Hiking

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Bartonia texana in the Big Thicket

    If you’ve been reading this blog for a few years, you may remember my post from 2020 about finding Texas screwsteam, Bartonia texana. Last year we didn’t go back to the same location and instead went searching in the Big Thicket. I’m being intentionally vague on locations because it is a sensitive plant species and is under review by USFWS for listing under the ESA. This location was a bit easier to get to, less bushwhacking, for which I was grateful. Two years of extensive bushwhacking to the other location had worn on me, though I do like the location once we get there! And there were a lot more…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors

    Easter Empty Field Explorations

    We drove up to DFW for Easter this year. It’s been quite a few years since we’ve done that, instead opting for camping during Easter. But a variety of reasons had us without a reservation for a campsite and we opted to spend some time up there this year. I snuck away on Saturday afternoon to go check out an empty field down the street from my parent’s house. Well, truthfully, I had steps to get in for my FitBit challenge so that was a major reason, but I had driven by earlier that morning on the way to the grocery store and decided it needed to be walked through…

  • Florida,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    The Nature of Apalachicola River Wildlife and Environmental Area

    The allure of the area around Apalachicola is that there are so many public land recreation opportunities that you really can’t go wrong with just about anywhere you decide to go. Our first full day of Spring Break we opted to start out our explorations at the Apalachicola River WEA because it had both car and trail access, plus a boardwalk out into Apalachicola Bay at the south end. A note, if you do decide to visit, know that some areas may be impassable with a typical car and many trucks during certain times of year. Water covers some of the more remote roads and it forced us to turn…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Meeting the Pitcher Plant Mining Moth (Exyra semicrocea)

    A few years ago I heard about pitcher plant mining moths on a podcast, probably the In Defense of Plants podcast but I can’t figure out which episode, and I’ve wanted to see one ever since. We’ve been out to the pitcher plants at Watson Preserve and the Pitcher Plant Bog in the Big Thicket several times but I’ve forgotten to look at them. Chris recently learned about them too and was interested in trying to find them while we were in Florida but there weren’t really many new pitchers growing yet out in the bogs so we didn’t see any moths. Last week, however, he was out in the…

  • Florida,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Sounds from Apalachicola River WEA

    I thought I’d share a few short videos I took from our first day in the Apalachicola Area. Rain had moved through the day before so the area was quite soggy and water was moving through the area quickly. I wish I’d taken a few photos at least of the very flooded areas there was no way our truck was going to make it through. A very active culvert. It’s hard to explain, but as we drove around all I could think was, “Yes, this is how it should be” because this is what we did in Florida—drive around various public lands to go and explore. It also reminded me…