Friday, January 30, 2009

Project 365 Day 30

Too much fun at the Dino Pit....

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Enchanted Rock 2

This morning I didn't stop for any interesting side trips, antique stores, or photo opportunities, I drove straight to Enchanted Rock. And boy was I glad I did, it was a gorgeous day, almost chilly, but not for long hiking up the Rock.

There were several small vernal pools since we got a trace of rain this week. See the tiny bird on the right edge of the grass?

The water is crystal clear in the little pools.

These are slabs of rock just waiting to slide of the mountain. Good thing there's no earthquakes, or they would be at the bottom all ready.

Today I hiked up the Summit and around on top of the Rock. There are two other trails to explore. One that cuts through the middle of the park.

And the Loop Trail that circles the base of the mountain. It's four and a half miles so I will need to arrive earlier in the morning to do that one.

These kids were sprinting up the steepest parts of the mountain. I didn't get to see what they did with the skate board!

Last time I posted the lime green lichen. Here are orange and blue.

I love these plants. Maybe somebody who knows about southwestern flora can identify them!

Instead of driving through Fredricksburg I took the "back" roads home. Some ranches with open range, cattle guards, no fences along the road. It was very beautiful rolling country and very peaceful.

Project 365 Day 29

Honest to goodness these were the true colors of Crabapple Creek this morning!

Project 365 Day 28

Ladybird Johnson has been my hero ever since 1968 (?) when she campaigned against billboards along the highways. Too bad they didn't listen in Austin. That said this one has been catching the sunset on South Lamar for several weeks, and I kinda like it!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Project 365 Day 27

My "star" lamp....

Project 365 Day 26

This series tracking my amaryllis buds is for Jeanne...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Project 365 Day 25

Beginning of Spanish immersion...

Gulf Coast Adventure via RV Show

A funny thing happened on my way to the RV Show in Victoria, by happy serendipity I ended up at the Gulf Coast!

But back to the beginning. It's about two and a half hours from Austin to Victoria.
I had plenty of time to explore along the way. Driving into Cuero the first thing one sees is the spires of the Courthouse. It's just a couple blocks off the highway and absolutely gorgeous! You have never seen anything like the rock work.

Farther along I ran into this little post office. I think it might be the perfect opportunity for a retired post master to pick up a few hours. Are you listening in Moccasin?

Just to prove I really did go to the RV show, here is a shot of my favorite of the entire collection. The interior followed this groovy 50s theme with red, white, and chrome. Lucy would have been right at home.

OK, so after the RV Show we were discussing where to go for lunch when my friends happened to mention that they were going on to Port Lavaca after. Where's that I innocently ask? Just 20 minutes down the highway? well let's have lunch there! Sparkle lead the way in her jazzy red Chevy.

So this was my first time at the Gulf Coast. The weather was balmy. Right around 80 with a light breeze. On the way across town I saw several big gardens with winter vegetables in full bloom.

This local lady was fishing for "whiteing", I think. She caught a good one for dinner the night before, but this cast resulted in hooking the bottom . She was waiting for a "tsunami" from a passing ship to let it loose.

All along the beach are piles and piles of shells. We ended a lovely day with a long walk along the beach picking through the shells for treasures.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Project 365 Day 24

Who needs a "white" picket fence?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

McKinney Falls State Park

I walk often at McKinney Falls. It's the only "urban" park in the Texas system. Entirely within the city limits. And less than 10 minutes from me. It's a ranch that was first a Spanish Land Grant to Santiago del Val, then owned by Mr. McKinney, then the Smith's who donated the property to the state. The park is divided just about in half by Onion Creek. The larger south portion is where I always walk on the Hike and Bike Trail. It's paved!

This tiny flower is dried on it's stem.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall. This one marks most of the south border of the park, but is in sad shape. There are many volunteers at the park, probably none skilled at building dry rock walls.

Onion Creek is very low. No rain. I hope I get to see the falls in full flow some day.

Mr. and Mrs. McKinney raised race horses. This is what's left of the horse trainers cabin.

Just north of the Visitor's Center is a Rock Shelter. It's easy to imagine the local Indians living here. One day last winter I went out in a rain storm to sit under the shelter. It was awesome.

The McKinney's built their homestead on the north side of the creek. I am guessing to be on the town side of high water.

They also had a flour mill. This is the entrance to the forebay. Water was diverted from the creek. While I was sitting here trying to figure out how it worked a Road Runner crossed the road. He came back awhile later, too many people in the park that Sunday for him and me.

I took advantage of the low water to cross the creek and check out the trail on the north side. It's mostly scrub brush and kind of lonely, so I probably won't do that again.

The park feels very remote and wild, but it's not, on one side is a golf course and on the other is a brand new high school. Both are mostly hidden when there are leaves on the trees. But now I can see golfers from the trail.

Pai loves McKinney as much as her Granma! Picnic tables stand in for monkey bars; trees are perfect for hide and seek.

Project 365 Day 21

One of my best haunts on South Lamar. While I'm here I buy and read many, many books (no TV); when it's time to go home I sell all but my keepers back. It's curious to me how many people had the book before me and I like the cycle of bringing a book out of circulation and then returning it.

A keeper from this trip is "Gates of the Alamo" by Stephen Harrigan. Now I want to visit the Alamo again.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Project 365 Day 20

People are so creative in Austin. I hope the burritos at this new shop live up to the promise of their VW "ad" van.

The cool mobile of spinning music notes doesn't show up against the tree. I'll try to get a better shot another day. And maybe a burrito!

Project 365 Day 19

"Zen" truck....

Monday, January 19, 2009

Project 365 Day 18

A monkey print upholstery has worked out really cute for the whimsical style Bernie is going for in her house. Green in fabric is great with area rug from bedroom. It was fun doing this kind of project again.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Project 365 Day 17

Lost and found.....

Friday, January 16, 2009

Project 365 Day 16

Happy fence.

Project 365 Day 15

Cedar trees are not much loved in Austin, the allergy risk is way high this week.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Project 365 Day 14

Drive by on Oltorf, I think it's worth a stop for a centered shot!

Project 365 Day 13

Fort Martin Scott

All the cars zooming by on 290 just east of Fredricksburg are missing a fascinating stop at Fort Martin Scott. The historical society has recreated just enough of the original Fort to create a very intimate experience for visitors. It's open fields, ancient oaks, and scattered buildings provide a deep connection with the community that lived and worked here for five short years.

The only remaining building from the Fort is the Guard House.

All around the grounds of the Fort are these unassuming interpretive signs made from paintings of everyday life.

The married officers lived in luxury one room "duplexes".

In older settlements all around Texas I have seen these breezeways that are called "dogtrots".

One of the hardest jobs at the Fort was surly that of the laundresses. This pot had a 1/3" layer of ice on the water in the bottom the afternoon I visited. But I can sure image what it was like to wash clothes over an open fire in the summer.

No informational sign at this cabin. It was the only tin roof on the property. The cellar door on the back side was open allowing a family of skunks to take up residence!

The Fort, built in 1848 (time of CA gold rush), was the first U.S. Army outpost in Texas. It's purpose was to provide protection for settles from Comanche and Lipan Apache Indians. By 1853, settles had continued to move west and the Fort was decommissioned.