Monday, April 24, 2006

Let me explain the photos below...

This past Sunday we went hiking as usual at a particularly interesting and beautiful place called Crockett Springs. The weather was pleasant early in the morning when we started and remained so through out the hike. The very first thing we saw was a wild turkey crossing the road before we even got to the parking lot. It was just meandering along in no real hurry.

There was much wildlife to be observed and plenty of beautiful plants to check out. The diversity in habitat was amazing. One part of the hike was a juniper forest, with little else growing. Another part was a narrow trail that followed along the lake from up high with cliffs to our right and dense vegetation all around. There were areas along the top where one can walk right up to the edge of the cliff and peer over to see that 80 feet below is lake water. That put a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach when I leaned over to look down. I really liked the flowering plant (pictured below) that was hanging on the cliffside.

The trail was extremely rocky and difficult to navigate so it was hard to look up for the most part while on the move. What was probably about a six mile hike including the geo-caches we visited, was strenous and felt longer. Luckily I'm not sore today, even though the payoff at the end of the trail would have been worth it.

The pay off was Crockett Springs, or also referred to as Crockett Gardens. It's a GORGEOUS oasis to hang out and rest. The breeze that went through the area was serene and calming and I could have chilled out there for at least an hour. The pictures below of lush scenery might give you an idea of this wonderful place.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


There is nothing like camping in a gorgeous place with the best of friends. Our destination last weekend was the Hill Country State Natural Area and it was such a blast. We saw wildlife and had some fun geocaching too. Here are some pics!goofing off for the camera
Dad looks pretty tired! It was rather hot on this hike.
Just some scenery
More scenery. These beautiful yuccas were everywhere.
On the trail to a geo cache
One of the many gorgeous Texas wild flowers
Ben in time out
Notice the sticker on the red vehicle...I didn't know this was in the picture until I went back later to look at stuff. Too cool.
Thomas patiently shows Ben how to work the GPS.
A very busy dung beetle!
Ben finds treasure
Awesome view of the hills!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Pictures of hike at Doeskin Ranch

As far as the eye can see! And don't forget to click on all of the pictures to see them bigger and better!

Upper Prarie lands.
We stopped at this spot for a rest and enjoyed the sounds from many different birds and watched the butterflies flit around.

This was the beginning of an adventure. We went on a trail that seems to be barely used and it was new to us so we didn't know where we'd end up for sure, but it was such a wonderful side loop and made the hike much longer and better.
Some old fence with barbed wire coiled in front

My friend Thomas, who is a very good photographer with a bad ass camera, took this. It's a variegated fritillary and they were everywhere! Check out my links to see more of Thomas's work.
Never have seen this flower before. I have no clue what it is, but will find out later.
So pretty and bright!

I'm not sure what this white flower is, but it looks kinda like chamomile.

Indian Paint Brush
Don't know what this is, but it is so pretty!
This almost looks like Mexican could be.
Have no clue what this is but it was just beginning to bloom
Isn't this a gorgeous color? I'm thinking this is some kind of wild onion variety, but not sure.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Sweet hike today at Does Skin Ranch

Today was another great day for hiking and this time Thomas, Mykel, and myself, found ourselves on a great little adventure at Doe Skin Ranch. There was a new trail added that gave us a nice long addition to the normal trail. The view was stunning on that extra loop and we sat and enjoyed the butterflies and calls of many different birds. The smells were incredible on this hike too. Many things were blooming and the air was so fresh and clean.
We got there around 8ish in the am so it was kind of cool when we started out. However, after climbing the first big hill of the day I was greatful for the pleasing breeze and had to stop a couple of times to catch my breath. Once on top of the ridge, we ran into one other hiker and had a nice little chat. He was the first person in the park that day and once we returned to our car, we found he had left us a nice note inviting us to the Balcones Festival or something like that.

We saw a couple of lizards, one being kind of blue, and we flushed out a few quail that startled the heck out of us! It was an explosion of beating wings, which was pretty awesome. I love seeing wildlife on our hikes. There is nothing better than being out somewhere that feels so wild and where one can really connect with nature.

Next weekend we are going camping! I can't wait!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

My friends got married!

Last week and last weekend was all one big whirlwind! My dear friends Mykel and Paul got hitched, and I'm the one that hitched them. It was such a complete honor that they asked me to perform the ceramony, which was one of the most fun and memorable ones I can think of in a long time.

The week before the festivities were to begin, Mykel and Paul were in the process of moving. I helped them as much as I could with that task. Once they were moved, Mykel and I spent the next couple of days doing party prep such as shopping, and marathon cooking. I had a great time with all of that, but it was hard work and we didn't stop until we were exhausted.

Let me tell you now, that Mykel is a great cook but she is not very good at stopping at just a few dishes. She bought enough food to feed an army. The two of us spent at least 12 hours cooking, not including the cooking done while the party was going on. We didn't cook half of what Mykel wanted to! I told her next time she has a party, I'm putting the brakes on her after 5 or so dishes. :)

The marriage took place on April fools evening which was a hoot. The party theme was a "god party" where we all dressed up as our favorite god or goddess. Many great friends were in attendance and they didn't even know they were attending a wedding until about mid party! We all gathered out by the pool where I announced what was going on and thanking everyone for being there. I then said a few words to marry P and M, and that was that! Of course everyone was cheering and taking pictures like crazy. Go to to see pics of the party. It's under the link "Ye Gods".