• Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Monkey Rock | Lost Maples State Natural Area

    A couple of weekends ago we went to Lost Maples State Natural Area which is located in Vanderpool, Texas, a town west-northwest of San Antonio and south of I-10. Along the east loop, not far from campsite A, we found a sign delineating something called Monkey Rock. A middle aged couple were coming from the opposite direction headed towards the rock too, and I asked them if they had been before, to which they replied they hadn’t and were just as curious as us. The sign didn’t specify distance or anything else so I had no idea if we were in for a hike up the bluffs or what. Instead…

  • Family

    A Couple of Munchkins

    My niece and nephew came down to visit with my mom and sister in law a couple of weekends ago. I love being around my family and it is always fun to have them come visit. I can’t wait to get a couple sets of chairs to put outside so we can spend more time enjoying the yard and watching the deer. This time around my sister in law, Stephanie, opened the front door and found herself practically face-to-face with a deer in our side yard. Deer even enticed her to get out of bed shortly after she’d told the kids to let her lay in bed longer. See, deer…

  • Thoughts


    The habit of writing here definitely begets more writing. My head was cluttered and the urge to just be away from writing in this space overtook me. Spending time working on photos, writing, thinking of something to say, to share—all of it went away. It still isn’t back, but I will force myself to spend a little time writing here again and maybe I will be creative again. There are times that I just miss walking in the woods. The only thing I had to do was to walk and in the evenings I could read books. Sometimes it is just nice to live life and now worry about documenting…

  • Creative,  Thoughts

    Inspiration for the Uninspired

    Maybe this will be some inspiration for you (and me) if you are uninspired (like me) at the moment. A little sunstar through the Hoh Rainforest, some ferns dappled in morning glow. Uninspired lately to sit down and work on photos, to write, to blog, to paint the studio, to do anything creative. Now I am coming down with something that I haven’t pinpointed yet—doesn’t feel like a cold, feels like something possibly worse. Sore neck, extremely sore glands, back of my head hurts. Not sure. Hoping to return soon to wrap up some trip reports and get back to being creative. This holiday weekend will be full getting yard…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors

    Trail Happiness

    A little unfocused…. there, that’s better. Last weekend: hiking, husband, friends, wind, wine, Goldfish cracker, shooting stars, monkey rock, fall colors, overcast, afternoon sun, throngs of people in the middle of nowhere, wildflowers in Fall, spring water, lost in thoughts. Soon I’ll be wrapping up our hike in Washington state, showing you the beautiful sights of Lost Maples State Natural Area and a few other things around here. But for now, I am mellowing out here at home, doing things around here and looking forward to a weekend with family. How are you? (Don’t forget to drop by Sprout Dispatch this week and see what is going on!

  • Creative

    Studio Progress

    I’ve finally started working on painting the studio. The need to create and have a space that is organized and there for me to retreat to when I want has pushed me to get going with putting things together in here. One can of paint is all I bought but it is very clear that I will need at least one more. The deep eggplant paint on the walls is difficult to cover and is taking multiple layers of paint. I’m also painting the baseboards as I’m going. The off-white they were painted does not look good against the bright white of the walls. Listening to music via my mp3…

  • Gardening

    Luffa & Seeds

    The luffa we had growing at the community garden was still going strong when we finally left the garden a little over a week ago. There were fruits growing all over the fence and while I had taken some of the fruits throughout the summer to dry and keep the ‘sponge’ part of the plant for later, I wanted to have a few more. Here are three that I had let dry. The one on the far right I peeled when it was green and the fibers were clearly evident once peeled. I set it outside to dry and ended up leaving it far too long causing it to mold.…

  • Gardening,  Texas

    Farm Fest at the Last Organic Outpost

    About a month ago I saw a post or link via Merriwether’s blog or Facebook feed regarding something called Farm Fest held at the Last Organic Outpost urban farm near downtown Houston. Ever since, I kept an eye out for it in hopes that I would be able to go. Timing worked out and I was able to go on my way home from Beaumont where I’d been visiting Chris over the weekend. (Merriwether was also there and I talked to him for a few minutes, learning about beautyberry jelly and the uses of the horrible invasive Chinese tallow.) I was a little nervous when I exited the highway and…