It is our first full weekend here in our new town. The first weekend we went back home, last weekend we went to the beach to visit with friends and this weekend while we are doing some things in various greater Houston areas, we are sticking to local.
This morning we got up at our normal work-week time and went over to the Kleb Woods Nature Center. Chris purchased a book 60 Hikes within 60 Miles of Houston and it was listed in there as one of the places to go, plus it is relatively close to our house. We weren’t sure what we would see or if it would be worth our while but we really enjoyed it.
I did take my camera and was initially going to do photos for a Nature in the City post but my sleepy brain took a long time to wake up and instead I enjoyed the crisper Fall-like air (it was like 78* instead of 90*) and the woods were bustling with a bit of activity.
The Nature Center itself is lined with many hummingbird feeders and they were zipping around from feeder to feeder, tree to tree and zooming through the air. It was a sight to see! The outside windows have feeders attached to them and at one point one sat to drink for a few seconds at only about four feet away! It was pretty spectacular! Chris is planning on going back tomorrow morning to try to get photos. I hope he succeeds!
The area is mostly pine and yaupon with a few open areas such as along a fence line. The property used to be a farm and I’m sure the website details it more, but the owner didn’t pay taxes for years and years so they worked out a deal that the city of Houston would pay the back taxes and seize the property but allow the owner to live there until he died. He died in the late 90s. The homestead is still up and is normally open to view, but we were there a bit too early. A rusted windmill is being overtaken by yaupon and vines, but you can take a side trail back to check it out. They’ve even let his old ‘trash’ and farm equipment, now covered in pine needles and being swallowed by the yaupon.
In front of his house is something very cool, the old garden. It is mostly weeded over but vegetables still come up. We decided, whether true or not, that perhaps they just left whatever was growing come back year after year, and a watermelon was taking up a huge portion of the garden. This garden was quite large, reminiscent of my grandparent’s garden. Chris said he wanted double that size. I told him he was going to have to be a farmer to take care of it all! Tomatoes, okra, squash and some other vegetables were still poking through the weeds.
We did a few errands after that and then went by our garden plot to check on it. The seeds Chris has planted are doing spectacular. The golden zucchini is looking like it might start flowering soon! I’m excited about that! Maybe this week I’ll get some new photos up of the plot. Last night we picked some peppers that were in the community plots and Chris threw them in the stew he made. We’re in a stew/soup making mode and now have enough to get us through a week or two of lunches. I also picked some fresh mint and boiled it to make tea. It is very good! There’s a sprawling rosemary bush waiting for me to come up with a good use for it and Chris is thinking of harvesting a bunch of basil and making pesto for the winter.
We certainly have food on our mind! I just remember being on the AT and dreaming up all sorts of recipes and foods that I wanted to eat. And now, I can do it! Jennifer Pharr Davis wrote a post on grattitude and how much the trail shows her each summer to be thankful for all of the conveniences we have in modern life. Food is definitely one of them to be thankful for!
The rest of our weekend is going to be spent with friends and doing some more hiking on Monday. Hopefully I can wade through some more photos and get a few blogs up for this week!
Happy long weekend if you have one!