• Florida,  Outdoors

    There’s a reason I hug trees.

    Unfortunately I did not get to hug this one as you can see it is/was behind a fence. This is a photo of Chris and I on the Florida Trail last January, almost a full year ago, with The Senator. The Senator is no more. You see, this estimated 3,500 year old bald cypress tree, and 5th oldest tree in the world, burned down Monday morning. Burned down.. It’s almost difficult to fathom. I’m part of a swamp hiking group on Facebook and I happened to check my email Monday morning with a notification stating that the tree had been burned. I quickly went to search for news stories, hoping…

  • Food

    Fun with Fermentation

    Due to the large amount of cabbage we currently have, I finally decided to make the sauerkraut. I debated on what kind of receptacle to use, finally deciding to use the large dutch oven I bought Chris for Christmas. Apparently there are fermenting crocks one can buy, and perhaps if I make sauerkraut in the future after this initial experiment I will buy one. For now the dutch oven will work. I alternated between chopping up the cabbage, rinsing it and then layering it in the dutch oven, sprinkling it thoroughly with salt on each layer. The salt assist with drawing out the water from the cabbage. I went by…

  • Texas

    Oh, Galveston

    Last weekend Chris and I decided to go down to Galveston for the weekend. I’d been wanting to see two friends of ours and we decided to invite them to meet us for lunch down on the Seawall, a place called The Spot. It was a common place for us to go during college and a place we like to go when we return for visits. We met our friends and got to see new babies and chat for awhile during our meal and then afterwards when we walked across the street to the beach. My friend Erika’s daughter, Kayla, had a blast playing in the water and I think…

  • Food,  Gardening

    The Garden Store

    I pulled all of this out of our garden plots today. I could have harvested more but it is much easier and better to go every few days and get what you need. Tomorrow night I’m going to roast the beets and turnips with carrots, then cook up the turnip greens for dinner. The tops to the beets will be saved to be added into my green smoothies. Some of the Chioggia beets were getting rather large. I am loving the striped pattern on the stalks! Also, a few of the turnips were rather large and I will probably work my way through the larger ones this week in order…

  • Family,  Food

    Transformation of a Cabbage

    Our Chinese cabbage has been doing great but they are starting to bolt. We’ve been making stir fry with some of the cabbage and it has been great. Ok, *Chris* has made the stir fry. Anyway, I have been dying to make my own sauerkraut after seeing my brother make his own last year so that is on my agenda to make but I’ve also wanted to make chow chow. My grandmother used to make it a lot, well she canned most things out of her garden or from the farmers market and had a shelf full of jarred items in a small hallway in the house I visited growing…

  • Texas

    The Lace Cactus | Echinocereus reichenbachii

    This little cactus was not very common at Enchanted Rock but we did see several clumps of it nestled in the rocks. Because I am not very good at cactus identification I Googled and came up with the plant list for the park and narrowed it down from there. Luckily there weren’t many cacti listed. I initially thought it was a Mammillaria species but with some help from a Flickr friend Brad Wilson he corrected me with this species name. I’d initially googled this name with the var. reichenbachii listed and couldn’t find a good comparison photo but without the variety listed it was easy to see that this was…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    An Enchanted New Years | Enchanted Rock Pt. 1

    I’m kind of amazed that I grew up in Texas and never visited Enchanted Rock. My parents took us camping a couple times a year but I know we mostly drove within two hours of home. This would have been nearly five hours away, so probably not a feasible trip back then. I had mentioned this park as a place to go on our Texas Roadtrip in September 2010 but for some reason it didn’t make it to our list of places to visit. Well, we finally did make it. The park itself is in the boondocks between Llano and Fredericksburg, west of Austin. The road the entrance is on…

  • Thoughts

    Outdoor Ethics

    Over the years Chris and I have experienced a variety of wild places, some remote and others in the frontcountry. While for the most part we encounter lovely places that are in generally good condition, we often come across places that are wretchedly trashed or abused in some manner. For New Years weekend we went to Enchanted Rock, one of the most visited state parks in Texas. To add to the crowdedness we of course went on a holiday weekend. The place was crawling with people, most heading to the summit of Enchanted Rock, but others bouncing around Little Rock and some of the other subsidiary rocks nearby. Several ‘backcountry’…

  • Texas,  Travel & Places

    The Other Side of the Tunnel

    On Wednesday I showed you Chris exiting a small tunnel that we found (and I’m sure thousands of other people have too over the years) at Enchanted Rock. These photos show the way we came in. Wayyyy back there we had to squeeze down, crawling a bit. Right before we went through here, Chris slid down between some other rocks to see about it being our potential cave but found it to be a dead end and crawled out after he hoisted his camera gear up to me. Good thing I let him check it out first! I bet there are other nifty places to find there.