• Outdoors

    Halloween Weekend at Huntsville State Park

    If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed by email! Thanks for visiting! A short video I put together on my phone from a camping trip last weekend. I figured out iMovie on my phone and so expect more short videos in the future! Of course I’ll do a proper post eventually—probably February at this rate! haha!

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Watson Preserve in Late June

    I thought I would dust off a few of the drafts languishing in my WordPress files and send some nature out into the world. There’s a lot going on right now and my mind is cluttered with it all, so why not deviate a bit and share some goodness. I had hoped we would get back to Watson Preserve this fall but we haven’t gotten there yet. Maybe in November! Asclepias rubra, red milkweed Actually looking back at these photos brightens my mood a bit. With autumn happening and everything senescing, it is sometimes hard to believe everything was alive and in bloom a few short months ago. A snowy…

  • Family,  Pets

    Over the Rainbow Bridge | Leo

    Our sweet Leo has crossed the Rainbow Bridge. His estimated birthday was May 2004 as he came to us in July 2004 at our West Kendall apartment in Miami. It was the middle of the night and Chris and I were awoken by what sounded like a baby bird chirping. It chirped and chirped, annoying me enough to get out of bed and walk around to the back porch to see what was going on. I could never find anything but the next morning Chris woke me up because he had found the culprit—or rather, Samson had found the culprit! It was a scraggly kitten at the back sliding door,…

  • Gardening

    Aglow on the Pond

    This year the Bidens laevis, the bur margiold or beggar’s ticks, are on fire along the pond! We’ve had them sporadically over the years and then the taro choked them out, so I am delighted that they are returning in force this year in the area that is becoming a wetland behind the pine trees that fell during Hurricane Harvey in 2017. I wish the whole shoreline was covered in them as I recall seeing an entire wetland of them somewhere between Center and San Augustine, Texas 10 years ago near Sabine National Forest. That was gorgeous and it would be wonderful to have the entire pond shoreline lined with…

  • Gardening

    Rufio the Rufous Hummingbird

    It was early September and we were eating dinner and Forest was in his usual eat a bite-turn around to look outside mode and he said he spotted a hummingbird that was red. We figured he had just seen the ruby part of a ruby-throated and didn’t think much about it. The next morning I was working upstairs and had a glimpse of the now dead mimosa tree that the hummingbirds always love to perch on and saw something rust colored. It sat there long enough for me to realize Forest really did mean a completely red bird, not just a throat. Chris was out in the field somewhere and…

  • Thoughts

    Changing Seasons

    The season switch is hitting me hard this year. It’s happening and I am not experiencing it how I normally do. Suddenly it is dark by 7:30 and with some cloudy and wet weather it is more like 7pm. Paired with this, my bike riding endorphins have disappeared with a schedule change the last few weeks. I had been able to get out at lunch for 30 minutes most days of the week and if not I would go after dinner. Losing the light in the evening means I haven’t gone as much in the evenings and when Forest switched teachers a few weeks ago she now often does Zoom…

  • Thoughts

    Grief & Worry

    Last night after dinner I retreated to my bed to finish up a book I was reading. I was at 90% done and was making my way towards the end. I spent a good hour or so curled up in bed, quietly reading as the early autumn sun retreated for the evening. Eventually I got up, took a shower, and then made my way downstairs to my phone, thinking I would casually check a few things before getting Forest ready for bed. I saw a text from my mom, the tear emoji, and swiped to see what was tied to the rest of it. What was tied to it was…

  • Alaska,  Hiking,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places

    Exploring the Denali Highway and Brushkana Creek

    The season shift here has kind of thrown me for a loop. The light is shifting, the days are shortening, and that has made me pull inward and want to focus on other things. So much for all these photos I had ready to share! It’s a rainy evening here in greater Houston, where we are going to miss the massive cold front everyone else is getting. It is going to fizzle out an hour or so west of here. Guess we will be sticking with summer for a few more weeks until hopefully the next front. Another reason I’ve been not-so-interested writing here is that my right shoulder has…

  • Hiking,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places

    Cypress-Tupleo Slough Explorations in the Big Thicket

    As I continue to see how crowded so many western outdoor spaces have gotten this summer with everyone seeking outdoor places to go, I’ve been glad that we live in area that sees less crowds. In general so many of the southern and eastern forests are less trekked than popular haunts out west or in New England. And summer really changes that up because who wants to walk in humid, moist forests when temperatures are in the 90s and 100s? Not too many, that is for sure. Our second trip to the Big Thicket had us traipsing a bit past the pitcher plant bog and off into an exploration of…

  • Gardening

    Late August Pollinators (and Friends)

    Common Whitetail, Plathemis lydia If early summer felt like a bit of a drought in regards to pollinators, August and September always make up for it. This, I should know. And back with a fury they came! The gulf frits are busy as ever, searching for nectar, laying eggs, and generally enjoying life in the yard. I even happened upon a chrysalis by chance one day–I looked over and there it was! Clouded Skipper, Lerema accius on a Carolina cherry laurel And a good old house fly, Musca domestica, sat still long enough to show me it wasn’t a nasty old bugger and instead was a pretty insect worthy of…