• Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Galveston in Winter

    If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed by email! Thanks for visiting! I had hoped that we would have made a trip back to the beach, from our last trip in the summer, before now, but here we were, late December and just now getting back to the beach. Back then I think we thought online school was going to be different and we could just skip Zoom lessons and do work later. Which, we *could* do, but it turned out to be more complicated than just being flexible and up and going to the beach in the middle of the week. So, we…

  • Family

    Christmas 2020

    Our Christmas was quiet this year. Christmas Day is always quiet and then the day after we typically pack up and head to DFW and spent the next 5-6 days visiting 3 different groups of families. This year none of that was happening. We did a modified Christmas with one group via Zoom and I called my parents on Christmas Day and had Forest open his presents from them while they could watch. It was a bit somber and sad to think about missing out on holiday goodies and hugs and time with the family but I know it was for the best. Since seeing reports of record travel at…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Escaping the House to Lake Creek Nature Preserve

    On Saturday Forest and I escaped the house for a short hike. We had actually first escaped mid-afternoon on Thursday for a wonderful, warm and sunny hike to another nature preserve after a very frustrating online school morning. But otherwise we’d mostly been clinging to the house from online school to work, and if the weather was nice we would go out and wander the yard a bit. Chris had gone to Mississippi the Sunday before and I was single parenting it for the next week+. And by the end of the week my mental reserves were gone and getting outside was needed. We hadn’t been to Lake Creek Preserve…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Finding Bartonia texana aka: Texas screwstem

    The last two Octobers we’ve tried to find the Texas screwstem, Bartonia texana. And we had no luck finding them. But this time we were successful! Actually, Chris was successful because he went out a day before and spent more time looking and expanded his search zone and came home to tell us he had found them! So we made a backpacking trip out of it and stayed out there for a night so we’d have time to take photos and relax a bit for all of the effort bushwhacking to this location involves. A faded luna moth returning to the soil of the forest. A three-toed box turtle, Terrapene…

  • Thoughts

    Life Lately | December 2020

    Thinking: Wow, I haven’t written one of these up since August! It has crossed my mind a couple of times to sit down and write one but I never made the space to do so. So, here I am, sitting down in the last month of this very insane year of 2020! If you’d asked me in January or February this year what December would look like I would not have said, “Sparingly going places, thrilled to go to the grocery store as an outing, wearing masks like nobody’s business, and pondering a very different Christmas season than is typical.” And here we are. We’re on the home stretch but…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    A Bit of Wildlife from the Texas Hill Country

    While I get things together to write blog posts, here are some videos to entertain you! First, Chris put together this video from the trail cameras. Lots of great animals to see and some LOLs at the 7 minute mark from some pigs! Some strong Texas leaf cutter ants at Guadalupe River State Park (Bauer Unit) The western pygmy blue butterfly nectaring! I should have taken a longer video and taken it landscape but I was in get-what-I-can-get mode before it flew off. Some moving water scenes along the Guadalupe River on the Bauer Unit. And more moving water scenes from the Bauer Unit—this would be an excellent swimming hole…

  • Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Thanksgiving in the Hill Country

    Oh boy, it is only 6:36pm as I write this post up but wow, does it feel like it should be 9:30 and time for bed! The three of us spent the last week camping in the Texas Hill Country, first to Guadalupe River State Park for three nights and then further west to South Llano River State Park for another three nights. Overall the weather was spectacular and only this morning did we encounter any rain and that was after we bolted early and hit the road by 8am, driving through rain on I-10 the entire drive home. I was a bit skeptical if we should continue our trip…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Eclosed on the Chinquapin Trail

    A few weekends ago for Halloween we went camping at Huntsville State Park. On one of the days we were out we hiked the loop around the lake, the Chinquapin Trail. It’s one of the most popular trails and was very popular that gorgeous weekend. Out on the berm that creates the dam to Lake Raven is a grassy area. Being as it was a warm day and a few autumn blooming plants were still providing late season nectar, the butterflies were fairly active. Gulf fritillaries were the primary butterfly I noticed but there were common buckeyes as well. Chris and Forest were about 50 yards ahead of me because…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Along the Sandy Creek Trail

    Auricularia sp. In early October we headed east to Martin Dies Jr. State Park for our first car camping trip since late February/early March. Our plans when we made reservations back in the summer were for three nights out there as it was a long weekend for Forest from school. But Leo was still around at that point and we knew we could not be gone for more than one night with him, even with the pet sitter coming by. Plus one of the myriad of tropical systems we’ve had this year was coming in along the Louisiana border once again and that thwarted our plans as well. We found…