2019, In The Garden

Relaxing July Evening

Today was just one of those days, I didn’t feel like doing much. Some days are there for being lazy and do a whole bunch of nothing. But I still went outside to do my daily photography. Kevin found a young toad, when he worked on mulching the west side of the house. A Pearl Crescent butterfly enjoyed some nectar from the blooming Lantana flowers. The Texas sunset was beautiful as always. And I could capture the Moon in some clouds; a very beautiful and dramatic setting, we’ve had this evening.

2019, In The Garden

Flip, The Grasshopper

While Kevin mowed the lawn, I planted my agastache, bee balm, lemon balm, and scabiosa in the frontyard garden. Sara noticed the grasshopper on the lawn, when we were done watering the flowers. I asked her to get my camera. With the Nikon I tried to to get as close as possible to the insect. First, the grasshopper was a bit shy and wanted to hide deep by the roots in the soil. But when it was comfortable enough, it poked its head out again. It wasn’t time for Flip to call it a day, yet. Very quietly I rested on the ground and captured photos of the grasshopper. At the end Flip was so comfortable with me being around, we watched the sunset together.

2019, In The Garden

Flitter-Flutter & Friends In Summer

All the butterflies, dragonflies, skippers, bees, flies visit our garden. Well, it looks very inviting with all the drought-tolerant blooms in the yard. So much nectar everywhere. When they get thirsty in this heat, they can have a drink at our water fountain as well.Β  It is a paradise for all the insects.

2019

Our Summer Tree Musicians

It’s this time of year, again. The Green Cicadas are in our trees and make lots of rattling noises with their abdomen to call out for a mate. It is so soothing, when the cicadas “play their love music”. Summer has officially arrived with them. The temperatures are warm and humid.

2019, In The Garden

Black Swallowtail Caterpillar

A couple of days ago, I found a Black Swallowtail caterpillar on the fennel in one of our garden raised beds. Since Mr. Cardinal is very busy picking the Cabbage White caterpillars for his offspring from the leftover broccoli plants, I didn’t want to risk it, him taking the Black Swallowtail as well. For this particular reason I planted more fennel in the greenhouse, last month. I relocated the caterpillar to the indoor plant. And now, it’s happily munching the fennel tops away. It doubled in size, already. The girls can’t wait to release the first butterfly for this season.

2019

Venus Looking Glass Wildflower

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. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ˜€

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 …