• Florida,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Sandhill Cranes at Riverbend Park

    On our first full day in Florida we went up to Rivebend Park in northern Palm Beach county to paddle on the Loxahatchee River with our friend Gator Man/Tom. At lunch time we pulled off into a large picnic areas to eat and stand up to stretch our legs. As we were sitting at one of the chickees we noticed a sandhill crane that was apparently injured. One of its legs was broken or bent backwards and it appeared to hurt pretty bad. Then we noticed a second crane off behind us on the other side of the picnic area. Soon they started communicating. It’s hard to fathom how loud…

  • Florida,  Travel & Places

    Return to Florida

    Last week Chris and I flew to Florida just as a nasty ice storm was hitting Houston. It was perfect timing. The only problem was our direct flight from Houston to Ft. Lauderdale was cancelled, with no explanation. We scurried to figure out how to get to Florida in the hours of the morning before most gate counters were open in the airport, but Chris was able to get us on a flight to Tampa leaving 10 minutes after our original flight and then connect to Ft. Lauderdale later. We arrived over 2 hours later than we’d wanted, and then spent nearly an hour trying to figure out where our…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors

    Four C Trail Ramblings: Davy Crockett NF | Part I

    On our way home from Nacogdoches a couple of weekends ago, Chris and I decided to hit up a section of the Four C Trail in Davy Crockett National Forest. We weren’t on a mission for a long hike, just a leisurely stroll to stretch our legs and take some photos if the opportunity presented itself. Since I take photos to document the things we do in life in addition to more fine-art nature photography, I took all of the photos and Chris kept his camera in his bag the entire time. The trail is named for the land’s former owner, Central Coal and Coke Company, which in return most…

  • Botanic Gardens,  Gardening

    The Ruby Mize Azalea Garden | SFA Botanic Gardens

    On the west side of University drive and directly across from the Gayla Mize garden is the Ruby Mize Azalea Garden. Unfortunately we were about a month too early for the spectacular blooms of the azaleas, but it was still a nice walk through the small garden here. A camellia that I didn’t catch the name of. More camellias! If only we could keep the deer off of our remaining camelia in our yard… A magnolia bud. Camellia japonica ‘Kujaku-tsubaki’ Camellia ‘Spring Mist’ It was definitely the transition time for the end of the camellias and the beginning of the azaleas. Next year we’ll have to plant to visit east…

  • Outdoors


    Great white egrets have made a roost across the pond in perfect view from our back windows. I haven’t seen any nests yet so I don’t think it’ll turn into a rookery, but you never know.

  • Botanic Gardens,  Gardening

    The Gayla Mize Garden | SFA Botanic Gardens

    On the far east side of the Stephen F. Austin campus is a wooded area that is home to a newer garden in the SFA Botanic Gardens, the Gayla Mize garden. It is definitely a work in progress with new plantings that are only a few years old, but you can see the potential it has in the upcoming years. Camellia yuhsienensis Euonymus phellomanus I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I thought over in this garden, but it was a lovely walk. Lots of interesting species plants from various parts of the world, even a sassafras species from China that we didn’t know about. Back beyond the garden…

  • Gardening

    A Basket of Carrots

    This morning I pulled the carrots and daikon radishes in order to make room for tomatoes here in a few weeks. We’ve eaten a few carrots since they matured (planted them in October I believe) but haven’t really done a whole lot with them otherwise. It took me about two hours to peel them—really, I just finished peeling them a few minutes ago. Chris will blanch and freeze them tonight so we can eat them later on in the year. The daikon radishes had bolted, among the many other winter vegetables that have bolted in the last few weeks. The biggest and longest daikon! I’ll probably take some to work…