“Hmmm! Yummy Tallow Berries!”

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White-winged Doves love Chinese Tallow berries in Autumn and Winter.

At this time of the year, the berries have ripened on the Chinese Tallow trees. The White-winged Doves go crazy for these berries. Every time, I’m in the backyard, I hear a lot of wing flapping in the neighbor’s tree across the alley. There are at least two dozen White-winged Doves sitting in the Chinese Tallow tree. And each dove keeps picking these delicious fruits until the tree is empty.

Texas Arbor Day 2019

Texas Arbor Day is a reminder, that it is time to get the trees planted at this time of the year. With the cooler conditions, a tree can establish better. In the years to come, we can enjoy their shade in Spring throughout most parts of Autumn. Since 2013, we celebrate Texas Arbor Day on the first Friday of November. Did you hug a tree, today? No? That’s alright. This squirrel did it for y’all.

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Fox Squirrel at Arbor Hills Nature Preserve 

Happy Texas Arbor Day!

Travel Journal, Day 6 (Part II): From Redwoods National & State Park To Willits, California

June 6, 2019

We back tracked from the beach to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. There we parked at the Prairie Creek Visitor Center. Kevin, the girls, and I hiked at the Prairie Creek Trail, where we saw lots of Redwoods, ferns, wildflowers, a jay bird, a few ground squirrels, and a daddy long-legs. When we came back to the parking lot, we could see some wild elks on the meadow. I guess, the park staff guides those elks to a certain area, so the vegetation has enough time to recover, grows back; and the elks can feed again. It seemed like a controlled area.

After our hike, we had dinner in Trinidad. Kevin and I debated how far we still want to go. I looked at the map and suggested Willits, which was about three hours down the road. That way, we would have only another three hours to San Jose. We didn’t have to get up too early and rush to get to the airport. Kevin booked a motel room, and we were on our way to Willits.

…to be continued …

Travel Journal, Day 6 (Part I): From Grants Pass, Oregon To Redwoods National & State Parks, California

June 6, 2019

On Thursday, we’ve made our way from Grants Pass, Oregon to the Redwoods National & State Parks. First we drove through Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. A little bit into the ride, there was a huge pot hole filled with water and not enough space on the road to get around it, without having the passenger wheels over the hill’s edge. And the edge was to brittle. With the little Ford Fusion we’ve used as a rental car, we really didn’t want to try anything stupid (at this moment, we wished we still had our Jeep Grand Cherokee). I told Kevin to screw it; we’ll turn around. I’ve got enough photos of the park. And it was just not worth to risk getting stuck in that hole or falling several hundred feet upside down into the gorge.

We’ve rather decided to get out of that State Park and drive long the beach into the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park on US 101. Katelynn and Sara could walk barefoot at the Crescent Beach, until the tide came in. We’ve found some sand dollars, Dungeness crabs, sea stars and some broken shells along the beach.

Our next stop let us to the Redwoods National Park. In the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center we asked for more information. I found out, that the Park Ranger spoke German due to his German parents, who originated from the Sudetenland. He said, he brushes up his language from all the German tourists, who are the main visitors of the Redwood Parks. He also mentioned, his two sisters moved back to Germany, while he rather stays here in the US. The world is small. Well, after this little chit-chat, the Park Ranger explained to us, the best place to visit is actually Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, while driving on the Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy. Dangit! we’ve bypassed it on US 101. So, we had to backtrack a little bit …

…to be continued …

Sunset & Cotton Clouds (2)

We had some storms coming through North Texas, this evening. While neighboring cities had up to softball-size hail, we’ve got some rain. Before the storm came in, I saw the clouds building up, right at sunset. After today’s high temperature of 81°F (27°C), the storm brought a cooler breeze with it. Now, we are in the low 70s (22°C). If feels fantastic outside.

Spring Blooms In Our Neighborhood

Tomorrow is Spring Equinox. This means, day and night have the same length. In our neighborhood the trees are still in full bloom. Now, many bulb flowers start to show signs of waking up, and soon show their beauty. Down our street blooms a white Iris. In my backyard, a second set of hyacinth just started to show their first flower petals.

The Blooming Peach Tree (1)

Our peach tree looks so pretty, when the first blossoms open in Spring. I never can get enough of these beautiful little pinkish flowers. In February, I’ve pruned the tree  a little bit. But I still might have left too many twigs on the tree. Eventually, I’ll figure it out, how much is okay and what is too much. Last year, we had lots of peaches. But they were small. I’ve figured, not pruning it, would cause bearing small fruits. Now, I’ve gotten quite a bit of bloom on the tree, again. Let’s see, how the fruits will turn out. If they are still too small, I need to seek some advise from the local nursery. Since we’ve also had very hot days in the month of July, the tree might need more water last Summer. But I’d rather ask an expert, before I “drown” the tree.