• Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places,  Wildflowers

    Mountain Pinks (Zeltnera beyrichii) at Pedernales Falls State Park

    If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed by email! Thanks for visiting! Turns out when you stop blogging and trying to feed things through social media you just stop sharing all of the good stuff you have backlogged. Which means I have many things from the last three years to share, plus I know I do have the tail-end of Alaska in 2019 to share, too. We encountered these mountain pinks on the south side Pedernales Falls State Park, some along CR 201 but the white ones were encountered along the Juniper Ridge Trail in the far southeast section of the park. This was…

  • Gardening

    Arkansas Green Lint Cotton

    Arkansas Green Lint Cotton I’ve not been a very diligent gardener this year. One of the ornamental crops I planted back in the summer, when I was trying to find anything that would thrive in the drought, was some green cotton I’d bought last year off of Etsy. I have grown brown cotton in the past and did try to germinate some this time around but because I didn’t label things how I should have, I wasn’t sure which plant row was what so I didn’t know if it was green or brown I would be getting because one of the rows had poor germination. The bolls have been ripening…

  • Thoughts

    Hello Out There…A Little Update

    Powdered Dancer, Argia moesta It’s been a hot minute since I’ve written here. I intended to step away to try to do some writing for NaNoWriMo again but I did very little. Instead I spent October and November trying to get my head on straight and attempting to get into the holiday season a little earlier than usual. NaNo fell apart, though I still intend to do more writing soon, and the back half of the month fell into heavy Fairfield Lake State Park advocacy after about two months of quiet. I have been writing about all of that over on my On Texas Nature Substack. I guess I should…

  • Outdoors,  Thoughts,  Wildflowers

    Roadside Rudbeckias

    I have wanted to grow some of our more gregarious Rudbeckia species for several years but it wasn’t until this year, in my small native plant bed inside the deer fence, that I was able to do this. I’m always enamored with how they look when I spot them on roadsides. These were on the road near the Hickory Creek Savannah Unit of the Big Thicket, where the Sundew Trail is located. I spotted them as we were leaving that unit back in May and had Chris pull over so I could take a few photos. I believe these are Rudbeckia texana but there’s also R. maxima and R. grandiflora…

  • Thoughts

    Stale Cigarettes

    In recent years there has been talk about how we’re losing certain words and even accents in our lexicon as language adapts and changes. One thing I hadn’t considered was lost smells, or at least fading smells. Over the last weekend I was in DFW to visit some friends and after we’d spent some time browsing and becoming over stimulated with the Christmas décor at Decorator’s Warehouse, we were all lamenting how we should have eaten lunch before embarking on our shopping excursion. Now, I eat on a fairly regular schedule, as Chris will attest to, so I knew better than to leave our campsite without eating lunch. But my…

  • Thoughts

    Life Lately | October 2023

    The newly minted 9 year old with his leopard print Snuggie. Thinking: I started drafting this in early September, intending to do a Life Lately for that month but stopped writing. So here’s an expansion from that month: Forest turned 9 last month! 9!!!! We are fully into the tween years and I’m enjoying it so far. Next steps are to try to cultivate more independence, which he’s doing on his own in some manner, but needs a push in some areas. Plus chores. More chores need to be on the agenda! The best kiddo ever! Also, I’m very heavily into “Wow, I’m middle aged now” thoughts. They strike at…

  • Memes,  Outdoors,  Wildlife Wednesday

    Big Thicket Coral Snake Encounter | Wildlife Wednesday

    It’s been a hot minute since we’ve seen a coral snake so we were delighted to find one crossing the road on our way to the Watson Preserve one evening back in May. The road is lightly traveled, being residential and all, but we still stopped to get out, take photos, and to block other cars from coming and intentionally killing this beauty. We haven’t seen one in our yard in a few years so I figure we’re due for one soon!

  • Outdoors,  Texas,  Thoughts,  Travel & Places,  Wildflowers

    May 2023 at the Big Thicket Pitcher Plant Bog

    In May, we spent a weekend around the Big Thicket, the same weekend we went to the Solo Tract. There will be several posts from this weekend as I divvy them up and share here. On Saturday evening before we went to the Watson Preserve to do some mothing, we stopped in at the Big Thicket Pitcher Plant bog to eat dinner, drive-thru Whataburger. I don’t think I had been to the bog in the early evening before so it was nice seeing it in a different light, literally. Sarracenia alata, yellow pitcher plants in the Big Thicket’s Pitcher Plant Bog Rhexia lutea, yellow meadow beauty–my favorite of the Rhexia…

  • Hiking,  Native Plants,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Thoughts,  Travel & Places

    The Big Thicket Solo Tract | May 2023

    I first heard about the Solo Tract at the Big Thicket from Linda Leinen when she started a blog series called A Year of Going Solo earlier this year. Since seeing her posts, I have dipped into this tract myself twice, the most recent time back in May. It’s very close to the Big Thicket’s Interpretive Center which makes it easy to access if you are short on time but need to get into the Thicket for a few moments. Some highlights from that trip: Wooly rosemallow, Hibiscus lasiocarpos blooming. Tall green milkweed, Asclepias hirtella—I was very excited to see this one in bloom! I love when I come across…