• Thoughts

    Current Obsessions | August 2022

    Things I have been loving and/or obsessed with lately: This cover of Metallica’s Nothing Else Matters by Phoebe Bridgers. It came on during a Spotify playlist earlier in July and I have now become obsessed with it. Subsequently I have started listening to Phoebe’s music as well, which as it turns out, is right up my alley. There’s also a Miley Cyrus cover of that same song but I don’t like it nearly as much. via GIPHY The final season of Better Call Saul—Holy Smokes, it has been a good one! Two episodes left and we will finally have some closure to the entire Breaking Bad enterprise. I had thought…

  • Gardening

    Purple Hyacinth Bean Happiness

    I couldn’t tell you the last time I grew purple hyacinth bean, Lablab purpureus. Ok, so a quick search through my archives suggests it may have been back in 2013, and wow what a different scenario the garden is now compared to then. I decided to grow this continental African native this year on its own trellis in one of my beds, primarily after my cucumbers failed to thrive earlier this summer. It was such an easy replacement and the beans grew very well, tolerating the drought conditions happily. I wasn’t sure if they would bloom in the constant heat but alas, they have rewarded my patience! A certain delight…

  • Native Plants,  Outdoors

    Amorpha paniculata in the wild!

    Two weekends ago when we went to visit Gus Engeling WMA we had finished our jaunt into the bog area and had turned up the A/C and decided to just drive around the rest of the WMA and jump out if we saw something interesting. It gave me a lot of Florida vibes and driving through WMAs there and oh, how I miss how much public land Florida had (has). Chris inched by some plants and out of the corner of my eye I spotted something and I exclaimed, “Amorpha!” I stumbled over the words for a moment because I had dumbly mistaken another plant for an Amorpha back in…

  • 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

    Beech Creek Explorations in the Big Thicket

    To continue a bit from last week’s post with the nodding nixies, today I’ll share a few items from the Beech Woods trail at the Beech Creek Unit of the Big Thicket. We’ll start with this Rosy Wolfsnail, Euglandina rosea, seen near the picnic area at the trail head. Followed by an invasive Asian Tramp Snail, Bradybaena similaris. And a self portrait with my best kiddo! That tooth is mostly grown in now. This was a very interesting mushroom I found, turns out to be a Stalked Puffball-in-Aspic, Calostoma cinnabarinum. Chris is admiring something about this tree but I have no idea what! Patient poses for mom on a very…

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

    First Encounters with Nodding Nixies (Apteria aphylla)

    Apteria aphylla, nodding nixies, were one of those fall blooming species that I had been dying to see for several years now. Chris couldn’t believe I hadn’t come across any but we hadn’t been in their habitat locations during the fall and typically he’s the one doing the field work these days which meant he’s had ample opportunities to see them, moreso than I have. But, seeing them in person finally happened for me when I came across the in the Big Thicket last year. And there were tons to see! Nodding nixies are in the Burmanniaceae family, which means if you’ve ever seen a Burmannia spp. before, you know…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors

    Kleb Woods Wanderings | April 2022

    During the summer of 2020 a new road opened that connected the road our office is on to FM 2920 which made getting to that road much faster than it used to be, which entailed going down two long and windy roads. This direct shot is equal parts good and bad because while we are thrilled about getting to 2920 much faster and now have access to run into town or to a local Mexican restaurant for lunch, it means a lot of forested tracts are now open to development. Several have been cleared this summer. I might be less upset about all of this is a Kroger or HEB…

  • Gardening

    Ruby Eclipse Sunflowers

    One of the highlights of early summer were the Ruby Eclipse sunflowers I sowed in the spring. I planted a couple of different varieties and these were the only ones to come up but it wasn’t until they bloomed that I was able to figure out which ones they were. I watched as they went from knee high to chest high and then eventually towering over my head. I thought these were tall but I have a tithonia right now (Mexican sunflower) that’s several feet taller than these sunflowers were! I originally bought these from Floret but I believe you can find them other places online. I’m saving seed for…

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

    Rhexia + Green Lynx Spider

    On Saturday, Chris and I drove over to Gus Engeling WMA east of Fairfield after we dropped off Forest with Chris’ mom and step-dad for a week visit. He’ll then go to my parents for another week after that. To cap off our kid-free time, we drove over to the WMA to look for some bogs that are tucked away in the property and to see the property itself for the first time. It’s been one that I’ve wanted to visit for a few years now and with good reason—there are some very unique habitats and plants there! We will definitely be going back when it isn’t hot as Hades.…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Io Moth Caterpillars in the Big Thicket

    You may have noticed the uptick in posts here this week. That’s because I am finally returning to blogging regularly after relinquishing some of the grip social media has had on it. What I would have been posting to social media I am returning to posting here. Blogging, for me, really took a hit in 2020, though there had been a downturn for about a year before that. And looking back now, I realize just how much never made it to the blog. Even some of the stuff I would share to social media, not everything even made it there. But, I’ve been feeling to tug to get back here…