Saturday, April 4, 2015

Tougher than they seem..

Snowy sweet blooms on my pyracantha shrub in the front. It finally recovered after a too vigorous trimming from some fellows my husband hired as a "treat" for me a few years ago. They left it gangly and thin but it is filling in again. It isn't a native (the plant comes from Southeast Europe to Southeast Asia) but it is tough and produces red berries that the birds love to eat. Despite it's soft look in the picture it has sharp long thorns (and makes a great barrier!).

Bee? Fly? The furry legs make me lean towards bee (as well as it's complete focus on this pummelo blossom). 

Pumpkin looks sweet but has taken to pecking us to get our attention. She stops when we pick her up. I have a chicken that thinks she's a lap cat!

A flurry of activity today, getting muffins baked, veggies and fruit chopped, baked french toast prepped. We are going to have both sides of the family here with an Easter egg hunt (if it is not pouring rain). I love having a garden big enough to have nooks and crannies to stash the eggs! Happy Easter everyone.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Good morning

A brief sweet good morning on my walk to the car. I love spring..

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Spring in Llano and Mason

We headed out to my parent's place in Mason this weekend, hoping to catch some wildflowers (and let the boys frolic in this gorgeous weather). The highway wildflowers were ..not-yet ready, simmering with bluebonnets, but not the symphony of colors they might become in the next few weeks (if.. it rains, stays nice, etc etc). Out in the Hill Country the trees are a week or two behind the city trees: branches are still bare (or have buds) rather than the bright new light green of fresh leaves that popped up around town when I wasn't looking. The live oaks look yellow with old leaves still needing to fall. Some areas are bright with lush spring grasses (so verdant!), others have a dry look to them (all that caliche..).

Instead of zooming through Llano (with the habitual donut stop at Chrissy's Homestyle Bakery), we paused at Robinson City Park a mile or so west of the town square, located along the Llano river. It was a great place for the kids to get out and romp, and seems like a fun location to put in kayaks and swim on a hot summer day (note to self..).

They even have bluebonnets amid rolling boulders

Requisite close-up :)

Imagine this spot in summer when the tree is full of leaves.. I would laze on the bank and watch my kids frolic (avoiding the turtle sunning itself on rocks of course)..

Perfect hopping rocks for a 5 year old..

Spiderwort plants have popped up in between the boulders.

At my parent's place, the flowers were still subdued and waiting. Mason is apparently 1000 ft higher than Austin, so it will be a couple of weeks before the hills are bursting. There are many early starters that caught my eye though..

These are Blue Gilia (Gilastrum rigidulum), which I found along shady draws in caliche soils.

This early Huisache daisy has a plump bee as a fan.

All along the hills I could see the soft white mounds of Spanish dagger flowers peeking out.

This white prickly poppy (Argemone albiflora) is a wonderful combination of toughness (cows and deer won't eat them) and delicateness (look at those paperysoft petals!).

I found a few claret cup or Hedgehog cacti- they epitomize the word tough- growing in limestone cracks where not much else can survive..

Even if we didn't get rolling fields of flowers, we did get beautiful spring light and color. I snapped this picture of my youngest leading us on an early evening adventure hike, through dirt roads, prickly pear stands and draws. He always seemed to sit down near the carpenter ant piles (!), but hopefully he'll remember having his mother and Abuelita's attention as he told his quirky stories and chased his own shadow..

Happy spring everyone!