Outdoors

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Guadalupe River Shoreline Explorations | Guadalupe River State Park

    Hi there. It’s been a few weeks. I haven’t felt much like writing here and to be honest, I’ve got a huge back log of things to share from not only Thanksgiving but I still have Alaska items to share, and now I have posts from Arkansas and a camping trip we took over Easter—and it’s a lot. I have enough photos processed to write a few weeks worth of posts but the last thing I feel like doing is sitting down and writing. I feel stuck in my writing here. I basically feel like I just do trip reports and while I enjoy that I need to figure out…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Spring Wake-up at Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary

    Reaching back into late February with this post to go with a couple of others I wrote about our hike at the REL Sandyland Sanctuary. I actually had to look it up because I was unsure of who Mr. Larsen was, and it turns out he was an executive with Time, Inc. and as a conservationist later in life he organized the Nantucket Conservation Fund and joined the board of The Nature Conservancy, who later dedicated this tract of land to him when it became a sanctuary. A glimpse down to Village Creek before we headed for the trails. Swamp Azalea, Rhododendron viscosum I imagine it is a much different…

  • Arkansas,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    To the Ozarks

    It’s back to the grind for us this week, but last week Chris, Forest, and I checked out of state and drove to Arkansas to spend the week in a cute AirBnB cabin on the SE edge of the Ozark National Forest. Between cooler weather and the state of Arkansas not being on their spring break, it was fairly quiet for us on the trails except in a few areas. We could see that ramping up as we left our cabin on Saturday, the start of a glorious weekend meant an influx of ORVs, and canoes and kayaks being driven into the Ozarks as we passed heading south to I-40.…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors

    Early Spring Lepidopterans at Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary

    These days I almost always just keep the 75-300mm lens on my camera when out for a hike. Any time I use a normal lens I’m always sad because I can’t get a good photo of a butterfly or an insect and I would prefer the ability to get a good wildlife shot than a landscape shot for now. So, of course, that was the lens I had on me during our hike two weekends at the Sandyland Sanctuary. While it wasn’t quite a lepidopteran extravaganza it was fairly eventful and exciting outing! The first find was this moth which I believe to be a Ruined Chocolate, Argyrostrotis deleta. My…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors

    Checking in on an Old Friend at Roy E. Larsen Sandyland Sanctuary

    February 2016 February 2021 Yesterday we drove over to the Beaumont area, Lumbertson and Silsbee to be more precise, because I found a COVID-19 vaccine appointment over there earlier this week. Among our state’s list for current requirements in 1A and 1B is a BMI of more than 30. I had known this for a few weeks but vaccine distribution was far harder to find in January and February but some of the lists I had signed us up for in January were finally starting to have some movement but most didn’t have appointments by the time I saw emails or were still in the stage of, ok you are…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    The Painted Bunting Trail at Guadalupe River State Park

    Looking back at these photos from November feels like a lifetime ago. For one, it feels like nature was still abundant even if it was fall. There were butterflies and moths we saw during that Thanksgiving week we were camping—flowers blooming, nature was nature-ing. And now that we’re in this post-freeze haze and hurtling towards spring, I know growth is around the corner. But seeing these photos makes me happy. We’re going to go through the cycle once again. The Painted Bunting Trail is 2.8 miles and divided by the park road which allows you to park at one of two parking lots and allows you to make the complete…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Looking for Nature at Schreiner Park in Junction, Texas

    I realize I haven’t finished writing about our time camping and hiking at Guadalupe River State Park over Thanksgiving but I’m going to transition to a stop-over between that state park and South Llano River State Park, where we spent the second half of our camping excursion. Junction, Texas is a hill country town without the glitz and glamour of being a hill country town like Fredericksburg, Boerne, and similar have turned into. I mean, I love those places and cannot wait until I can be a tourist again and shop in little boutiques and enjoy local restaurants. Junction still has that small-town farm life feel, though it is a…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Aransas NWR at New Years

    We arrived at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge far later in the afternoon than I think we had expected. After leaving the house very early for the long drive down to Goose Island State Park and tinkering around there, plus a detour into Rockport for lunch which left us sitting in an obnoxiously long McDonald’s drive-thru line (thanks to a kiddo who only eats McDonald’s nuggets), and then eating said lunch at the Rockport beach park, we arrived at Aransas in mid-afternoon. Our first stop was the observation tower at the end of the road where, of course, a large group of people were already there. A photogenic group of turkey…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Goose Island State Park at New Years

    After our arrival to Goose Island State Pak back on New Years Day, we stopped off at the short boardwalk in the marsh on the north end of the bayside campsites. There were several wading birds in the areas, including these roseate spoonbills, to keep our attention for a few minutes. The wind was brisk, blowing off of Copano Bay from the north, so we were bundled up despite the sunny day. Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea Common Loon, Gavia immer Cannonball Jelly, Stomolophus meleagris There were quite a few cannonball jellies on the shoreline and it was a good opportunity for Forest to feel the hard, rubbery bell of…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    In the Company of Giants | Bald Cypress Trail at Guadalupe River State Park

    When many people think of bald cypress trees they immediately think swamps and wetlands, maybe focused in on the areas in the southern US. But the Texas Hill Country has some stellar examples of these trees growing along their creeks and rivers, and the ones lining the Guadalupe River are excellent specimens to behold! Some of the largest trees we’ve seen can be found on these banks, somehow evading the logging industry when their swampy counterparts didn’t. The ones along the Guadalupe River were a feast for the eyes and it didn’t take much to want to hug them and ask them what they had seen over the centuries, to…