Outdoors

  • Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    July at Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve

    At the end of July, Chris and I went over to Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve to do some archival document scanning for the weekend. Forest was in DFW with grandparents and it provided the opportunity to do this work without the angst of an almost 9 year old wondering when mom and dad were going to be done with their boring volunteer work! I actually didn’t get to walk around the Preserve that much because I was mostly stuck inside the gallery scanning—plus it was hot—but I did get out and see things a few times to take a breather. The area that was prescribed burned earlier this year…

  • Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places,  Wildflowers

    Variations on a Species

    I’m struggling with what to write here these days. Summer has breezed by, school has started (third grade for Forest!), and we’re limping along with summer until we can get to fall. I suppose the best way to write here is to actually just sit down and write. I almost put this off for yet another day/week because I haven’t actually edited my camera photos of these and so you’ll have to suffice with mediocre phone photos. At the end of July, Chris and I spent a weekend at Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve scanning in some documents there for preservation reasons. We took a break late in the afternoon…

  • Good Things on Sunday Morning,  Memes,  Outdoors,  Thoughts

    Good Things on a Sunday Morning *Monday Edition* | 3

    Hello! My head hasn’t been in the right space to be spending much time here so here’s a post to get me back into the groove again! I have been very engrossed in working to save Fairfield Lake State Park, something I wrote about here a few months ago. Things have really hit the fan in the last month after TPWD voted to use eminent domain to save the state park. The developer, who took ownership of the park, lake and adjacent properties on June 1st, has since gone on a whirlwind PR tour in Freestone county to sway local opinion. There was a last minute PR dog and pony…

  • Native Plants,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places,  Wildflowers

    Chance meeting with Lindheimer’s beebalm (Monarda lindheimeri)

    In early June I drove up to Fort Parker State Park hang out with a couple of friends for the weekend. Typically we get an Airbnb or a cabin at Fort Boggy State Park, but Stephanie and her husband recently bought a travel trailer and we have upgraded our options for meetups! I’ll write more on that trip later, but before I left I scouted directions on how to get there. I chose a slightly slower route in favor of looking for wildflowers and the chance to iNat in some lesser known locations. That decision paid off really well! I wasn’t more than 30 minutes from home when I spied,…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Thoughts

    Respite on Drakes Creek

    It was oppressively hot this weekend, as it has been for the last two weeks. Spring, our wonderfully mild spring, went *poof* once the calendar hit June. I’m glad we had such mild temperatures for so long, it made being outside much more enjoyable. Now? I’m re-thinking my twice daily laps around the yard at work. Opening the office door this last week has been met with the feeling of the inside of a furnace. So much for the pleasant tour about the yard looking for wildlife–I’m now hurrying to get my steps in and stretch my legs and back inside to the cool AC. Even outside time after dinner…

  • Mothing,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Mothing at Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve

    A couple of years ago Chris bought lights and gear to set up so we could go mothing when we were camping, or even in our own backyard. What is mothing? Well, it’s looking for moths, of course! You can do it in a very basic manner, using a flashlight or porch light and try to attract moths that way, which does work to a limited extent. Or you can buy special lights, get a white cloth like a sheet or something similar, hang it up between some trees, and you can really get going with attracting moths! We’ve mothed in our own backyard and at many places we’ve camped…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Weekend at Ivy’s

    A few months ago I was on the Texas Land Conservancy website looking into a property I wanted to get onto near Angelina National Forest. Unfortunately that property was closed to the public and so I went digging into their website a little more to find out just what public lands they had available that I could get onto. That’s how I ended up coming across the Spring Weekend at Ivy’s. I emailed the TLC first to ask if their $50 pricing included the entire weekend for the whole family and it did! I sent the link to Chris and after a brief conversation I officially paid the money and…

  • Memes,  Outdoors,  Wildflower Wednesday

    Narrowleaf Goldshower, Galphimia angustifolia | Wildflower Wednesday

    Let’s rewind to July 2021 and a hike at Pedernales Falls State Park for today’s Wildflower Wednesday. We were there to celebrate my birthday weekend and if I recall the hike was rather cloudy, which was probably good considering the heat. When I found this flower back along the Wheatley Trail near the property fenceline, I thought it looked very similar to a tropical gardening plant I knew in Florida, thryallis. Which makes sense because they are both in the genus Galphimia! There’s not a lot of information online about the species but you can find it throughout the Texas Hill Country from Austin to San Antonio and scattered west…

  • Outdoors

    The Peace of a Tent

    Over the weekend we drove up to Elkhart to camp at a new-to-us location, the Ivy Payne Preserve. It’s a Texas Land Conservancy property, donated to the TLC by Ivy Payne in the late 1980s. I stumbled into the whole ordeal in early March when looking into a different TLC property to see if I could access it (I couldn’t) and decided to click around to see what other properties they might have available that were open to the public. Enter the Ivy Payne Preserve and the Weekend at Ivy’s campout! It turned out to be a wonderful weekend, full of meeting new people, hiking a rarely visited property, and…

  • Cemetery Botanizing,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Cemetery Botanizing – Tillis Prairie Cemetery | 3

    Oxalis dillenii Carolina anemone, Anemone caroliniana – so glad I got to enjoy these this spring! More prolific than I expected. Missouri violet, Viola missouriensis The non-native largelower sorrel, Oxalis debilis Sidewalk firedot, Xanthocarpia feracissima – I think. Cemeteries are a great spot to find interesting lichens! Bulbous woodrush, Luzula bulbosa – I’m beginning to really love this plant and wish I saw it sold in garden centers. Beaked cornsalad, Valerianella radiata Another Missouri violet Stemless spiderwort, Tradescantia subacaulis What remains of a poor armadillo. It has been a couple of weeks since I’ve done any cemetery botanizing (or naturalizing!) and I’m feeling it a bit. Twice a week physical…