• Memes,  Outdoors,  Wildlife Wednesday

    Big Thicket Coral Snake Encounter | Wildlife Wednesday

    It’s been a hot minute since we’ve seen a coral snake so we were delighted to find one crossing the road on our way to the Watson Preserve one evening back in May. The road is lightly traveled, being residential and all, but we still stopped to get out, take photos, and to block other cars from coming and intentionally killing this beauty. We haven’t seen one in our yard in a few years so I figure we’re due for one soon!

  • Outdoors,  Texas,  Thoughts,  Travel & Places,  Wildflowers

    May 2023 at the Big Thicket Pitcher Plant Bog

    In May, we spent a weekend around the Big Thicket, the same weekend we went to the Solo Tract. There will be several posts from this weekend as I divvy them up and share here. On Saturday evening before we went to the Watson Preserve to do some mothing, we stopped in at the Big Thicket Pitcher Plant bog to eat dinner, drive-thru Whataburger. I don’t think I had been to the bog in the early evening before so it was nice seeing it in a different light, literally. Sarracenia alata, yellow pitcher plants in the Big Thicket’s Pitcher Plant Bog Rhexia lutea, yellow meadow beauty–my favorite of the Rhexia…

  • Hiking,  Native Plants,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Thoughts,  Travel & Places

    The Big Thicket Solo Tract | May 2023

    I first heard about the Solo Tract at the Big Thicket from Linda Leinen when she started a blog series called A Year of Going Solo earlier this year. Since seeing her posts, I have dipped into this tract myself twice, the most recent time back in May. It’s very close to the Big Thicket’s Interpretive Center which makes it easy to access if you are short on time but need to get into the Thicket for a few moments. Some highlights from that trip: Wooly rosemallow, Hibiscus lasiocarpos blooming. Tall green milkweed, Asclepias hirtella—I was very excited to see this one in bloom! I love when I come across…

  • Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    July at Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve

    At the end of July, Chris and I went over to Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve to do some archival document scanning for the weekend. Forest was in DFW with grandparents and it provided the opportunity to do this work without the angst of an almost 9 year old wondering when mom and dad were going to be done with their boring volunteer work! I actually didn’t get to walk around the Preserve that much because I was mostly stuck inside the gallery scanning—plus it was hot—but I did get out and see things a few times to take a breather. The area that was prescribed burned earlier this year…

  • Gardening

    In Which the Gardener Actually Does Some Gardening

    It’s dry, y’all. We had a smidge of rain last Thursday evening when a small storm blew through but it was mostly a talkative storm without a lot of precipitation action. I still try to skip watering every now and then, not always with intention, but it isn’t something the plants in the edible garden care too much for, as you can see. I’ve been watering deeply but it isn’t enough. In the main gardens closer to the house, I’m slowly working my way through weeding paths and eventually weeding those beds. Several need some attention but others aren’t too bad. A summer of neglect isn’t a big deal when…

  • Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places,  Wildflowers

    Variations on a Species

    I’m struggling with what to write here these days. Summer has breezed by, school has started (third grade for Forest!), and we’re limping along with summer until we can get to fall. I suppose the best way to write here is to actually just sit down and write. I almost put this off for yet another day/week because I haven’t actually edited my camera photos of these and so you’ll have to suffice with mediocre phone photos. At the end of July, Chris and I spent a weekend at Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve scanning in some documents there for preservation reasons. We took a break late in the afternoon…

  • Thoughts

    Life Lately | July 2023

    Hello. Three posts in July. Four in June. I had already been slowing down posting here this spring but I didn’t mean for things to drop to a trickle. I have been absorbed in writing elsewhere and then even those other places have dropped off the cliff. I’ve been inside my head, drafting posts, drafting emails, drafting other essays, but not showing up here. It isn’t for lack of content but lack of time and then, in attention. I’ve written here several times about the plight of Fairfield Lake State Park but I’ve slowly morphed into taking a more active role in advocating for the preservation of the park, with…

  • Gardening

    Pineland Hibiscus Blooms in the Garden

    Last year I bought pineland hibiscus (Hibiscus aculeatus) seeds from Chill Hill Farms in the Florida Panhandle. Well, my plants are finally big enough to start blooming and I am so delighted! Pineland hibiscus are relatively rare in Texas, primarily seen only around the Big Thicket in Tyler and Hardin counties. They are a little more common in western Louisiana and then much more common in Florida. Once these go to seed, I’m planning to start quite a bit more and I’m tempted to put one plant out in the main garden to see what the deer do. The deer generally eat any other hibiscus plant I’ve put out there…

  • Baby Teddy,  Creative,  Family,  Fun with Film,  Photography


    The last time I had film developed was almost a year ago. Recently, I had four rolls I wanted developed so back in June I sent them off. This time I only had the film developed and no scans done because I got a film scanner back at Christmas! It’s a bit cheaper and my next step to make it even a little more cheaper is to see if I can find a camera shop or photo lab within a 30 minute drive from me so I can get it developed locally. Either way, stockpiling some film for once or twice a year isn’t a big deal but film development…

  • Good Things on Sunday Morning,  Memes,  Outdoors,  Thoughts

    Good Things on a Sunday Morning *Monday Edition* | 3

    Hello! My head hasn’t been in the right space to be spending much time here so here’s a post to get me back into the groove again! I have been very engrossed in working to save Fairfield Lake State Park, something I wrote about here a few months ago. Things have really hit the fan in the last month after TPWD voted to use eminent domain to save the state park. The developer, who took ownership of the park, lake and adjacent properties on June 1st, has since gone on a whirlwind PR tour in Freestone county to sway local opinion. There was a last minute PR dog and pony…