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

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

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, 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

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.

2019

“I’m So Thirsty!”

The last few days, we had temperatures in the low to upper 80s. It got warm, and the high winds are not helping today. It sucks the moisture right out of my body. But not only I have to quench my thirst. My little friend, the Mourning Dove sat in a shady spot near the bird bath and relaxed from the warmer weather. Soon, the bird got thirsty, flew to the water and took some big gulps to stay hydrated. The Mourning Dove stuck around all afternoon. At least, there is plenty of food and water in our backyard.