Nature and Travel

Lots of photos of guys like me in here!

For my Master Naturalist and other nature-loving friends, here’s a collection of writing about my nature sightings and travels.

Arts and Crafts Update

Quick update. My friend Pamela dropped off my finished soap dishes yesterday. I was happy to see how shiny they were, but not overly thrilled with my glaze, as usual. Still, Pamela’s designs are pretty, and they will liven up my bathrooms. The gold one is very bright. The dark parts are what I wanted, … Continue reading “Arts and Crafts Update”

Baby’s First Hay

Rip the bull calf has had a lot of adventures in his short bovine career. He was born! Something happened! He rumbled around! He was in a scary place with many frightened animals! He rode in another rumbly thing! A human fed him milk! He was in a grassy place. He slept. Many humans and … Continue reading “Baby’s First Hay”

Hey, Hay!

I think the long saga of me needing hay for Apache is over for a while, at least. It’s nice to have kind Master Naturalist friends to come to my rescue. I thought I was getting square bales from Pamela, who lives nearby, but it turned out her baling guy would make no fewer than … Continue reading “Hey, Hay!”

Serpentine Visitor

I miss all the good stuff. Last night at the ranch, while Vlassic and I were safely snoozing in our Austin bed, the ranch dogs started barking like crazy and would not stop. Lee got up and looked out the front door but couldn’t see anything. They continued to bark, and apparently the whole family … Continue reading “Serpentine Visitor”

Earth Day at 50

As a certified Master Naturalist, I am obliged to acknowledge that today’s the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. As a human being, I relish the opportunity to dwell on my concerns about the planet we all share and to remind myself to keep doing the things I do to help our green and blue mother … Continue reading “Earth Day at 50”

Mellow Yellow Overload

Now, for something completely different. I did a fun (to me) project yesterday that didn’t require any human contact nor leaving the property where our office is. I decided to see how many different yellow flowers I could find in the weed/wildflower collection known as our empty lot. As you can see, I managed to … Continue reading “Mellow Yellow Overload”

I Don’t Dance

Nope. At least very rarely. I’m not coordinated and I’m also sort of embarrassed about it. So the UU Lent word for today sent me off in a different direction. I love watching dances that come up around me. Flowers blowing in the wind. Vultures circling. Starling murmurations. Wind in trees. Clouds racing across the … Continue reading “I Don’t Dance”

Count Me In

Oh goodness. Today is Sunday, so the UU Lent word is extra UU: inclusion. This is, I suppose, to incite us privileged cisgender white womyn to give a pious lecture about including our rainbow of friends in all aspects of society. Politics! The Board room! Your church! Your neighborhood! Okay. So, go do that. Inclusion … Continue reading “Count Me In”

Playing! Fun! Okay!

Today’s word for UU Lent is play. Great choice, since Lee and I are taking a birthday present road trip to visit a new place and see some relatives. It’s my gift to him. We hope to get Lee relaxed and me out looking at water. Fun. I’ve always tried to incorporate play into my … Continue reading “Playing! Fun! Okay!”

Surprise Guests!

Yesterday, we were going shopping in Bandera when we saw a car that looks just like Blackie, Lee’s late-life crisis sports car. Out came the relatives, Kathleen and Chris. What a fun surprise! I now had a co-shopper, which made the last couple of stores way more fun. We stopped in a little boutique that … Continue reading “Surprise Guests!”

Cat-astrophe?

I wrote this blog entry originally for Milam Touch of Love, our animal welfare organization, but hey, who doesn’t love a story about beautiful kitties (other than Lee)? This week I’m in Bandera County, Texas, which is west of San Antonio in the Hill Country. I’m staying in a cozy log cabin in a pleasant, … Continue reading “Cat-astrophe?”

What’s in Bandera, Texas? Many Armadillos and African Game Animals

Lee and I are spending Christmas week holed up in a log-cabin condo outside of Bandera, Texas. Why? It was the only place I could use my travel points on that was within driving distance of Austin. Also, it’s the Cowboy Capital of the World, you know. And it’s in the Texas Hill Country, a … Continue reading “What’s in Bandera, Texas? Many Armadillos and African Game Animals”

It’s Okay to Be a Tourist

When I was a teenager in a tourist destination (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida area), I sure didn’t like tourists. They showed up and drove strangely, got horrible sunburns, and asked ignorant questions. Grr. They filled “our” restaurants. I currently spent half my time in another tourist destination, where natives carefully avoid downtown or our beautiful parks … Continue reading “It’s Okay to Be a Tourist”

Ahoy! We Set Sail!

Admission: we were not on a sailboat, we were on a ski boat, but nonetheless, Anita and I had a glorious time with Boat Captain Scott out on the waters surrounding Hilton Head Island yesterday. We spent two action-packed hours as our guide took us to beautiful spots filled with birds and dolphins. It was … Continue reading “Ahoy! We Set Sail!”

Bee Happy, We Won!

Howdy. I hope you didn’t miss me too much yesterday, but I was too zonked once I got home from the Master Naturalist Conference to write anything, and I did want to spend some bonding time with Lee, since I won’t see him again until November. The blog title tells you two big things that … Continue reading “Bee Happy, We Won!”

Just Having a Sit-Along

Today has been non-stop meetings, work, and networking, but it’s been fun. After working at my actual job all morning, we had another wildflower brochure meeting at the Hermit Haus. I’m almost done with the brochure, thanks to lots of proofreading help. You can never see all your own typos. And I don’t spell in … Continue reading “Just Having a Sit-Along”

Lesson Learned: Registering for the Texas Master Naturalist Conference

I’m happy to announce that my wallet is smaller, but I have successfully registered for the 2019 Texas Master Naturalist Conference! It’s in mid-October in Rockwall, Texas. I hear it’s a nice setting away from Big City stuff. Or it’s in a resort area. We’ll see. Why do I say I learned a lesson? Well, … Continue reading “Lesson Learned: Registering for the Texas Master Naturalist Conference”

Batty Bits

It’s been quite a week with so much work and such that it’s been hard to find time to write. I may perhaps have too many jobs and volunteer positions, but I love them all! I especially enjoy my Master Naturalist group and its members. I get a lot out of observing their personalities and … Continue reading “Batty Bits”

Cameron History Note

We’ve decided to activate the website for The Hermit Haus, our meeting center at the former First Christian Church in Cameron. We are interested in knowing more of the history of the church, and would love it if any of you know about events or people of interest that happened during the long history of … Continue reading “Cameron History Note”

Summer Dead Stuff

Hey again. I’ve got some more deep thinking coming up, but first I have to say it’s hard to get anything at all done this time of year, because there’s always something interesting and deceased laying around. Our first thing isn’t dead, just empty. That’s the tiny nest the baby finch tried to fall out … Continue reading “Summer Dead Stuff”

Book Report: The Biohistory of Alachua County, Florida

Note: this post is about the history of a single county in north Florida. I am quite aware that there were civilizations, settlements, and migrations throughout North America long before events I talk about here. In fact, my own ancestors were in Florida long, long before Alachua County was settled. While we were visiting Gainesville, … Continue reading “Book Report: The Biohistory of Alachua County, Florida”

Grumpy? Not Us!

The intrepid travelers are heading back to Texas, so most of yesterday involved driving and looking out the window. And making sure to talk frequently so Lee wouldn’t sigh loudly and turn music on, because we were too silent. There’s not a lot to say about trees and more trees. I guess he thought we … Continue reading “Grumpy? Not Us!”

What Gives a Person Nightmares (and more Gainesville Stuff)

Here’s more on our adventures in Gainesville, Florida. My hometown! One more stop We had plenty of time, so we visited a small museum that highlighted Gainesville history, the Matheson Museum. There was an exhibit on modern buildings of Gainesville, which featured many places familiar to me from the 1960s. We also found postcards of … Continue reading “What Gives a Person Nightmares (and more Gainesville Stuff)”

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. Where we went was actually in Kenansville, Wild Florida Airboats and Gator Park. I think Lee was a … Continue reading “Airboat Adventure”

Sunny Florida

They always used to say “sunny Florida,” even though it rained most days. It rained just a little yesterday as we finished driving through Mississippi, zipped through Alabama without buying anything, and then spent a very long time on I-10 looking at trees. We’d had a nice night in a cheery hotel in Pascagoula, MS … Continue reading “Sunny Florida”

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