Wildflower Center

Yesterday we made a trip up to Austin to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Great place to visit, we highly recommend it!! Here is a few pictures…

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Arrived about 10am, spent a few hours, then had lunch at Tres Amigos Restaurant.  Wonderful food and some of the best chips and salsa we have had. Then we went back stayed until around 2pm and went home. We had a great time.

Wildflowers in Kenedy Park.

We visited a city park in Kenedy. Wow, it was loaded with wildflowers. It was a great find with very nice walking paths all through the park.

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Bluebonnets with some yellow flowers mixed in.
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This was a bridge that was moved here when it was no longer needed.
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The cactus were loaded with buds.
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Even a working windmill.
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The wind was really blowing this day creating waves of the taller native grass.
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Beautiful gazebo with a waterfall and small pond.
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What a great park, we were impressed!!

Roadside Beauty

We had to take a trip to Beeville to have our fingerprints done. This was to complete our security license requirements. We ate lunch at Elder’s Country Store and Market. It has been there since the 60’s and we had a very good and affordable lunch special of chicken fried steak, potatoes, and green beans. On the way home we stopped at a park on the side of highway. Lots of huge oak trees and wildflowers.

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Roadside park in Beeville

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I forgot my DSLR camera but not bad for a iPhone

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A great day in Beeville. We will be back!

Hiking the Madera Canyon Trail

We were off today and the weather was great so we headed out to  Fort Davis to do a short hike. Madera Canyon Trail is part of the Nature Conservancy’s Davis Mountain Preserve. When we arrived it was clear skies and 68 degrees.

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Trail Head…about 2.4 miles round trip.
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Very green and scenic.
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Madera creek had lots of water in it.
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Wildflowers were still blooming
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Butterflies were numerous
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Grass covered parts of the trail and plenty of color too!!
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We arrived at Chico tank which was covered in deep pink flowers with bees buzzing everywhere.
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Closeup of the flowers with a bonus butterfly
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Nice reflection in the water
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More flowers below the spillway of the tank with water flowing beneath them
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Some skippers taking a sun bath in the mud.
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A huge grasshopper with a very colorful coat.
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Butterflies were posing for photos in every direction
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Another one…
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There are called Apache Plumes

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Great weather, and lots of photo subjects made for a wonderful day.

Big Bend Visit part 2

I took about 300+ photos on our visit yesterday so it’s taken a while to go through them. Here is a few more I wanted to share.

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A view from our hike
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It’s amazing where and how plants grow out here.
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See what I mean…This looks to be solid rock, I suppose there is some soil in there somewhere.
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Great views from our hike. This is Santa Elena Canyon
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Same place, just zoomed in
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Storm approaching
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View from Sotol Vista overlook
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View of the storm in the Basin from Sotol Vista Overlook
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Empty Flower cups

More to come….

Trip to Alpine

We had to go to Alpine yesterday for several things. Dr. appt for Laura to get her meds refilled, and I had to pick up my meds also. I had a little job to do (real estate). Picked up a few items at Blue water health store. Went grocery shopping, got some great looking T-bones, and had lunch at El Patio. Truck needed gas…it had gone up some-$2.13. Arrived at 10:30 and left at 3:30. Pretty much spent most of the day in Alpine.

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Back at home, the pond is full and waterlilies are in bloom.

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Got our first ripe tomato and squash from the garden. Had to change some plants out to containers because of the ground squirrels digging them up.

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Container Garden

We have had several peach deserts now, glad we went out and picked some because that tree is about done with the birds and animals eating a lot of them. The peaches are so good!!

 

Trip to Fort Davis and Gardens

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Great place to spend a while looking at all the plants, and hiking the trails.
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Beautiful gardens with a lot of the native plants of the area.
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These were named “cow tongue prickly pear”. Appropriately named I thought.
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This one was called “Queen Victoria”.
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We saw this big boulder on the trails. Ft. Davis is very rocky and this one had a hole in the side of it with grass growing.
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We thought this one looked like a praying mantis standing guard of the shade tree.

They had a huge greenhouse where we saw about every imaginable cactus and then some. Everything was labeled and quite the operation.

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Very different!

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We never saw what this tree was called but the bark or lack of made for an interesting picture.

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After all that walking around we headed into town for a late lunch.
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Fort Davis Main Street.
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Hotel Limpia built in 1912

We had a great time. Nice and cool all day. It was about 5 degrees cooler in Ft Davis.       It’s the same elevation as Denver Colorado. Yes, a mile high!!

Big Bend National Park

We left Marathon about 10am heading to Big Bend National Park. Great weather, blue skies, cameras charged up and ready to take some pics.

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One of the first things we saw was bluebonnets all along the highway.
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These are Big Bend bluebonnets which are taller than most other ones. They say they can grow upwards to 3-4 feet tall with blooms on the upper part of the plant.
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Nice place to stop with trails around a native plant area.
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This is a Pyrrhuloxia, a type of Cardinal. They were feeding on the Ocotillo plant blooms.
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We ate lunch here at a pullout on the road to the Basin
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Beautiful scenery. The temperature dropped 9 degrees on our way up to the basin area. It was 82 when we left Panther Junction, 73 at the Basin.
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We arrived at the basin and were walking around and soon run across a mule team that were preparing to bring supplies to back country areas.

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We didn’t see either one…maybe next time!
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A lot of the cactus were blooming
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The Chisos Lodge
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Blooms were everywhere

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The Ocotillo is also called Candlewood, Vine Cactus, Coachwhip, Slimwood, Flaming Sword, and Jacob’s Staff. They were in full bloom everywhere!!

 

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Look closely and you can see a bird nest. Saw the bird fly in but would not come out while I was there. Not sure of the id. 

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We went home through Terlingua and back North to Alpine. Much to our surprise is the next photo.

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A couple of goats watching the cars go by.

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All in all a great day. The desert was blooming, the scenery was beautiful, and the weather was perfect. We will be back to explore again. Stay tuned for more Big Bend!! Our trip map below.

Trip 4-4-16

 

 

 

Photo Day

This was our day off so my way to relax is to take pictures. First stop, Gage Gardens. This is such a great place to walk around, sit and enjoy the plants and manicured grounds. The flowers were starting to bloom so they soon became my favorite item to shoot.

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They had some Trumpet vine along a fence and the following shot had a bonus to it.

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Next was a place on Hwy. 385, called Prairie Dog Town.

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West Texas Dirt Devil
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This one even smiled for me
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Wear Flip Flops at your own risk
Blue Quail
Back home, I found this Blue Quail calling on a fence post. Soon there were 3 more. As I was taking this shot a hummingbird whizzed by my ear.
Female Black Chinned Hummer
Female Black Chinned Hummer

Good day to relax. Now it’s time to fire up the grill. German Sausage and Pork Loin coming up for dinner. Mmmm…good.