Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hill Country anniversary trip

We took a little day trip to Enchanted Rock--where we got married--on our anniversary this year. It's too bad I forgot to charge the battery of my loaner camera overnight, but it actually ran out of space before it ran out of juice.

On the way we stopped to take some photos of things we've passed by a zillion times and always meant to photograph if we weren't rushing from here to there. It was nice actually making time for them.

This little hobbit house in Hunt, Texas, is tucked into the woods and sits right on the river's edge. It has a sign that says 'Toad Hall' but an quick online check says that's for two cabins they rent out, so I'm thinking this must be their residence, as photos of it do not appear anywhere on their website.

Just down the road there is a unique fence that keeps some horses off the road. (Click to biggify).

The cedar posts are covered with used boots, some of them quite colorful. I've heard this started in the old days as a way of recycling old boots and protecting the ends of posts from absorbing rain and rotting. But cedar posts are very long-lived even without boots. I have the feeling the owner started it, and then people passing by have just added to it over the years. I've certainly watched the collection grow over the past decade.

On the banks of the river we saw this very large, rubbery Evening Primrose species. The flowers were at chest height and I'm fairly tall. I didn't get enough details to key it out, but it's definitely water-loving and day-blooming so that should narrow things down a bit. Unlike others in its genus, it doesn't seem prolific as this is the only one we saw.

We took a back road through the ghost town of Crabapple, and stopped to photograph the ruins.

This building was the old school until the late 50's and is now considered the Community Center, although the Census does not show anyone presently residing in Crabapple. The next two images I processed to give them a vintage feel.

This building was the teacherage, where the teacher lived.

And this was the church, built in 1897. These are all great examples of the stonework that is so predominant throughout the Texas Hill Country done by the early German settlers.

Enchanted Rock State Natural Area can be seen in the distance from the highway approach to the south. The main dome where we were married is the tallest one on the right. Although sedimentary limestone is the predominant rock of the Hill Country, here there is a giant pink granite batholith pushed up from the depths of the Earth.

Along the trails there you will find many interesting rock formations, many of them sculpted by the wind. It is a mecca for rock climbers.

Here is Moss Lake and a view of the back side of the main dome on the right. In my younger days I took up rock climbing for a year and I climbed the steep, back side of Enchanted Rock twice. It is the equivalent of a 20 story building and takes about 7 hours. They say if you can learn to climb granite you can climb anything. I learned a lot about strength and courage but I could never, ever, say it was fun. Eventually I took up whitewater kayaking which I found more to my liking.

We continued around the loop trail, cut through Echo Canyon and made our own trail to the top of Enchanted Rock from a side with a more gentle approach. It was a blustery day similar to our wedding day, sans double rainbow. It was unfortunate the camera conked out at this point, as the view, as always, was spectacular. We caught a bite of Mexican Food back in Fredericksburg before heading home after a very nice day.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday Stills: Shoes or Boots

We traveled to Bandera, Texas "Cowboy Capitol of the World" today--just an hour over the hills from us--for some Labor Day festivities that were sure to involve boots.

Here's a lovely cowgirl boot in a shop window, surely created with a cowboy wedding in mind.

At a  re-enactment of a west Texas town in the late 1800's by a group called "Cow-ology"  there were lots of little girls in cowgirl boots in the audience. I wore river sandals and got fire ant bites.

We ate some nachos and watched a couple of boot-scootin' senior citizens who were much more entertaining than the rather average band that was playing.

The town has some very nice cut out metal banners.

(Click to biggify)

The scenic drive was the best part!

For more images of shoes and boots, check out Sunday Stills.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Yellow bird

This little bird knocked itself out on my office window this morning coming to the seed feeder, presumably. Fortunately I made it to the bird before Cody, the teddy-bear eared backyard dog who would've seen it as a protein supplement.

After a few minutes of nurturing in my hand it regained consciousness and flew off. I am thinking it is a juvenile of some kind of vireo or warbler, but I will ask some of my expert birding friends for an ID. It has an unbroken white eyering, no prominent white bars on the wings, is small, with olive on the top and yellow below. If you think you might know, do tell.

Since I already have a rooster temporarily in the house--who we've named Orville by the way (to go with our Ameraucana hen Kitty Hawk)--I'm relieved not to have a wild charge at the moment. This is the best kind of rescue, where the happy ending comes quickly!

My friend and birding photographer Larry Ditto, has kindly identified it as a Mourning Warbler in fall plumage. You can see his fabulous photos here. Thanks, Larry!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New roo

Yesterday I got a call from my friend Joan saying she had a cockerel in need of a home (read: her husband was going to eat him if he wasn't relocated soon) and that my husband already said I could have him if I wanted him. I found this 'preauthorization' process sort of interesting.

Apparently she and Jim had picked up four Ameraucana pullets, and recently discovered one was, in fact, a rooster. Once he started crowing their rooster decided to get rid of him, and fighting ensued.

I have been without an Ameraucana rooster since my beloved Avo's untimely demise back in December. (Although I did rescue Mr. Blue from the eventual frying pan of Dos Bubba's, the plumbers, he's not 100% Ameraucana.) Kitty Hawk, Alzina, and Desser Mae have been in need of a beau for a while, since Avo's preference had been the company of sheep.

This fellow has more black flecks on his chest than Avo (in my banner head) and his comb is a bit frilly, but otherwise he looks line a fine bird for the breeding program. No name has surfaced yet, but I'm sure we'll think of something as his personality becomes more evident.

I can tell he hasn't been handled much, so he isn't very friendly--yet. He tried to peck my hand this morning. But he will be in quarantine (the utility room) for two months and I'll work with him. He's certainly got a set of lungs on him as he woke us up at 4 a.m. Farmer Rick couldn't say too much about it on account of the preauthorization and all.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Baby couture

September is here, and as I promised I will be blogging more often. Having spent most the summer fighting a respiratory infection I didn't really have the energy to do much of anything. But I am feeling myself again, ready for new adventures in creativity and homesteading.

I am working on a baby quilt for our first grandchild due in November. Since this project won't be ready in time for the baby shower, I whipped out a little quilted baby vest over the weekend.

It was a lot of fun! I used a store bought pattern as a size guide to design my own. I discovered that creating for little people has its rewards--like being able to complete an entire project quickly!

I used images from a turn-of-the-century illustrated Mother Goose songbook that I copied onto fabric along with lots of playful cottons. Being musicians, naturally we want our grandchild to grow up surrounded by music.

We also want to be near to his/her heart! So in the lining I tucked my label and a photo of us.

Speaking of babies--today we unexpectedly added a new member to our animal family. More on that next!
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