• Creative,  Fun with Film,  Photography

    Diana Baby 110 Toy Camera | Fun with Film #1

    After Christmas in 2019 I bought some 110 film from Lomography, one of the few places you can buy 110 film these days other than old expired rolls off of Ebay or Etsy, and also a toy camera, the Diana Baby 110. I also had a pink Concord 110 camera from childhood and wanted to take photos with it as well. And so the last 2.5 years I’ve been shooting a photo or two at a time on them. I’m unsure what exactly happened with this photo, I thought perhaps it was supposed to be a double exposure but it looks like half the film is from one photo and…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    First Day Hike – 2022

    Chris and I got out on Saturday morning to get a First Day hike in at Tandy Hills. Every year the Friends of Tandy Hills hosts a First Day hike over the perimeter trail, which is usually done in a group. This year they continued last year’s option of going solo and emailing them and getting a certificate for completing it solo. I haven’t gotten around to submitting for a certificate but I will say it was a lovely 2.5 mile hike. Plus, we got to see sections of the new Broadcast Hill purchase that has expanded this little prairie remnant just east of downtown Fort Worth. As it was…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Wildflowers

    Catchfly Prairie Gentian (Eustoma exaltatum)

    I initially wrote the title of this post as calling this particular species as Texas bluebell. But upon further digging my lumping of all Eustoma sp. together as a Texas bluebell seems to be the wrong way to go. There are three primary species in the US, Catchfly Prairie Gentian Eustoma exaltatum, Texas Bluebell Eustoma grandiflorum, and Showy Prairie Gentian Eustoma russellianum. But then you dig a little further and depending on which site you read, some of these turn into a subspecies of E. exaltatum and other people will use the common name Texas bluebells for them all—and well, maybe it doesn’t actually matter, because common names are common…

  • Gardening

    Raising Monarchs

    One humid morning of July 22nd I had a few hours to myself as Chris took Forest to get a haircut and do a few errands. With a plethora of ways I could spend that time I opted to start working on weeding the flower garden path. I worked, head down, for the better part of an hour and a half and was making good progress. Taking a break to rest my neck from the strain of looking down, I happened to look up right at the moment a female monarch was visiting one of the milkweed patches. I watched her and sure enough her ovipositor was dotting the milkweed…

  • Family,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    2nd Day Hike at Eagle Mountain Park

    First Day Hikes have become more popular in the last several years, which is very good thing, however we weren’t able to get out and enjoy a hike on the first day of 2016. Chris and I had opted to go up to visit our families in DFW during the latter part of our winter break and that encompassed the New Years holiday. After being cooped up for several days due to various visits with family and cold weather, Chris was itching to go for a hike somewhere on the second day of the year. It was a rather lazy start to that Saturday, enjoying bacon cooked by my mom…

  • Outdoors

    Tribute To My Favorite Trails: National Trails Day 2014

    Today was National Trails Day and I was unable to get out and enjoy a local trail as we were working on house related activities. I thought I’d take a few minutes and share a photo from some of my favorite hiking trails and areas over the years. The Florida Trail in Ocala National Forest…you might see a black bear! Caprock Canyon State Park, Texas The view down to the Lake of the Clouds Hut from Mt. Washington. White Mountains National Forest, New Hampshire. Appalachian Trail From the trails at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park, Florida On the Crosstimbers Trail. Lake Texoma, Texas From the trails at the St. Sebastian…

  • Outdoors,  Wildflowers,  Wildscape Photo

    Trout Lilies | In Macro

    Remember back in February how I photographed trout lilies at Tandy Hills? Well, I finally finished processing my macro shots taken with our 65mm macro. And let me tell you, I think this lens is the sweetest thing ever! The photos were awesome and now that we bought the flash to go with it I’ll be able to do more with lower light conditions, which happen easily when using the higher ‘X’ magnifications. Here they are…enjoy! Today I’m also over at Sprout Dispatch, so come by and say hi!

  • Wildflowers

    Texas Wildflowers | Erythronium albidum, Trout Lily

    Trout lilies are wonderful and beautiful native wildflowers, blooming early in the spring, really late winter. The last two years we’ve ventured out to Tandy Hills to check them out. The first year we found many blooms, but last year not so much. This year I ventured out with with my brother to show him where a small population of them were; he’d never seen them. When we arrived I didn’t think there were any blooms yet. I’d thought there would be with the warmer winter we’ve had this year. But it took looking a little closer to find the flowers. Most were just budding but one was fully open.…

  • Outdoors,  Wildflowers

    Texas Wildflowers | Vernonia missurica, Missouri ironweed

    While we were doing our field work in the Big Thicket this late spring and early summer we kept coming across this plant in its pre-blooming stage. No one could figure it out until finally it was identified by Ron Lance. And not much later the plant started blooming and it was beautiful! The tell-tale white stripe in the leaves helped us identify it later on without blooms. This particular plant was photographed at Tandy Hills. I was relieved to see a plant I knew among the many unknown prairie plants that abound the preserve. There were a couple of bugs we tried to photograph that were hanging out on…

  • Wildflowers

    Texas Wildflowers | Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum, Texas bluebells

    This annual Texas native is not very common, though we did see the ones shown above at Tandy Hills. The subtle blue-purple flower deserves more respect than it gets, being out shown by other grand Texas natives like the bluebonnet. You may know this genus as also Lisianthus, which can be found at garden centers. Wildflower.org suggests their rarity is due to their beautiful stature and having been picked too much that they cannot reseed. In the gardening world there are many varieties and cultivars, so you’ll be able to find some variety. More information: +A really good write up on the Eustoma genus and the differences regarding the species.…