Eclipse day 2017. 

We’ve wandered a bit and saw some interesting things today.

We hung out at a park in Cross Plains, Tennessee with a couple hundred other people on the line of totality for the solar eclipse…

Some enterprising kids recognized it as a business opportunity…

Of course, we bought some.

And I took some pictures of the amazing display in the sky above…

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It was an incredibly amazing experience.   I’m looking forward to the next one in Austin on April 8, 2024!

The wild outside.

I love finding visitors just outside my kitchen window.

A napping fawn on the lawn Saturday afternoon:

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A rare migrating Rufous (or possibly Allen’s?) hummingbird this morning hiding out from the rain.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Barton Springs, Lake Travis, and a shanghai’ed uncle.

Days 3, 4 and 5 of our visit with family brought a trip to Barton Springs, Sno-beach snocones, a brewery crawl, an overnight at anchor on the boat on Lake Travis, and pizza night.  The weekend was filled with swimming, diving and floating.   A brother-in-law from Houston drove to Austin and he spent the night with us on the boat – whether he knew he was going to or not 🙂

I love the chance to spend this time with family.  Keeto will be devastated when everyone leaves tonight.

This is a shot from the southern end of Barton Springs pool, looking north to the Austin skyline.  The background has changed much since Mary Doerr captured the same vantage point years ago – the Capitol building is now obscured by skyscrapers.  But the pool in the foreground is exactly the same.

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Sweaty betties.

I went birding and hiking today with my friend, Doray.  We started early, at Reimer’s Ranch Park, and then did the guided tour of the canyon and grotto at Westcave Preserve.  After that, we went back to Reimer’s to hike their River Trail.

Let me just say, “Whoo dogie, it was HOT!”   Whew!  100 degrees or so.  But it was beautiful, we did see lots of birdies, and we enjoyed a lovely day in our hill country.  Pretty good day.

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A mess o’martins.

I checked out a Purple Martin Party tonight – a spectator event coordinated by the Travis Audubon Society.   Every Friday and Saturday night in July, from 8-9:30pm, people gather on the lawn outside the Texas Land & Cattle restaurant to watch tens of thousands of purple martins roost at sunset.  These guys are done nesting and breeding and are on their way south to complete the annual migration cycle of life.  They tell me that by the end of the month there may be hundreds of thousands of them.

How can one possibly photograph this event?  Here is one shot I took, a small portion of the overall scene.  Can you count them?

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Her third Fourth.

Our niece, Laura, has been visiting us for the last few days.  Yesterday afternoon we headed out to the lake to spend the night at our marina with a group of friends.  Today we enjoyed a great sail up and down the lake.  We figured that this is the third 4th of July that Laura has spent with us on Lake Travis.   I’m looking forward to the next one.

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Fungus amungus.

We spent last week driving to Florida and back to attend the best-reunion-evah.  🙂  I have so many pictures, my eyes are glazing over.  I kind of like this one.  The old gives life to the new.  Bloom where you are planted, my friends.

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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.  

Bird on a wire.

We spent a fun weekend on the lake.  Sunday morning, I was greeted by 7 or 8 little barn swallows grooming themselves on the lifelines and jib sheets of the boat next to us.  I stole this shot of one in the morning sun.  It’s hard to get a good photo of these little ones because they usually dart around and never light on anything close by.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The birds and the bees.

The hummingbird feeders are getting quite a lot of traffic these days.  Between the bees, the hummers and the finches, they’ll empty one of these in a day.   I had just refilled this feeder and by the time I got back into the house, these two had already stopped for a drink.

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Hummingbird Nectar
1 part sugar : 4 parts H2O
Bring to a boil for several minutes.
Let cool completely.   You can refrigerate any extra for a week or so.
Probably shouldn’t leave in the feeder for more than a day or two.

Jacob’s Well. 

I joined Doray for a trip to the Wimberly area.  We stopped by their new home site to check out progress.  Then we visited Jacob’s Well Natural Area.   Jacob’s Well is a narrow (10-20′ in diameter), but deep (up to 100′) hole in the limestone of the springfed Trinity Aquifer.  Young and old jump from the rocks into the waters of the well to cool off.   We were only hiking but I enjoyed watching the divers.  


Watch your step!   That first one can be a doozy.  

(Image manipulated using iPhone app brushstroke)