It’s been awhile since I went out and took photos in the garden using the reverse macro technique. Since Chris got me a new 18-55 lens for my birthday, I’m using my old lens (which had some connection problems) for things like reverse macro and freelensing when I think to use it. Here’s a bit of what I shot last week; I mostly wanted to shoot the seedlings out in the vegetable garden.
Before breaking down camp and heading home after our camping trip, we went for morning hike along the Wild Horse Creek, Highway, and Ashe Juniper trails. We saw no one along the trails until we were almost back to the car. The trail starts along Wild Horse Creek which is a pretty, spring-flowing creek that looked great for exploring when Forest gets a bit bigger. The trail gently undulates and climbs but levels out after awhile. It was quiet along the trail, not a lot of activity, though plenty of plant identifying to be had for the botany geeks like us. We didn’t complete the Ashe Juniper trail, and instead took a short break at the junction of the second loop and began heading back towards the car. As much as I wanted to have done more trails in the park with elevation gain, I think we all enjoyed just being on another trail with less people.
After our hike up Old Baldy, Chris wanted something more mellow and less terrain oriented. The Frio Canyon Trail takes a loop around the prairie portion of the north end of the park. We hiked it after dinner one evening and it was not busy at all, which made for a pleasant walk. There was a section on the west side of the park, near the road, that felt a little bit like being in south-central Texas, near Brenham, reminding me of the Somerville Trailway; it had a slight bottomland/scrubby marsh feel to it though it certainly was not wet at the time we hiked.
The hike was peaceful, exactly how an evening hike should be. The light just right. The air—probably a little warm but not bad. Definitely a trail that probably gets biked on more than hiked. A great place to look out for deer, turkey, and maybe even feral pigs!
Every time I think the monarchs have moved on and the milkweed has recuperated from being devoured, I find a new round of caterpillars! I’m making plans to be sure to get more milkweed seeds to start for next year because of this very abundant flow these last few months. Next year I think we’re also going to try to bring the caterpillars into a tent so that they can be protected from predators and be ensured to turn into butterflies. We went for a hike over the weekend at Huntsville State Park and they have a really neat wooden structure with mesh sides that Chris liked and mentioned he might consider making something similar. That would be pretty cool to have in the garden; we’ll have to see how that works out. Either way, I’m still amazed by the sheer amount of chompers we’ve had this year. Forest has really enjoyed checking on the caterpillars and will go and scope out the plants when he knows there have been caterpillars on the milkweed.
If you plant it, they will come.
In addition to caterpillars, he also likes watching the planes fly over. We’re on the flight path for IAH.
I was in the mood to make something wearable and relatively easy recently, something to stash-bust my yarn. I came across the Movie Night Cocoon Cardi via Ravelry (this link is Craftsy for those not on Ravelry) and it seemed perfect for the vat of acrylic yarn I have on hand. Plus, it was basically a giant granny square and there’s not much easier than that! The project was incredibly easy and I’m already planning on making at least two more for other people and think I could make a second for myself plus a third for myself using thinner yarn or crochet thread for something with more drape or maybe for using in warmer weather.
This will be perfect for wearing around the house and to take camping, I think. It’s incredibly cozy and I’m so glad I made it! I’ve got the crochet bug so look for more projects from me in the coming months.
Our hike up to Old Baldy last weekend did not start well. We hadn’t been hiking all summer and so it was an adjustment for Forest to get back into the backpack and for Chris to carry him. The trouble started when we left the very busy Pecan Grove camping area to head up the trail when Forest began wailing and throwing himself all over the backpack. Not only is this uncomfortable for Chris, Forest was also trying to sneak his arms out from under the straps and trying to escape. It took us a few minutes to realize he wanted to people watch at the campground instead of going down the trail. We opted to appease him for a few minutes, walking down to the camp store and around the campground before attempting our hike up the trail to Old Baldy. That still didn’t help enough because the first quarter mile of the hike all you could hear was a wailing toddler.
Eventually he did calm down, which greatly helped our sanity and hiking enjoyment. The Old Baldy trail is probably the most popular trail in the park despite it being one of the steepest. Once at the top you get a spectacular view of the surrounding Hill Country!
Having not done any hiking in awhile, there were definitely some strenuous moments along the trail. A few spots required three and four points of contact, particularly when hiking back down. All of that did not deter quite a flow of people to use the trail.
A view of the Frio River.
Along the trail were quite a bit of fall blooming wildflowers coloring the landscape.
Our descent back to the campground included hiking the Foshee Trail to connect a loop with the Bird and White Rock Cave Trails. Both of those trails were relatively quiet compared to the Old Baldy trail.
Most of the trail along the Foshee Trail included quiet ridge walking with a few undulations in terrain. The Bird Trail was steeper as it connected back down to the White Rock Cave Trail.
A look back at Old Baldy.
The hike was great but Chris was pretty beat after carrying a 26 lb toddler up that terrain. We don’t have that kind of elevation change over here in SE Texas which makes that kind of hiking a little tough.
See the original blog post giveaway from Mr. Brown Thumb here
It isn’t often that we’re out in the area SW of San Antonio so when we were there this time around I made sure to grab our tree book to see what might be in the area. We were in luck, just up the road from Garner State Park was the Rio Frio Landmark tree located in the very tiny ‘town’ of Rio Frio located on the east side of the Frio River.
Forest was not interested in taking a nap on Saturday afternoon despite all of my attempts to get him to lay down in the tent so we did what all parents do when they know their kid needs a nap, we took a drive! We headed up to Leakey (pronounced Lay-key) and we weren’t on the road long before he was out. We took a few minutes through the town and noted a few neat places to check out next time we are in the area before we detoured off another farm-to-market road towards Rio Frio. The descriptions in the book are kind of vague and the online information is better but I hadn’t checked out the page since a few days prior to our trip. The only thing we knew to do was drive slowly through town. That was pretty easy but we made it to the river and knew we’d missed the tree. I pulled the book back out and parsed out the information and sure enough we found the tree hiding before a short fence with some overgrown shrubs in front of a pretty Victorian house.
Wouldn’t you like to have a tree like that in your yard?
Since Forest was sleeping we quietly escaped the car to take a few photos while he snoozed.
There were two other trees we could have grabbed along the way home but one had died in the 1980s and was replaced with an offspring tree that is now only 30 years old and the other tree was on private property that the owners didn’t allow visitors to access. At least we were able to see something we might not have otherwise!