2019, Travel/Vacation

The Wichita Mountains In April 2019 (Part II)

Coming from Rush Lake, we took a short break at the Visitor Center. And then we moved on to Quanah Parker Lake. Driving to the lake, there were lots of longhorn and bison grassing in the meadow. Some longhorn cows crossed the road. The grass must have been greener on the other side. 😉 Some longhorn were scratching their necks against the nearby boulders. One of the animals was so close, I could almost touch it, if I was crazy enough to do so. But this Texas girl ain’t messing with a longhorn, nor a bison. That is a whole bunch of NOPE!

At the Quanah Parker Lake Dam, we saw the spillway gate was open. This was the first time, I had the chance to photograph the dam with the water flowing down into Quanah Creek. Usually when visit in September, the water levels are much lower due to the Summer’s drought. In Spring, there is plenty of rain. It will fill up the lakes. And the rest of the water goes over the spillways. Kevin, the girls and I wanted to hike the Little Baldy Trail. But something terrified Luis at the stairs leading down to the dam. I mentioned, there is another small trail right by the pier on the north side of the lake.

Arriving at the Education Center of the park, we hiked the small trail by the pier, looked at some plants and read the educational signs about flora and fauna. Katelynn found a small school of fish swimming near the shore and watched them for a little bit. Luis got really tired, and we called it a day. He was so happy being back in the car and could take a nap on the way back home to Texas. He probably was dreaming about his fluffy couch.

~ The End ~

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

“Gross! Dog Doo-doo!”

Kevin told Sara to help her sister to pick up dog poop, before he could mow the lawn. Sara was not happy about it. We could see it in her eyes, she wanted to talk herself out of it. But we put the foot down, and said to our sassy little Princess, that she has to help cleaning up after Lexi and Luis. After Sara got grossed out a couple of times, she actually started enjoying searching for the dog land mines in the grass. Katelynn and Sara made a game out of it. And everything was picked up and mowed in no time. I guess, parenting is not so hard after all. We just have to stay on top of it. 😉

2019

Luis’ Chillin’ And Watchin’ LivePD

It is a cool day. And Luis is bored, because we don’t allow him to chase Sandy across the yard and over the fence. Sandy gave Luis a big hiss earlier this week. So, we don’t want him to get involved in a “Dog vs. Squirrel” fight. Now, Luis relaxes on the ottoman by the fire place, and enjoys watching K-9 Shep tracking suspects, on LivePD. He can’t wait for K-9 Lor to come back in Spring. 🚔🐕  

2019, In The Garden

Our Garden In Early February 2019

This afternoon, we’ve reached temperatures up to 80°F (27°C). It was perfect weather for doing some garden work, getting the raised beds cleaned up and planting my peas and early Spring flowers. While I pulled out weeds, I also found  a carrot that over-wintered in one of the raised beds. I might add it to a stew, later this week. Three Mourning Doves set on the trellis I put up for the peas, in the garden. They inspected my work, fertilized it, and enjoyed the view of the garden from the trellis, before Luis, our dog, chased them away.

2018

Luis’ Birthday

Luis’ gets double rewarded this week. Today is his birthday; and tomorrow is Christmas. Oh boy, oh boy! What an exciting day, night and morning for Luis. He got a piece of ham for his birthday. And this evening, we celebrate with some canned foods for the dogs and the cats. Then they all have to go to bed, so Santa can visit our house tonight. And then our birthday boy will have a present under the tree, tomorrow morning.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Luis!

2018, In The Garden

It Is Peach Season

A few years back, Kevin and I planted a peach tree in our backyard. Luckily it was producing fruit in the same year. But back then, we had five peaches growing. And Mr. Squirrel had his own way of sharing: Four peaches for him, one for us as a family of four. I quartered the last peach, so we all could enjoy a little slice of fresh “heaven”.

The following year, we’ve got about a dozen peaches. And Mr. Squirrel was much more generous: He took his four peaches and left us with the eight remaining fruits.

This Spring, our peach tree was in full bloom. And we could tell, we would get tons of peaches this Summer. But I’ve noticed they are a little bit smaller this year. I wonder, if the drought has a big factor in it. The tree didn’t get as much water as in the previous years. And I might have to consider some fertilizer for the next season. So, while Mr. Squirrel, the Blue Jays, Mrs. Mockingbird and Mrs. Sparrow are happily munching away my peaches, I had to rescue some for ourselves. On Monday, I filled up a bowl. And when those fruits are gone, I have to grab some more from the tree. In the meantime, Luis keeps Mr. Squirrel in check. Mr. Squirrel is allowed everywhere on our property, but not on the peach tree. As soon as the Squirrel jumps in that tree, Luis is getting havoc. Once he gets outside, he chases the squirrel across the fence. “No, no! No peaches for you, Mr. Squirrel.”

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Fresh, homegrown peaches from our tree in the backyard
2018

The Dog Days of Summer*

Damn, it is hot! The last few days, we had temperatures of 106ºF (41ºC) here in the northern part of the DFW Metroplex. The next few days suppose to reach 108/109ºF (42/43ºC), before we get a break and hopefully some rain. Every night, when I water my home garden I also refill the bird baths. One of them, I put lower to the ground. The bunnies and other critters need water in this heat, too. My pets are “lazy” all day, and they won’t move a muscle until 7 PM. When I tell Lexi and Luis to go for a short potty break outside, they look at me as I had stolen their milk bones. Lexi goes in our bedroom, while Luis cools off on our leather couch.

*Original meaning behind “The Dog Days of Summer”:
When Sirius (the brightest star in the constellation Canis Major/Greater Dog, therefore called “The Dog Star”, rises with the Sun on those hot Summer mornings, we call the days from early July until the End of September “The Dog Days of Summer”.

2018

Sunday Grilling In Our Backyard

This morning Kevin mowed the lawn, before the girls could play in the sprinklers. Katelynn got bored with it a little bit. She rather sat next to me and talked about her transition from Middle School to High School. Sara couldn’t get enough of jumping back and forth in the sprinkling water. While Sara played in the cool wet, Kevin and I were discussing what we have for dinner tonight. We decided on grilled chicken with potato salad.

Kevin got the grill ready and heated up; Katelynn went inside to play her computer game for a little bit; Sara tried off with her towels; and I watched the dogs rolling around in the grass. Lexi and Luis were staying close to Kevin, when he was tending the grill. Man, that chicken meat smelled so good. Of course, the dogs noticed it as well. Lexi looked at Kevin: “Daddy, are you dropping something for us, soon? My mouth is watering from this good smell!” They got a better and more healthier treat, once we all went back inside. Hmmm! The chicken  and salad taste so good on this beautiful, sunny Spring Sunday.