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  • 64

    These days I’m finding myself in a state of go-go-go in the gardens. Rarely am I stopping to just see what I see, to sample a bit of what is going on—there are so many weeds to pull, plants to trim back, and who-knows-what-else to do in this frenzy of summer.

    63

    On Tuesday I got called to pick Forest up early because his low grade fever from the morning had morphed into something a little higher and he was crankier than usual. He’s finally cutting a few more teeth and paired with allergies that keep trying to turn into another cold, he wasn’t feeling very well. We settled in for a nap after lunch and the thunderstorms that were promised overnight finally showed up. It rained most of the afternoon, fairly hard at first but tapering off to a steady drizzle most of the afternoon.

    62

    61

    After the deluge of May we had nearly a month without rain other than a passing shower that dropped a slight drink here and there. Finally the front yard dried out enough to mow! When Forest and I came downstairs after our nap I was surprised to see that the rain had not puddled in the front yard. The month of no rain had really done some good on that front.

    60

    Forest went to bed fairly easily that night because he wasn’t feeling well so I had a little more time than usual to get outside. However, everything was still wet and I wasn’t in the mood to pull wet weeds. Instead I opted to pick up the macro lens and take some photos. It was hard not to stop and pull a weed or try to fix something that was seemingly out of place. So I walked slowly and noted what needed to be done for later and tried to snap photos without thinking too hard on the subject.

    59

    I’ve gone back through old blog posts recently and realized just how much I photographed in the garden in years past. Sometimes I get stuck on wondering what to write about here and I know that writing begets writing. It’s the sitting down and digging it all out that’s the hardest.

    57

    Late last week Chris got into the beehive. He was suited up and I had my phone and shot a few photos of him before he took his suit off and announced that the situation was bad, the hive was pretty much toast. A bad combination of relaxed beekeeping paired with the wet spring and flooding weather had allowed the hive beetles to take over. Chris had been successful last year with finding a method of keeping them under control, not eliminated totally, but the situation wasn’t out of hand.

    56

    Well, the situation was out of hand and now there was no comb for the bees, not even brood comb. The beetles had hijacked it for their own reproductive purposes. Chris got in and removed what comb was left, a sopping, disgusting bit that was left at the bottom of the hive on the garden pathway. A few days after I walked over to see what was going on. Some bees were around but the general frenzy of buzzing that is common in the heat of summer was nonexistent. I inched closer and saw flies all over the blackening comb on the ground and maggots crawling on top of the hive. The smell wasn’t pleasant. It was depressing to say the least.

    55

    I worked one of the flower beds near the hive back towards the brugmansias one afternoon during lunch, pulling weeds. This view usually allows me to see the back of the hive opening, where bees would be crowding near the entrance to cool off a bit in the summer, or entering and exiting the hive. In the summer you don’t want to get too close as it is invites you to be stung but now there were no bees coming in or out. Chris had thought he’d clean the hive up and see if the bees would recolonize it but days went on and the bees seemed to have left completely.

    54

    50

    This afternoon I was out weeding and noticed the bees were hovering around the hive in the sun. Not the crowd we usually had but it was more than I expected. Chris came out and noticed the same thing, saying that he had noticed they had left, too, and was surprised they were back. I think that made the effort of cleaning out the hive and hoping for a recolonization to happen more worthwhile and he is going to attempt to do that and see if they start over this weekend. If not, we will reevaluate and get a new package of bees next spring.

    So, that’s where we are with the bees for the moment.

    53

    I definitely find myself trying to steal more moments as dusk and dark settle in over the garden, grasping for more daylight. It’s already starting to slip away towards autumn and I’m not ready for that yet. Last night I was pulling just a few more weeds in the vegetable garden when I was startled with a very loud “WHO!” I turned around, half expecting the interrupter to be perched on the vegetable garden fence. Instead, as my eyes adjusted to the darkening surroundings, I found a barred owl perched on the pecan tree near the garden. I said hello and it flew silently off to the woodlot next door where we exchanged a few more “Who-cooks-for-you, Who-cooks-for-you-all” before I gave up and went inside for the evening.

    51

    49

    And that’s where I am these days in the garden.

    47
    Do I dare say that it’s hot? I mean, it is summer. That’s what summer is about.

    26
    But it’s slowly turning into the phase of summer where anything after 11am until after 5pm you don’t want to venture out unless you are swimming in water. It’s almost like winter where we hibernate for awhile inside.

    25
    For most of the garden plants this is their thriving point of the year, such as the daturas. They’ve grown by leaps and bounds and are flowering away, already producing seed pods to spring forth new progeny next year.

    24
    In the compost bin an unknown cucurbit sprouted and has since climbed about 12′ up the pine tree on the neighbor’s property just behind the compost bin. It flowered a few nights ago with a white flower, and based on that, I’m going with it being a gourd of some kind. Not sure what kind it will end up being because I don’t recall a recent period in which we threw a gourd in there. I guess it could have been buried and the right conditions in the compost bin allowed it to germinate. We’ll see if any flowers get pollinated!

    23
    The milkweed seeds have thrived, or at least most of them. This is Asclepias tuberosa or the butterfly milkweed. It’d hiding out near the pineapple sage which thinks it was given orders to grow huge and spread out over the entire bed. I am constantly cutting it back and thinning out lower branches that shade the milkweed. I had another patch of this species in another location but I suspect some hooved vermin munched on them as I can now only find one plant.

    35
    I believe this plant is going to be common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca. We bought three plants as small seedlings about six months ago and they are just now doing really well.

    34
    And of course the tropical milkweed, Asclepias curassavica, is thriving. My mom gave me several more pots that from plants that has germinated in her grass and I suspect that with the plant already producing seed pods we will have plenty of plants in the garden next year. However, in the past they have not come back from overwintering in my garden here in Texas so I’ll probably save seeds to germinate next January just in case.

    36
    I first came across necklace pod, Sophora tomentosa when living in Florida as it is a native. I grew it in our container garden and like most of our plants, sold it before we moved. I was happy to get this necklace pod last spring or summer and it has done well in our garden.

    37
    Chris trimmed back the ‘Wendy’s Wish’ salvia a few months ago but it has rebounded and looks wonderful! It’s a great statement piece in the garden, almost like the pineapple sage.

    40
    And finally the pink banana trees are blooming now. I’m looking forward to our golden lotus banana blooming this summer. *crossing fingers*

    41
    I’ll sign off with a cute toddler photo. I got a set of these chairs from my friend Becca. She was the one who taught our Bradley Method classes two years ago and she and her family are moving to Utah in a few months and are getting rid of most of their furniture. The chairs sit near the sandbox and playhouse, perfect for relaxing while Forest plays! He approves of the chairs, too!

    44

    +In My Head
    Not a lot, actually. Well, I take that back. A lot, actually, it just switches often. Let’s see if I can bullet point it…

    • Privatized prisons: This is thanks to OITNB, more commentary below.
    • Brexit: For once it was nice to see my social media feed filled with another country’s/dominion’s politics. I wish I’d known a little bit more about the implications before it happened—that’s my fault for trying to keep my head in the ground with the news these days.
    • Eating/Conversing while a toddler is present: I remember watching my SIL (and this still happens, actually) as she got up and down, up and down, while we had meals when she came to visit. My niece and nephew continually requested something or had something that needed attending to. Now I understand this much more completely. Eat an entire meal while pondering its tastes? Nah, that doesn’t quite happen unless the toddler is doing something else while I’m eating. Yesterday we had lunch with a friend I’ve known for 30 years this year, someone I hadn’t seen since Easter of 2015. While it was nice to see her, when we left I felt like so much didn’t get said, things I forgot to ask, because I had been focusing on the toddler’s needs: keeping him plyed with food, trying to decipher his grunts and whines because he doesn’t have words for everything yet, picking things up off the floor, managing a meltdown, etc, etc. We went to Olive Garden, somewhere I love to eat but rarely get to go because it isn’t in a convenient location in proximity to where we live. I was looking forward to eating their salad but I never finished my first plate before the meal came, mostly due to attending all of those toddler needs. I often feel like I’m occupying three different time realms at the same time and trying to focus on all of it. It’s impossible and leaves you exhausted.

    +Watching

    • Orange Is The New Black: This season was a whopper! I had forgotten where Season 3 had left off but that was quickly resolved with the first few minutes of Season 4! So, I know that tv likes to dramatize things however I do think, especially with think-shows like OITNB, that a lot of it is based in truth. I haven’t gotten around to read the meta-commentary on this season but I do wonder how privatized prisons really differ from government run ones.
    • The 100 Foot Journey: This was a cute movie I found on my On Demand one evening. It took a few nights to watch it but it was a sweet story about a guy and his family who had to flee India. He grows up learning to cook from his mother in the family restaurant. When they resettle in France they open a new restaurant across from a Michelin rated restaurant run by Helen Mirren.
    • Man on Wire: This documentary has been out for about 10 years and I’ve heard many people recommend it over the years. It’s about a man in the early 70s who performed a tightrope walk across the newly built World Trade Center buildings. I highly recommend watching this if you’ve got access to it!
    • The Force Awakens: Yes, I’m behind on this one. I don’t get to the movie theater anymore! My parents bought us all of the Star Wars movies and I was able to watch this one when they were here a few weeks ago. I loved it but didn’t like some of the cheesy lines they gave Leia and Han. So, Rey…a Skywalker or a Kenobi? What do you think?

    +Outside My Window
    I’m loving the early light in the mornings and the late light in the evenings. I’m still not a morning person but I do like that when we get up in the morning that it is sunny. It makes the mornings a little more enjoyable to see the light move across the yard.

    +In The Art Studio
    N/A

    +In The Garden
    The vegetable garden is slowly starting to function as a garden instead of a ground for growing weeds once again. I’ve planted out nearly all of the beds but there are spaces still available for other items. I thought my artichokes would rebound after the floods—we had lost one but two were holding on, however yesterday I noticed another succumbed to rot. I’ll need to replace those and possibly the third. It looks iffy. I would like to get some smaller bush beans, dragon tongue beans specifically, and more herbs.

    The flower garden is slowly being weeded when I get the time between the vegetable garden weeding. Chris checked on the bees the other day and unfortunately we may lose the hive. The excessive moisture paired with not keeping up with the bees allowed the hive beetles to take over. All of the comb was mush and Chris removed it all and left the bottom board open so the hive beetles will leave. He was going to attempt to replace the bottom board and see if the bees would return but I suspect they will leave. This is definitely a bummer. Needless to say I’ll be hoarding the remaining honey we have and probably not making mead with it.

    +Reading
    A whole bunch of nothing. I started a book a few weeks ago but haven’t been reading this month at all. I may return to reading soon.

    +Drinking
    My Blackberry Kombucha Shrub!

    +Loving

    What’s up with you?

    22

    21

    I started making kombucha in August of 2013 (and side note to that post: A 10pm run to Walgreens for sugar? Oh man, I miss those days of randomly running out to the store at weird hours. That *does not* happen now with a toddler. Making kombucha at 10pm also does not happen!) and I’ve kept it up on and off in the years since. Brewing and drinking kombucha is definitely cyclical, with months of being very interested in having the drink around and other months where the batch sits in the closet just hanging out until I’m in the mood for a new batch.

    For those months that the brew just hangs out, the batch becomes very fermented and basically turns into a vinegar. Some people will take this vinegar and turn it into salad dressings but others will turn it into a shrub. Shrubs are typically made with drinking vinegar, like a high quality apple cider vinegar, but there are now recipes and variations for kombucha shrubs. Google will get you several recipes to get ideas but I gleaned my idea from the Cultures of Health blog.

    Since we’re still flush with fresh blackberries from the garden I took a generous handful of blackberries and put them in a bowl with about a 1/2 c of sugar, smooshing it all together with a fork and then let it sit for 5-10 minutes. I then put that mixture into a quart Ball jar and filled the jar with my overfermented kombucha, put a cap on it and then put it in the fridge for about four days. On the way home from work I picked up a bottle of club soda and tested out my drink one evening before dinner.

    I used a fancy wine glass for effect and mood, pouring about a 1/4-1/2 c of the shrub in the glass with another 1/2 c of club soda. I was very pleased with the results: a slight tangy flavor with just the right amount of sweet for a great refreshing summer drink. You could switch out the club soda for rum or maybe vodka if you want to go with some alcohol; I’m even thinking the right white wine might even be good for this mixture.

    If you want to try a more traditional vinegar shrub you should check out Lisa’s rhubarb syrup shrub recipe she just posted!

    golden lotus

    When I started The Garden Path Podcast late last year I knew that it would be hard work but that I would enjoy it. Podcasting takes oogles more time than writing a blog, at least for me. I thought I’d break down some thoughts here about these first six months.

    Overall Goals
    It was originally the Cultivate Simple podcast that really got me into listening to podcasts. I’d dabbled in them before that but they really weren’t terribly popular yet. Podcasting has been around since the mid-2000s so it wasn’t even a new format at that point in time when I started listening to Cultivate Simple, but it wasn’t as popular as it has become now, just a few short years later. It seems as if almost every genre of podcasts have expanded but the garden podcasts have stalled. Sure, there are some still going strong and there are even some farming podcasts, but I didn’t always necessarily identify with the farming podcasts. And the permaculture ones can even be hit and miss because sometimes they are just too out there for me.

    Honestly, looking back at it now, I would have started a more broad ‘outdoor’ podcast that touched in various aspects of the outdoors with a heavy influence on gardening. Not that I can’t have that broad reach now but it is probably a little more far fetched for me to add in hiking interviews on a gardening titled podcast…but hey, I still might have that happen sometime!

    My overall goal for the podcast talk about gardening with other gardeners across all sorts of abilities, regions, and themes.

    Being an Introvert as a Podcaster
    Writing a blog post is easy peasy as an introvert. There’s no gathering the guts to a: email someone to interview and then coming down from their yay or nay to your request, and b: hyping yourself up pre-interview and telling yourself that this wasn’t a horribly bad idea. Other than screwing things up on my end with the first interview I tried with Leigh and crying miserably as soon as I got off Skype with her, I typically always have a few moments after scheduling an interview with someone that goes somewhere along the lines of “Why did I just do that? This is going to be horrible. What are we going to talk about? Do we have enough to talk about? Am I going to sound like an idiot?” I perk back up in the time between scheduling it and the actual interview but usually minutes before the interview, and as I’m setting up my computer and microphone, I get panicky and all the fear comes back to me. Of course after each interview I’m elated and happy and we’ve had the greatest conversation, and each time I think “Awww, I wish they lived near me so we could be real-life friends!”

    As a person who doesn’t enjoy talking on the phone, isn’t big on striking up conversations with people I don’t particularly know, podcasting is definitely out of my comfort zone. It’s a comfort boundary that needs to be tested every once in awhile, especially when there’s something creative about it. It’s a curiosity and creativity fire that needed to be stoked and so I just plug along and do it, despite my fears and any pre-interview jitters.

    Thoughts on Sponsorships
    I’m fairly firm about not having ads on my blog, though I’ve never been totally no on that. If the right person contacted me about some gardening tool or wanted to pay for a camping or hiking trip I’d probably say yes to writing an honest review in exchange for whatever I was writing about. That said, podcasting is different. I’m definitely down with having a sponsor or two on some episodes. Podcasting is much more work than I imagined and it would be nice to have compensation to pay for hosting as well as a bit of my time.

    Now, do I have sponsors or have I actively sought them? Nope. But the line for having as sponsor is far closer on my podcast than on my blog. Frankly, most of the ads on podcasts I’ve listened to are pretty good. I’m a little tired of Audible being a sponsor on many of the shows I listen to because you only get that free download once—and I’ve already redeemed that!—, but I’ve heard a few interesting sponsorships across the podcasting genre. A lot of people seem to be plugging just straight donating to a particular podcast through Patreon (not my link, just a general link to the site) as a way of supporting the content creators you enjoy. That’s an option and I might look into it.

    Right now, though, this podcast is self propelled!

    Creating Connections and Building Friendships
    As an early adopter of the internet and building friendships online (I met my first internet friend in person way back in 2001! That’s when people were all “OMG, you did what???” about it), making connections with people across the various hobbies I have through social media is old hat for me. Honestly, sometimes I probably talk/connect to my ‘internet friends’ more than my in-real-life friends because of these hobby connections. Developing these connections even more through the podcast has been fun and interesting, too, because talking to them and hearing their voices makes that screen name a little more real.

    For now I am focusing, for the most part, in trying to interview people that I have some kind of connection with online or in the real world instead of contacting people that I follow but have never actually become acquaintances or friends with online. For one, it is the simpler way to start. I have emailed one very big named creative blogger who has a garden and was nicely rejected due to time constraints (no biggie! But for me to do that was h.u.g.e.) and have played email tag with another fairly big named creative and lifestyle blogger who has a homestead and we’re hoping to chat sometime this autumn when the growing season slows. But those are the only two people I’ve reached out to that I don’t have some kind of online connection to, people who wouldn’t recognize me or any of my screen-names.

    Podcasting is just another dimension to creating content in the ever evolving online world. It’s amazing how much the internet and internet accessibility has changed in the last 5 years with so many people having smartphones.

    That said, if you want to hear a particular gardener, farmer, or plant enthusiast on the podcast who fits the scope of the podcast, and can make that connection for me, I definitely want to hear from you!

    How I Podcast
    My research into podcasting started with me inquiring with Elizabeth about how she records her two podcasts. She uses GarageBand which is supported on Mac products, which my computer is not. Searching around it appeared that I could use Audacity for my recording, mixing, and exporting. As I typically teach myself by the seat of my pants and using the lovely University of Google, I finally found out that Audacity and Skype don’t get along. Cue meltdown with Leigh above. To overcome this I downloaded Pamela for Skype as a trial and then officially bought the software so that I could record Skype conversations appropriately. It works great and I’ve had no problems so far.

    Now, in reality, I actually really love using Google Hangouts On Air for people with Gmail accounts. Most people have a Gmail account but are not familiar with using Google Hangouts. This is how Elizabeth does her shows and the quality is much better, I find, than Skype. Google Hangouts records to one of my YouTube channels as an unlisted video/audio and later I download the .mp4 and Audacity will convert it into a format (after getting a plugin for conversion) it can read and edit. *Voila!*

    Before podcasting I was already familiar with the Free Music Archive to find music for YouTube videos with Creative Commons licenses that fit my needs, so I did the same for the music on the podcast. I’m still tinkering with the music and I will probably switch it up next ‘season’. Also, as I listen to other podcasts I get ideas on how to create interesting introductions. The last two interviews I experimented with cold opens, which I typically like hearing on other podcasts. So far I am liking that method and as I’m talking to my guests I keep a mental note of something particularly interesting they say so I can go back and splice it into the intro.

    This summer I’m opting for Summer Garden Journals instead of interviews due to time constraints for both me and my potential guests. Everyone is gardening and it is the busy season! I know some podcasts do ‘seasons’ which sometimes are only a month or two breaks between seasons, others go year round. There’s really no right or wrong way to put episodes out there. Right now my thoughts for next year is to take a break from posting episodes at the end of the summer and then focus on getting a bunch of interviews underway and then scheduling episodes throughout the winter. But we’ll see, I might change that up!

    Overall, I am really enjoying this creative medium and just going with the flow. I have no end goal in mind for the moment but I foresee at least continuing for another year. We’ll see how the overall podcasting platform evolves in the next year, what other podcatchers develop, if iTunes overhauls its poor search and filing system for podcasting, and if demand for podcasting continues.

    It’s just fun to do this for now!

    g10

    Today we’re wrapping up 11 days of Forest and I flying solo around here. Chris has been in northeast Texas doing field work. I’m trying to determine, I think it might be the longest stretch of time he’s been away since Forest has been here. When I found out a few months ago that Chris was going to be gone for this long amount of time I asked my parents if they would want to spend a long weekend with me, because, well, have you solo parented a toddler? It’s kind of hard, especially when there’s things to do around here! Thankfully they were up for coming down and helping out—hey, they wanted to hang out with this silly boy of mine and that was great for them.

    g9

    So, last weekend they stretched out a long weekend here and I was able to get a few things done outside. The primary job I wanted to accomplish was to weed and mulch the vegetable garden. A few months ago we’d gotten it all prettied up but the wet spring meant a plethora of weeds and many things needed to be remulched. And then of course we had the floods and the garden was overall a disaster. It wasn’t on par with last summer but it was heading there if there was no intervention.

    g8

    I weeded and mom helped. We went out for bulk mulch and I got a yard in the back of Chris’ truck while we were out doing other errands (getting a sandbox and a stop to REI’s garage sale) and I moved mulch as I got a bed or two weeded. Dad served as primary toddler wrangler but he also helped me weedeat one of days. While I love our yard it is definitely a big task to take care of when there’s a kid involved. I’ve definitely thought many times how much easier it would be to have a new construction house in a generic neighborhood with a small yard.

    g7

    By the time my parents left on Monday morning I had all of the six main beds weeded and mulched, leaving me with the perimeter beds to complete during the work-week, which I did manage to finish. The last bed we did was the carrot bed. We should have pulled the carrots in early May but we kept procrastinating. I pulled some about two weeks ago and those yielded about a gallon and a half bag worth but there were many times I found rotting carrots. Mom and I got the rest of the carrots last Sunday afternoon and when I finally washed those I got another nearly two gallon bags worth. Not the yield we had last year (oh wow, we pulled those late March! oops!) and the carrots are generally much smaller, but at least we have some carrots. Chris said he’d blanch and freeze them when he got back so I will hold him to that! I may pickle a few jars just to have something different around here.

    g6

    As I’ve been working in that garden I’ve noticed a few things. The first is that we have a really good population of earthworms. Pull a weed and an earthworm usually comes with it. Dig up a little bit more and there’s a whole bunch of ‘em slinking through the soil. This is good news!

    g5

    The second thing I’ve noticed is that the garden is fairly resilient. Sure a few things bit the dust in the flood but most plants survived the submersion and wet feet. Honestly, I thought the squash and zucchini would have rotted by now but here they are, still hanging in there. My asparagus, the most dainty and smallest plants in the garden, are thriving. While we won’t have the tomato harvest of previous years, I’m hoping to limp them along through the summer and get a fall harvest. Maybe plant a few small plants in a few weeks to supplement…I don’t know.

    g4

    The third thing I’ve noticed is that while we have had a primarily dry week and a half in this part of Houston, the beds, particulary the hugelkultur-esque perimeter beds, are holding moisture very, very well. And that’s one of the primary reasons for building these beds, their capabilities of retaining water for extended periods and working for less need to water as often. Hopefully this will serve us well as we move to a drier time of year.

    g3

    Next up is to get more things planted. I started a few nights ago with various beans, okra, and loofah but need to get more winter squash, pumpkins, and some herbs going. I’m not sure if we’re going to try sweet potatoes again or not but if we do we need to get slips from somewhere. The bed we’ve used for sweet potatoes in previous years always has a lingering potato or two that sends up vegetation and that’s already started. I left it because the leaves are edible and I may use them for smoothies this summer.

    g2

    I’ve been very pleased with the cucumbers this summer. They’ve produced a manageable amount of fruit to pickle. Every few days I go out and get anywhere from 2-5 fruit and it makes it easier to make a few jars versus the plethora we had back when we were at the community garden and planted two beds full of them! Whew, that was a lot of pickles! And too much canning.

    g1

    Right now I am only making pickles for the fridge and have yet to get the canner out. I will probably start canning them soon. The pepperoncinis near the top of the post here have also been cut up and pickled once. Now, I have always turned up my nose to these because I couldn’t fathom eating a pickled pepper but I conquered my fear and distaste and am now a convert. At least with my own pickling brine! I’m not sure if I’ll gather up the guts to try mainstream versions. The smaller peppers above are fish peppers, which are hot peppers. I did a jar of those pickled with some onions and we’ll see how those are. I took the seeds out of most of those but I know some were still in there. I hope they aren’t too hot!

    Next up is to tackle the flower beds. They were pleasantly weeded and mulched months ago but the weeds have invaded again! Time to tackle that over the next few weeks. Maybe I’ll get out and get some photos of those soon!

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    Everyone but my dad set out for a hike Sunday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend. Dad stayed back to hang out with their dog Daisy. We weren’t sure exactly how long this trail was because unlike many other Texas state parks there wasn’t an individual trail map for the state park. The trail was on the campground map but there weren’t really any distinguishing marks to estimate the distance of the trail. And to make matters more complicated, wires were crossed between my brother and sister-in-law in regards to what the end-goal was for the hike: my brother was going for a hike and my sister-in-law thought the trail ended up a the playground. Needless to say by the time we were more than a mile in, those with the playground perspective were getting a little antsy.

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    Memorial Day weekend is really the last weekend you want to be camping in Texas (the entire south?) until sometime in late September, maybe October. It’s hot, humid, and unless there’s water to swim in it can be pretty miserable. It was borderline iffy to be camping that weekend as it was, and with recent rains the humidity was amplified.

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    Nevertheless we set off down the trail to see what we could see.

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    It felt good to stretch my legs after dealing with the anxieties of the flood just a few days prior. The trails were a little slick in a few spots and we all had to watch our footing.

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    There were lots of little scenes to take in, plants blooming, mushrooms decomposing their host materials, and sometimes a wildlife sighting if you looked hard enough.

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    Forest dozed in the backpack as Chris carried him, a sorely needed nap as he was coming down with an upper respiratory infection. Zoe and Grayson did very well, of course not without some complaining, but they were troopers!

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    In the end our hike was probably at least two miles long. I’ve found a few online write-ups about the trails at the state park with approximate lengths but I can’t say for sure. I’m just proud of Zoe and Grayson for making the best of it!

    I put together a short video of the second flood last week. For some reason I didn’t take a video of the front yard with the good camera, just my phone apparently, but I put some photos of the front yard in there at the end.

    Chris and I walked the neighborhood yesterday morning. Pretty much every house north of us along the creek had flood damage of some sort, mild to horrific. We are very lucky.

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