Friday, May 2, 2014


First I spotted these guys, creeping across my path at the Hike & Bike. They looked kinda like itsy-bitsy strawberries, but had the wrong kind of leaf.

Then yesterday I spotted these fellows climbing up through the middle of some generic shrub, out in the center of a Wal-mart parking lot!

If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say these were blackberries. And, if blackberries can reseed themselves this easily from who knows where, and manage to do this well, then I'm thinkin' I should probably try growing some in the Cantina Garden, 'cause this is my kinda plant!

What a fruitful spring we are having!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

Hubby was outside grilling our dinner this weekend, when he suddenly stuck his head in the door and hollered "Becky! Come here!" I thought perhaps the grill had caught on fire again. Fortunately, it had not. Instead, he pointed up the hill behind our house and asked "What the heck is that, and where did it come from?"

There before me was an itsy bitsy tree covered in pink blossoms -- one which I had never seen before, and did not plant myself.

At first I thought it must be a little fruit tree of some sort, which came to us via some bird droppings. However, once we had climbed the hill to get a closer look, we discovered that those were not the sort of blooms you see on a fruit tree. They were fuzzy pink pom-poms!

Pom-poms which I have seen before, on other scrawny little shrubs with mesquite-like leaves, which are scattered about our property. This one may have been here all along and we just never noticed it before since it was so far away, and they have never bloomed quite so prolifically as they did this year.

After consulting my native plant bible -- Jill Nokes' How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest -- I decided it must be Calliandra eriophylla, commonly known as Fairy Duster, False Mesquite, or Charrasquillo.

Fairy Duster. How appropriate!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


I have a new favorite beer.

Not that I actually drink beer. But if I did? It would most definitely be this one, for, as you can see, the packaging is AWE-some!

Fortunately, Hubby was willing to give it a try, just for me.

He looooooves me!

He pronounced it "not bad", which is pretty much the highest praise you're ever gonna get from him -- even better than "didn't suck"! I sure wish it was safer to travel in Mexico, cuz I'm pretty sure my color-mad art heart would be right at home there. 

Meanwhile, I've been doing some more playing with Twinks (sparkling water colors) in my "Draw Your Awesome Life" journal.

If only those sparkles showed up better in photographs!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


As much as I love my "Fortress of Solitude" nature walks, I do occasionally crave a bit of people-watching. For that, there is no better place to go than the walking trail around Ladybird Lake in downtown Austin. That's where Hubby and I headed Sunday morning, while it was still cloudy and cool enough to be pleasant.

Not only do you see all kinds of interesting people, you get to enjoy some of the best scenery around as well!

Afterwards we decided to try someplace new for lunch, and selected something from Austin Monthly's recent "Cheap Eats" issue.

We chose Cafe Malta, one of those wonderful little Euro-style cafes, where you can actually talk to each other without having to yell. On Sundays they serve a brunch menu but, fortunately, it included the Brisket Ravioli Hubby was dying to try.

I opted for a porcini fettucini and a wonderful kale salad with juicy apple and blue cheese bits. Then we shared this bad boy -- chili chocolate creme brulee!

As if that weren't enough, we ended up browsing the aisles of a nearby Barnes & Noble and a World Market, which once was a weekly occurrence, but is now a very special treat. I didn't feel the need to buy anything, but it was fun just to browse.

It was a very good day.

Monday, April 28, 2014


Those tiny little green almond-shaped things are lookin' more and  more like peaches!

Sunday, April 27, 2014


I went to the Blue Hole nature trails early yesterday, expecting to have the place to myself. Boy, was I surprised!

It seems Wimberley was playing host to the American Volkssport Association this weekend, and their walking trail wove in and out of my usual path. I noticed that many of them were using walking sticks, and that there seems to be two schools of thought regarding those.

A few were doing it Gandalf-Style, with a single large wooden stick, much like the beautiful, hand-carved stick son Austin purchased at the Renaissance Festival years ago, and which we inherited when he left home.

Others were sporting the Tyrolean look, using two sticks that looked kind of like ski poles to me. Still others used nothing at all. It got me to thinkin' that perhaps I should look into the matter -- see what the pros and cons of each style were, or whether it was worth using a stick at all. Come to think of it, that big one might come in handy if I ever came face to face with a rattlesnake, or an overly amorous buck. Fortunately, that hasn't happened yet.

The very best part of sharing my walk with all these strangers yesterday was getting to hear little snippets of their conversations as we passed one another -- to hear their oohs and ahs when they reached the overlook and caught a first glimpse of the Blue Hole itself. It's always good to look at stuff through someone else's eyes now and again, don't you think? It leaves one feeling so enormously grateful, to actually live in such a beautiful place, to get to walk these trails almost daily, and to know that you'll be floating in that blue, blue water in just a few short weeks, with your oh-so interesting friends.

Am I lucky, or what?