Family time in the garden. 

We are spending the weekend at a family reunion this weekend.  Our hostess, Susanne’s, garden is the perfect setting.  Everywhere you look there’s a lovely surprise.  We are missing those that can’t be here.  

Red yucca blooms.

Pretty flowers.  I have four red yucca plants in the yard, each one seems to bloom every other year.   But luckily for me they are not all on the same schedule, so I’ve had at least one in bloom every year.  My next plant on the wish list for the yard is a white yucca.  Stay tuned.

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Practice makes perfect.

I am still working on improving my manual focus skill with my Olympus camera.   In this picture, I was trying to focus on the butterfly, but turns out I got an absolutely crisp image of the opening zinnia that is just above and to the right of where I was trying to focus.   I’ll keep trying…

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Perdinaliss.

If you hang around Central Texans long enough, you will learn that we are fond of bestowing our own pronunciation on the names of some of our favorite local places; confounding out-of-towners, I’m sure.

One of those place names is “Pedernales” – the name of a river, a series of water falls, and a state park.  Take note:  locals refer to it as “per-din-al-iss.”

Whether or not you can say it right, you must go see all three.   I took a day trip and visited Pedernales Falls State Park today.   I enjoyed visiting their bird blind, walking down to the Falls, scoping out birds while hiking, doing a little geocaching, and taking in the beautiful scenery on a gorgeous day.

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The falls from the scenic vantage point above:

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Barrel o’fun. 

We have a new rain barrel out back.  Just in time for today’s rain.   Installed yesterday, and today it’s full!  Fyi, City of Austin offers modest rebates for rain water harvesting devices.  Check it out if you are interested, or see if your city offers something similar. 

Painted poppy. 

Ok, it’s not really painted, but a photo that I morphed with an iPhone app called Brushstroke.   The poppies came back this year out back. I love their deep red. Hoping for even more next year!

A new (to me) park. 

I discovered a lovely park, right off Loop 360 and Spicewood Springs Road. The trail head for the Irving and Hazeline Smith Memorial Trail is on the northwest corner of the intersection.  You can park right nearby.  It’s an easy, flat, 1.5 mile loop through woods, grassland and near the creek.  No dogs permitted, though.