Friday, March 30, 2012

Spring in the Texas Hill Country

Saturday morning Tom and I headed out with friends for a drive into the Texas Hill Country...

First stop: Willow City Loop
It's just another winding country road most of the year.
 Pretty, but no more so than any other little country road...
...until spring arrives.

Then it becomes a wildflower wonderland... 

The residents ask that you don't park, so mostly we drove, oohing and aahing around every curve... and snapping bluebonnets from the window.

But a few times Tom agreed to stop so I could jump out and grab a close up.

Indian Paintbrush

White Poppies and Bluebonnets

We continued down the highway to Enchanted Rock State Park...

...where we sat in a line waiting to drive in.
Fortunately, this cardinal kept us company while we waited.

We had a good view of the Rock. 
I prayed we'd make it in before the capacity limit was reached.

We did, hallelujah!
I already posted several photos on Long Hollow of our adventures on the Rock, but here are a few more.

This one gives you an idea of its size...

White Poppies up close... blossoms delicate as tissue! 

The poppies grew along Willow City Loop, but also decorated the beginning of the trail leading to the top of the Rock, along with the beautiful Spiderwort below.
(Who named these, anyway?) 

Fern peeked out from under a huge granite boulder that rested on the Rock.

Colored lichen dressed up much of the granite. 
Besides this University of Texas orange, I also spotted some blues and reds.

We also found color on the cactus...

I have a feeling the cacti below didn't grow like this on their own.
(See those little fuzzy knobs popping out? Soon those will be gorgeous flowers!)

Leaving the rock, we drove into Fredericksburg for lunch and parked near this beautiful church.

The church school... such an imposing building!

A mysterious little door on the side of the church.
I felt sepia added to the mystery.

Fredericksburg is a beautiful little German town with tons of things to photograph
but we were famished and this was as far as we got.
(I recommend the Reuben Sandwich!)

Now that's the way to spend a Saturday in spring!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Raindrops and Dewdrops

It's a wonderful thing, sightseeing in a world washed fresh...

...sparkling with nature's bling.

I can even tolerate all of the extra bugs attracted by the moisture.
Or at least I try to tolerate them.
(Do you see that one on the leaf up above? I didn't until I saw this photo. Ugh.)

Dewdrops look like elegant lace on these Bright Bitterweed blossoms.
I hate the name, but love the flower!

Morning dew clung to this spiderweb like an intricate strands of pearls.

Rain. Sunshine. Rain. Sunshine. 

It won't last long, I know,
but that makes me appreciate it even more.

Friday, March 23, 2012


I apologize for not knowing the real names of these wonderful wildflowers now lining bits of our dirt road, 
but to me they'll always be 
Yellow Explosions.

And so, of course, I'm going to call these 
Purple Explosions.

Hope you have a weekend exploding with color and joy!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Along a Texas Highway in Springtime

What I love about road trips with Tom - 
besides being with him, of course - 
is that he insists on driving, 
which means I'm free to snap photos through the window.

Such as this one of a Prowler we passed...

...and this crowd of Houston skyscrapers 
(they remind me so much of the building blocks I used to play with!)

There's something majestic and inspiring about a shaft of sunlight breaking through a bank of storm clouds...

...or setting behind a field of grazing cows.

But closer to Austin, we hit the jackpot... 

For these, Tom even pulled off the road so I could get close.  
It was a windy evening, but I'm still pleased with the shots.

Indian Paintbrushes and other pretty wildflowers just add to the beauty, I think. 

I've passed this market so many times. 
One day I want to stop and really explore it.

I was in Bluebonnet Heaven!


Tom took the camera from me to snap some of his own, 
but I'm not sure which ones are his, 
so I'm claiming them all.

Especially the prettiest ones. 

Happy first day of Spring!

If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom.
~Audra Foveo~

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Greening of the Hollow

"St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time -
- a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic." 
~ unknown 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Playing Chicken

Last month, on a quick trip to Houston, I made my usual stop in Ellinger for a coffee refill.

This cute couple had taken over the side parking lot. 

Right away, I thought of my Frankie bird, my pet guinea, may he rest in peace. 

So I had to stop and chat with them before heading on my way. 

Mister Dominique was showing off something fierce, 
crowing loud and strong even though the sun was high in the sky.

I just can't resist a pretty feather and beady eye... 

Yes, people were probably pointing and laughing at the crazy woman in the parking lot, talking to the chickens and taking their pictures.
I just ignored them.

(Don't tell him I said this, but, handsome as he is, Dominique just isn't quite as cute as my Frankie.)