Antelope Horn is a milkweed native to Texas, which grows in pastures along roadsides and creeks throughout the central path, that most Monarchs take on their migration coming back up north to the US from Mexico. The milkweed got its name from the seedpods, which look similar to the horns of an antelope. In late Spring, I can find them next to the creek behind our street. And I also find them on the meadows of the local parks. From all the milkweed plants I have seen so far, the Antelope Horn is my favorite.
I never can wait for May to arrive in Texas. This is the most colorful time of the year, when the Texas Prairie is in full bloom. We live in the Blackland Prairie zone, and I always love to “discover” new wildflowers. Several years ago, I stumbled across this beautiful and delicate purple flower named “Venus Looking Glass”. While I can’t find it on our property, I always sneak over to catch a few photos in my neighbors’ yard. Right now, they have several spots growing along the grass strip in the back alley.
Today, I had some fun playing with the filters on my computer. I wanted to see, how the photos come out. Hmm, they look very interesting compared to all the colorful pictures. But the filtering is not something, I’d do on a regular basis. I like the natural colors so much better. 😉
As I mentioned in the previous blog, Kevin, Katelynn, Sara and I went to the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve in Plano yesterday evening. While Kevin was running the trails, the girls and I took pictures of the gorgeous Texas Bluebonnet, and we hiked to the frog pond towards the center of the park. Unfortunately, it is too early for Bull Frog sightings. And the edges of the pond were covered in algae. So we couldn’t see any tadpoles either. But that was okay. We still had a fun walk, which ended with hanging out at the playground for a little bit, while we were waiting for Kevin to be done working out at the Arbor Hills Nature Preserve.
Hiking at Lewisville Lake, the wind was relentless today. The lake is at is full-pool capacity. And I saw lots of Ring-billed Gulls fishing in the distance. Since it was too windy for photos, I just walked for bit, which felt good. I need to get back in shape anyway. The Christmas package needs to be trained off. And the best way to do so for me is walking and hiking in nature. As I mentioned before, I didn’t get any good photos from the walk today. So, I post a couple of pictures from a Great Blue Heron, I’ve photographed at the Shoreline Trail back in 2013.
After lunch with Kevin, the girls and I went for a walk to Josey Ranch Lake. Lots of water fowl has migrated from the northern states, down here to overwinter in North Texas. Katelynn and Sara watched the swans, the geese, the ducks, the pigeons and other birds, while I captured photos of them. The Canada Geese were comfortable enough to eat around us, as long as we didn’t touch them. On the other hand, the American Wigeons, the Northern Shovelers and the American Coots swam as far away from us as they could at the lake. The Mute Swans didn’t care and kept cleaning themselves in the meantime.
It was nice taking a walk in the park, again. I haven’t been walking and hiking for quite some time. But since it is cooler, I want to go back to my favorite hobby: Nature Photography. So, I took a nice stroll in Bill Allen Memorial Park around noon today. I watched some birds and a few squirrels getting the fresh Autumn wild berries. A double-crested cormorant landed on the water surface of the turtle pond. It enjoyed diving in the water and came up at a different place of the pond, every single time. It was almost a game to guess, where the cormorant would pop its head out of the water, next. The trees show signs of Autumn as well. There is still a lot of green, but it is mixed mostly with yellow. Here and there are some orange and red spots visible between the other trees. And some trees already lost almost all their foliage. We might not get the Indian Summer like up north, but Autumn has still its beauty down here in the South.