklore; the name “Crying Rock” has also been given to the formation.

The four major plant communities of Enchanted Rock are open oak woodland, mesquite grassland, floodplain, and granite rock community that accommodates to a wide variety of animals. Both rock and fox squirrels are common, as well as armadillos, rabbits, and other small animals. Lizards and turkey vultures are conspicuous on and above the rock year-round. White tailed dear are also frequently observed and, the park’s bird life is varied and abundant.

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