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.

Pancakes: The Odd Thing about South Carolina Dining Out

Yeah, many towns look exactly alike, with the same stores, same shopping areas, and same restaurants. But, still, you can find interesting local differences if you pay attention. Here are some random things we’ve been noticing in South Carolina. A Pancake and Waffle Obsession Apparently, these are most beloved. Photo by @lorenklein via Twenty20 There … Continue reading “Pancakes: The Odd Thing about South Carolina Dining Out”

Some Couple Time

Lee and I truly needed some time away. As much as we love the ranch, it’s easy to get in a rut. We’ve really been enjoying some down time to relax, while still doing our work. Ahh. We have enough time to relax now and for the future. A nice retirement plan and the knowledge … Continue reading “Some Couple Time”

Just Flowers

I was trying to do a photo post again, but twice it crashed. I’m too tired to write anything, probably because my watch thinks I exercised 40 minutes while riding in the car. Thanks, rough roads! So, I’m just going to show you flowers I saw today while driving from Tyler, Texas to Oxford, Alabama. … Continue reading “Just Flowers”

Tanks? Ponds?

I live in Texas, on a cattle ranch, though none of the cattle here are mine. The cattle here mostly drink out of artificial ponds, because as any Texas naturalist knows, there’s only one natural lake in Texas (Caddo Lake, on the Louisiana border). Thus, any pond you see is made by a human or … Continue reading “Tanks? Ponds?”

Preparing for Nature Fun

As I’m noodling around with the idea of “goals,” I decided one would be to learn something about nature every day by getting outside and focusing on my surroundings. I get to start out by participating in our Master Naturalist chapter’s winter Bioblitz (follow along with us, if you want to!), for which I’m really … Continue reading “Preparing for Nature Fun”

Headstones and History

While I’ve written about Walker’s Creek cemetery before, I was compelled to write again, because our Master Naturalist event champion, Linda Jo, asked us to go out and observe at a Milam County cemetery this week. This place is so beautiful, I’m always happy to visit. I decided to do two things, survey what’s living … Continue reading “Headstones and History”

Fog Magic

Last night was absolutely magical, if also a bit scary for people on the roads. It’s one of those things that can’t help but inspire awe as you witness what Nature can do in the right circumstances. As a Blogmas gift to you all, I’ll showcase some photos from my Master Naturalist friends as I … Continue reading “Fog Magic”

Yesterday Was Rough

Whew, yesterday was not fun. In fact, I’m really sad today, because while I was having a hard travel day, two people drowned while fishing in a pond on the next property over from the Hermits’ Rest/Wild Type Ranch property. Here’s a better article. It hit really close to home, because while I didn’t know … Continue reading “Yesterday Was Rough”

Tribute to Self Care

This morning, I woke up and didn’t feel awake. These days, whenever you feel the least bit off, you immediately think you have COVID. I ran through all my symptoms, tested my sense of smell (yep, the trash can still smells like a banana cemetery), and checked my temperature (97). I realized I was mostly … Continue reading “Tribute to Self Care”

Calming Vibes

I’ve been working hard this week, and there’s some work challenges, but still getting out and exercising in the brisk Utah mountain air. Because the ski area is getting more busy, I’m being more careful where I go. I’m avoiding people as much as possible this week. Today I was able to head up to … Continue reading “Calming Vibes”

Happy Worker

This may be one of the few times I’ve ever come back from a vacation fully rested and relaxed. I haven’t had to drive or fly back in from anywhere or take care of all the things that I didn’t do while I was gone (because I’ll do that NEXT week). I just woke up, … Continue reading “Happy Worker”

Rocky Mountain VERY High

Not the drug kind of high, we enjoyed the elevation kind. This afternoon, we went to get more groceries, thanks to the Caso rental car. Being easily amused, Kathleen and I enjoyed looking at exotic Utah groceries, like peach and raspberry Coca-Cola. We tried the peach tonight, and it was actually pretty good. After fueling … Continue reading “Rocky Mountain VERY High”

Escape from Park City

Anita and I were trying to decide what to do today when there was a knock at the door. I wondered if the housekeepers came back, but no, it was someone else. She was all bundled up, but then I realized it was Kathleen! They’d surprised me! Much happiness ensued. Eventually we went on a … Continue reading “Escape from Park City”

Hiking Late in the Day

We didn’t get out until around 4pm yesterday. That meant the sun was going down and the snow melt in the paths was starting to freeze. But we persevered. We walked along dirt roads and golf paths, and it was not bad. We were rewarded with some beautiful views! I’ve noticed my breathing is getting … Continue reading “Hiking Late in the Day”

Laying Low

Sometimes you just want to stay cozy. It was really cold this morning. So Anita and I are watching movies. I am knitting. The knitting is less ugly than it was. It’s a table runner. It will block nicely. It’s nice to just relax. Even though there have been some glitches today, I’m just chilling. … Continue reading “Laying Low”

And Now the Party Starts

Good news! Entertainment has arrived! I’d been expecting a package, so I went down and asked the sweet young man, who obviously just got back from his two-year mission, to look for it. No package. I thought, hmm, that money for overnight shipping was totally wasted! But, when I finally went back to my room, … Continue reading “And Now the Party Starts”

My Buddy Nature

I sure love being outside and exploring new places. Even in this week where I’ve been laying low, I make sure to get outside and do something daily. It’s just plain fun. I’d intended to go on a short walk today, but when I realized I had a couple of hours until my next meeting, … Continue reading “My Buddy Nature”

Venturing into Town

If you’re reading this, it means we’re both still alive and kicking! Woo hoo! After a night of little sleep, I woke up feeling pretty good. And I worked really hard, other than a half-hour walk in which I found the liquor store. You will be relieved to know I have not gone through the … Continue reading “Venturing into Town”

Fleeing Texas

Salt Lake City has a new airport. How do I know? I’m in Utah, holed up in a condo, watching football in a very comfy chair while a fire blazes. What on Earth? Are You All Right, Suna? Honestly? I’m worried about next week. Election anxiety. I’m afraid of upset Texans and all their firearms. … Continue reading “Fleeing Texas”

Brown Recluses, Crows, and Cochineal: Stuff I Learned about This Week

I’ve enjoyed the Texas Master Naturalist Annual Meeting, for the most part. There were a couple of dud presentations (I won’t say which ones those were), but I managed to learn a lot. I really missed interacting with others before and after sessions and being able to interact. But I did learn a bunch. I’m … Continue reading “Brown Recluses, Crows, and Cochineal: Stuff I Learned about This Week”

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”

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