Is Everything Dead Yet?

This time of year, it’s usually looking pretty bleak out here in central Texas. By now, the grass is usually very brown and crunchy, and there are good-sized cracks in the soil. But this year it’s rained a lot more than usual, so how’s it doing?

Checking out the territory. Some green, some not.

It hasn’t rained in a couple of weeks, and that’s about all it takes to turn things back to their typical summer state. Sure enough, the grass is crunchy and the cracks are out. But the tanks (ponds) have lots more water in them than usual and the creek has plenty of water in it.

The Vrazels have made another bunch of hay out of our front pasture, which is also unusual. They are out there baling it right now, making round bales. The dogs enjoyed having a couple of days to look for vermin in the piles of grass as it was drying out. Both Vlassic and Penney like to pounce.

Future hay, full o’ vermin.
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Sunrise, Sunset, and Fishies

Fer sure, yesterday was really hot, and so was the day before, but it was certainly not without beauty and the potential for fun. I’m so glad the dogs pestered the heck out of me to go outside Saturday night, or I’d have missed a spectacular sunset. The one below is my favorite image, which I shared on Facebook, but I didn’t want blog readers to miss out.

This is facing EAST at sunset. I wish I could get my hair those colors.

Last night’s sunset was also good, but I didn’t get out until after the exciting part, thanks to eating lovely food cooked by my sister. I was also still recovering from my late afternoon activity.

Fishies

Mandi is officially on vacation, so she wants to have some outdoor fun. I accompanied Mandi and her son, Matthew, over to the pond behind Ralph and Sara’s to do some fishing. Of course, it was 100 degrees out there. But, we persevered. The pond is stocked, so we know there are good fish in it, but it’s so pretty and relaxing, that I didn’t care.

The pond behind Sara and Ralph’s house.
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Airboat Adventure

After the shrine and a vitally important coffee stop for Lee, we headed off to, um, somewhere in the middle of Florida, because I’d decided I wanted to go on an airboat ride to see some nature.

Lee and Anita actually having fun

Where we went was actually in Kenansville, Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park. I think Lee was a bit dubious, but Anita and I were up for it. The drive there was beautiful, and the facility was pretty cool. Touristy but clean and organized.

The one-hour ride itself was everything I’d hoped it would be. What fun! We were on a large lake, and could see a prescribed burn off in the distance.

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Pond-ering

Since it’s rained like crazy and the rivers are still rising, I thought it would be a good time to check out our pond, the arroyo, and the riparian areas at the front of our property.

A meadow pink for my newfound love of the color.

Also, since it’s time for the second wave of wildflowers, I’d check them out, too. I’m always happy when these pink beauties are shining forth, so that was a good start!

I’m so glad they didn’t get all of these in the hay!

The dogs came along and enjoyed their own “pond” made by Lee’s unfinished drainage area.

Thanks for the pond, Dad!

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Hike on Bull Creek

Our Austin house is minutes away from Bull Creek District Park and Greenbelt, a popular recreation destination and one of Austin’s most charming assets. It’s sad that Anita and I haven’t made our way over there after living in the Bobcat Lair for over a year. Today I was working from home and needed a break, so we grabbed my son and his partner, had some delicious barbecue at the County Line. There we enjoyed all the turtles and the massive carp hanging around wanting to be fed.

Check out those BIG fish.

Then headed over to check out the greenbelt. This was sort of a reconnaissance visit, since we knew we would not have time to go on a long walk or explore much, but we had plenty of fun.

big trees.
I skillfully hid a car and a trash can to get this view looking toward the road.

There are beautiful oaks here that you know were here all along, not planted by someone.

Ah, peace and quiet in Austin.

What a joy it was to explore the quiet creek and riparian area in peace and quiet. This place can be quite busy, but we shared it only with a mother and her two sons, who reminded me of myself twenty-something years ago. The littlest one was buck naked and running around with a stick, poking it into chunks of algae and laughing in the way only a little kid with all the time in the world, cold water, and a stick can laugh.

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