2019, Travel/Vacation

The Wichita Mountains In April 2019 (Part I)

Yesterday, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara, Luis and I visited the Wichita Mountain National Wildlife Refuge again. The girls have a four-day weekend. And Kevin took the day off. What’s better than go on a hike on a beautiful Good Friday?! This time, we entered the park from the eastern entrance by Medicine Park. Because first we wanted to go up to Mt. Scott. But for some reason, it was closed for entering by car. We didn’t want to take the long hike up to the peak of the mountain. So we decided to move on and hike another trail. But first, we went to the Holy City. Katelynn and Sara went inside the church, before I went behind the buildings with them. Kevin stayed with Luis in the grassy area by the parking lot. Luis can get a bit excited around people. And we didn’t want to take any chances. Before getting back to Road 115, there is a field where the Prairie Dogs call this place their home. It is fun to watch them, when they bark signals to each other. They seem fine being out and about, when visitors of the park just drive by. But once, we crossed the white line, they became territorial, ran back into their burrows.

Last time we were at the refuge, we went to the Jed Johnson Lake Dam. This time, we wanted to hike and chose to go up to the tower. Katelynn, Sara and I decided to cross the little creek and walked up a “shortcut” along the lake, while Kevin and Luis went the regular trail along the creek. But therefore our trail was a little bit more rugged and some steep boulders needed to be climbed, before we made it to the tower. Kevin just walked the easier, but longer way. Luis could walk, lie in the shade or water for a bit, before he trotted behind Kevin again. Our pup is such a couch potato. 😀

Standing next to the Jed Johnson Tower, we had a nice view over the lake. In the distance, Mount Scott could easily be made out as the highest peak in the Wichita Mountain chain. There are also several stories roaming the internet about the Jed Johnson Tower and the lake being haunted. Honestly, if there is a ghost, it is definitely not ill intended. I felt no bad presents going up and around the tower at all. But I sure was drawn to it. After walking around the tower and let Luis rest in the shade for a little bit, we took the same way back which Kevin hiked up with the dog. It was an easier way down to get back to the car.

Coming from Jed Johnson Lake, we also took a short trip to Rush Lake. Since we had quite a bit of rain the last few days, the lakes are full. The water of Rush Lake is currently going over the spillway and the below creek leads into the Jed Johnson Lake.

… to be continued …

2019

The April Full Pink Moon 2019

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April Full Pink Moon 2019

Technically, we won’t have the April Full Moon before tomorrow at 6:12 a.m. CDT (11:12 a.m. UTC). But the Moon was shining bright until it got covered by clouds, and another storm came in tonight. There is a slim chance, I will get up in the early Friday morning hours. The girls have a four-day break from school. And Kevin took a day off as well. It is a good day to sleep in for another hour, than the usual time to start breakfast and get the kids ready for school. With over 99 percent full, the picture comes close enough. 😉

2019

Our 17 Year Anniversary

Kevin and I celebrate our 17th Anniversary today. Who would have thought the years would fly that fast?! May we celebrate many more years together.

💞 Happy 17th Anniversary to us! 💞

2019

The Waxing Gibbous Moon In April 2019

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The April Pink Moon is almost full.

Before the severe thunderstorm comes through North Texas tonight, the sky cleared up, and I could photograph the waxing gibbous Moon in the early evening hours. In two days, the April Pink Moon will be full. Of course, the Moon won’t be pink. It got it’s name from the Spring pink blooms at this time of the year. Hopefully, this weekend the sky will be clear for a perfect shot of the “Easter Full Moon”.

2019

“Where Did I Hide That Peanut?”

Since Sandy and Sophie have to share the peanuts with the Blue Jays, the Great-tailed Grackles and an American Crow, the squirrels hide their stash deep in the grass, where the birds can’t see and take them so easily. But when Sandy is hungry and comes back for a snack, she forgets where exactly she put her peanut sometimes. After looking around, she usually finds it nearby the feeder and the bird bath.

2019, In The Garden

Peppers In The Greenhouse

Last Friday, I planted the peppers in the greenhouse raised bed. Their leaves look very healthy, and the pepper fruits are growing nicely in the soil. I hope, we are more successful this year. I wondered, where all our peppers went last Summer. In Winter, I found Mr. Ratatouille all snuggled up in a nice bed of mulch under a flower pot, protected from the cold weather. When he noticed, I found his secret spot, he ran out of the garden and under the deck. A few weeks later, we caught him with peanut butter and a sugar cookie in the life trap. Our garden must have been paradise for Ratatouille.

2019, In The Garden

Succulent Droplets

The weather is just meh and blah, today.  This morning, we had thunder storms and hail coming through North Texas. The wind is cooling everything down. And this evening it rains again. But this did not preventing me from going out in the greenhouse and check on my plants. The moisture left quite a few droplets on the succulents as can be seen in the photos.

2019, In The Garden

Greenhouse Garden Project (Phase 1/Part III, IV & V)

WOOHOO! I’ve got my first phase of the Greenhouse Garden Project done. Lots of cinder blocks, soil and sweat went into it. The last few days, I worked on Part III, IV, and V. My muscles are sore and aching. No pain, no gain!

In Part III, I placed the cinder blocks, filled the raised bed with soil, amended the soil with all kind of goodies, and planted the peppers and herbs. Now, the roots of the bell peppers, poblano and jalapeño can stretch out and grow more fruit. We have some peppers on the plants already. They are still small. But it’s great to see them growing so well. While I put the cinder blocks down, I did it on both sides of the greenhouse. That’s why it was so easy and fast to get the other parts done in a decent amount of time.

Part IV will be a blooming herb bed to invite pollinators. Yes, when it gets very warm I leave the windows open in Summer. Usually, I’m getting visitors like bees, butterflies, moths, spiders. and sometimes even a curious Northern Cardinal fledgling, which needs help to find its way back out to its parents. In Part V, I just filled up the walking area with mulch and put down some step stones for easy access to the vegetables and herbs. The mulch just needs to settle a little bit. It feels like walking on a sponge. 😀

Kevin got me some succulents as a present for our upcoming Anniversary. This was very sweet of him. I just need to find a perfect spot for them. They can handle temperatures from 45°-100°F. And they prefer a slightly shaded area. In Texas, it can get much cooler and much warmer. So, I have to remember to bring them inside on those hot Summer days.

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Kevin got me some succulents for our upcoming Anniversary. That is so nice of him. He know, the best gifts are plants for me.
2019, In The Garden

Spring Garden Harvest (1)

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Today’s harvest from our garden and greenhouse (04-11-2019)

Three days of warm weather was just too much for the broccoli. Today it was showing some signs, that it would bold soon. So I just cut the florets off, and used them for tonight’s supper. It was delicious. For the last couple of weeks, I pull some leaves from the lettuces, spinach, and herbs on a daily basis. And Sara sits in the garden and nibbles on some salad and watches the sunset, every night.

Last week, I’ve been sowing some cucumber seeds in a couple of raised beds. So far, I can see two small plants. Hopefully, the other seedlings will pop up, soon. It would be excellent, if we can add fresh tomatoes and cucumbers to our salads, in late Spring and early Summer.