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 …

2019, In The Garden

First Day of Spring/Ostara 2019

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Happy First Day of Spring!

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2019

“Super Heroes” Curriculum

Sara’s school had their 7th Curriculum Night. This year’s theme: “Superheroes”. As we all know, Superheroes use and fight lots of science to protect humankind and the world. Superman explains, how a tornado forms; Spiderman invites us to learn more about his buggy friends (No, I’m still not a fan of spiders!); the Incredibles teach us about electric circuits. … Just to name a few examples. But before I forget to mention it: There are also our daily human Superheroes, which keep us safe and sound in our community, every day: TCPD & TCFD came for a visit to say “Hello” as well.

It turned out to be another great Curriculum Night. Sara had a lot of fun, learning something new. Even Katelynn had fun with some of the projects. She was amazed, when she touched the water bubble, which sat on top of the sand (Remind me, not to use this kid of sand for the kitty litterbox!).

2018

Painted Lady Butterfly In November

In Texas, we always have blooms all year around. On the warmer days of late Autumn, the butterflies appreciate the flowers and visit the gardens for nectar. This Painted Lady I’ve photographed a couple of years ago. It was a nice afternoon in November.

2018, In The Garden

Theona Checkerspot Butterfly (Chlosyne theona)

Theona Checkerspot (Chlosyne theona) on Asclepias Tuberosa Milkweed

2018

Flutter Wings At The Shoreline Trail

Last week, The Colony Shoreline Trail got closed due to the flood waters of Lewisville Lake. So, it will take a while until I can hike the shores of the lake again. But a couple of years ago, I hiked the trail on a beautiful late October day. In Autumn, a lot of butterflies migrate south to Mexico and Central America. Many come from the northern states of the US and from Canada. In Texas our Prairie still provides plenty of flowers, and therefore the migrating insects and birds can get their fill before they will go on their long trip across the Gulf of Mexico. Here are photos of some beautiful flutter wings:

2018, In The Garden

Beautiful Sunday Afternoon In October

After all these rainy days, it was wonderful to have a sunny weekend. This Sunday afternoon, I just sat outside and enjoyed the sun. It’s also the season, the Monarchs migrates south, while other wildlife stays here and takes in the last days of the warmer weather. I watched the little bees and a Canna Leafroller collecting nectar from my flowers in the frontyard. Everyone prepares for the cooler season ahead. But when it is warm, we all come out and get as much of the warm rays of the sun as we can.

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Larger Canna Leafroller gets some nectar from our roses in the frontyard on this nice, sunny Sunday afternoon.
2018, In The Garden

After The Rain (1)

Every time it rains in Texas, it feels so good. Later in the week we suppose to get cooler temperatures. Therefore it will be much easier being outside and begin to garden, again. And I won’t have to deal with these pesky mosquitoes anymore. They suck the life out of me. The cooler weather will be great to clean up the gardens and start with the Winter vegetables. In the meantime, I enjoy to capture photos of what is left in my raised beds.