Outdoors

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    A Crisp Winter Weekend

    Right when Forest started school I looked up his school calendar to see what holidays he had off this spring. Most holidays Chris and I do not get off–the perils of working in the private sector. Boy, do I miss all of those holidays I used to get at my job prior to this one. And rather than suffer through working from home while Forest is off school for the holiday or Chris and I taking turns taking a day off, I figured we might as well take PTO and make it a three day camping weekend whenever these holidays came up. Of course, the first holiday was coming up…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Chinquapin Trail Loop at Huntsville State Park

    As the saying goes, “What a month this week has been!” Let’s step outside for a bit, even if it is in retrospect, to last Halloween weekend at Huntsville State Park. It was our first camping trip of the season, the first since our last one in late February/early March before the pandemic closed everything down. I believe it was Huntsville State Park that was our last camping trip, too! We set off for the large outer loop, the Chinquapin Trail, around the lake. Forest decided these roots along the trail were mountains to climb so he crawled up them and proceeded to do that for several others we found…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    September on the Lone Star Trail

    Whiteleaf Mountain Mint, Pycnanthemum albescens Digging back into some of my drafted posts, today we are going back to September and yet another jaunt on the Lone Star Trail. I really need to figure out what gaps we have left on this trail. We’ve very nearly finished a lot of the portion west of I-45 but there are some small gaps where we turned around and didn’t connect. This trip was after our yearly trip to a patch of beautyberries where we take birthday photos for Forest. A wine colored fruiting beautyberry. Violet Coral Fungus, Clavaria zollingeri This may be one of the coolest fungi I have ever come across…

  • Alaska,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Along the Nenana River

    I still have a good handful of posts that share from our August/September 2019 trip to Alaska. There’s no reason I shouldn’t have wrapped these up a lot sooner than 1.5 years later but I hope in the coming months I can get everything squared away. I think part of the problem is I really wish we could travel and get to Alaska again. There was so much to see and explore up there that even if we lived there it would take a lifetime to get to it all. This will be the last post from along the Denali Highway, where we stopped alongside the Nenana River as it…

  • Famous Trees of Texas,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    New Year’s on the Texas Coastal Bend

    We checked in with an old friend yesterday, The Big Tree, aka: The Goose Island Oak. We hadn’t been by to see it since Forest’s second birthday, before Hurricane Harvey. Of course, we had plans to visit the year he turned three but Harvey struck the week before and shattered those plans. And it has taken us this long to get back down to Rockport. She’s showing signs of wear and age but thankfully there’s a team working to keep her going after all these years. Before we made it to the oak, we stopped into the main area of Goose Island State Park to walk around and go out…

  • Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Galveston in Winter

    I had hoped that we would have made a trip back to the beach, from our last trip in the summer, before now, but here we were, late December and just now getting back to the beach. Back then I think we thought online school was going to be different and we could just skip Zoom lessons and do work later. Which, we *could* do, but it turned out to be more complicated than just being flexible and up and going to the beach in the middle of the week. So, we never made it there. Since we found ourselves with some time over this holiday break we made the…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Escaping the House to Lake Creek Nature Preserve

    On Saturday Forest and I escaped the house for a short hike. We had actually first escaped mid-afternoon on Thursday for a wonderful, warm and sunny hike to another nature preserve after a very frustrating online school morning. But otherwise we’d mostly been clinging to the house from online school to work, and if the weather was nice we would go out and wander the yard a bit. Chris had gone to Mississippi the Sunday before and I was single parenting it for the next week+. And by the end of the week my mental reserves were gone and getting outside was needed. We hadn’t been to Lake Creek Preserve…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Finding Bartonia texana aka: Texas screwstem

    The last two Octobers we’ve tried to find the Texas screwstem, Bartonia texana. And we had no luck finding them. But this time we were successful! Actually, Chris was successful because he went out a day before and spent more time looking and expanded his search zone and came home to tell us he had found them! So we made a backpacking trip out of it and stayed out there for a night so we’d have time to take photos and relax a bit for all of the effort bushwhacking to this location involves. A faded luna moth returning to the soil of the forest. A three-toed box turtle, Terrapene…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    A Bit of Wildlife from the Texas Hill Country

    While I get things together to write blog posts, here are some videos to entertain you! First, Chris put together this video from the trail cameras. Lots of great animals to see and some LOLs at the 7 minute mark from some pigs! Some strong Texas leaf cutter ants at Guadalupe River State Park (Bauer Unit) The western pygmy blue butterfly nectaring! I should have taken a longer video and taken it landscape but I was in get-what-I-can-get mode before it flew off. Some moving water scenes along the Guadalupe River on the Bauer Unit. And more moving water scenes from the Bauer Unit—this would be an excellent swimming hole…

  • Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Thanksgiving in the Hill Country

    Oh boy, it is only 6:36pm as I write this post up but wow, does it feel like it should be 9:30 and time for bed! The three of us spent the last week camping in the Texas Hill Country, first to Guadalupe River State Park for three nights and then further west to South Llano River State Park for another three nights. Overall the weather was spectacular and only this morning did we encounter any rain and that was after we bolted early and hit the road by 8am, driving through rain on I-10 the entire drive home. I was a bit skeptical if we should continue our trip…