Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Ladybug, Ladybug, Fly Away Home

Ladybug Tote Bag
 a.k.a. Grandmother's Bag

The little ladybug has long been a favorite
among artists and crafters because of it's
endearing cuteness and it's simplicity.

Thanks to Stephanie at Loft Creations and her
wonderful Oak Park Bag pattern, I have created
a Grandmother's Bag which will be a hostess gift
when my daughter and I visit with her best friend's mom.

(Here I am, borrowing her grandchild
since I haven't one of my own!
Isn't she a cutie?)
And tucked inside?

A copy of Eric Carle's The Grouchy Ladybug, of course!
And maybe a ladybug pillow, if I would get off this computer
and get back to work at the sewing machine!

But, before I go and while I'm thinking of Stephanie,
I was a lucky winner on her blog not so long ago,
and my prize arrived yesterday!!

A set of 10 spools of neutral thread,
the colors so rich and inspiring!!
I'm not as adept at photographing these 'indoor' things as Stephanie,
and I want to keep it wrapped for travel purposes,
so visit this post to see more!
THANKS, Stephanie, not just for the great prize,
but for the fun and versatile bag pattern!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Kiss is Just a Kiss


Monday, February 14, 2011

Macro Monday - Texas Fossils

Texas Fossils
Guadalupe River State Park

Birds and armadillos weren't the only
interesting treasures at the state park.


When I finally got my head out of the sky and looked down,
I was amazed at what I saw embedded in the limestone.

This one looks like an amoeba.

Check out the size of this one compared to the Juniper Berry!

Fossil seeking consumed one whole afternoon!
Does that make me a fossicker?

Click HERE for more Macro Monday posts.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Weekend Reflections

Panther Canyon
New Braunfels, TX

This signage is located at the trailhead to Panther Canyon,
explaining to visitors about the Edwards Aquifer
(And that's my daughter and I reflected in
it's surface.)
A 51 acre trail located along the Balcones Enscarpment,

 ("The Balcones Escarpment is a geologic fault zone several miles wide consisting of several faultings, most of which both dip and are downthrown to the east. It extends in a curved line across Texas from Del Rio to the Red River and is visible eastward from Del Rio, where it is about 1,000 feet high, and northeastward from San Antonio to Austin, where it is about 300 feet high."  It is the dividing line between the Texas Hill Country and the Plains of Texas.)

Panther Canyon provides a pleasing,
local adventure
 into nature for families.
I think I've made it very plain
in past posts
that nothing pleases me more
than to see families
taking advantage
of every opportunity
to engage
with nature. 
And I wasn't disappointed
this day, as a few families
passed us on our
way out. 
I will selfishly say, however,
that I'm glad we
got an early start
and had the canyon
mostly to ourselves!

The actual trail is only eight-tenths of
a mile, and although gently sloping,
it is very rocky and rugged.

Families aren't all we happened upon.  Early into the hike, 3 very active and gloriously loud Carolina Wrens kept us very entertained.

A few white-tailed deer stopped by to see what we were up to.

And a fellow hiker with companion carefully picked her way 
amid the rocks along the bank of the dry river bed.

She tells me they are frequent visitors to the trail,
and often go camping in their tent, just the two of them! 
A kindred spirit!

Speaking of the dry river bed,

it held a few treasures; some you had to search really hard to find,

clam shell fossil
and some that were obvious.

This cave extended back about 15 feet
before it became too narrow to negotiate.
I saw no signs of habitation.

I'm glad that there are places to go
within the city limits
to escape technology and the hold it has on our lives.

Click here for more
Weekend Reflections
from around the world.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Check, check!

(Catherpes mexicanus)

During my camping trip to Guadalupe River State Park,
I was fortunate to observe several Canyon Wrens (check).
This little fellow is a life bird for me!

I felt pretty honored,
as I realize that my location
was on the very fringes  of their range,
and I never expected to see one,
let alone so many.
But it was their preferred habitat of
cliffs and rock ledges.

Another life bird for me was this
Ladder-backed Woodpecker, (Picoides scalaris) (check).

It was my first day at the park, and I had stopped a couple,
who were obviously birders, to pick their brains
about what I might look forward to seeing.
I had just commented that I was in hopes of seeing
a Ladder-backed Woodpecker,
and as if on cue, in he flew.

Other life birds I observed during my stay at the state park were the
Bewick Wren, (Thryomanes bewickii)(check); House Wren, (Troglodytes aedon)(check),

and the Carolina Chickadee, (Poecile carolinensis)(check).

I also observed a White-throated Sparrow(Zonotrichia albicollis)  
and can take it
off of my 'auditory only' list!

Not a life bird, but a delightful, comical resident of the park
was the Black-crested Titmouse, Baeolophus atricristatus
(also known as the Mexican Titmouse).

There was a bevy of birds to keep me busy
during the week.

Camera Critters

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Maidenhair Fern

Southern Maidenhair Fern
(Adiantum capillus-veneris)

During one of my many hikes along the Guadalupe River
I found a game trail to wander along
which led me through a magical section of limestone ledge
secreted away beneath the canopy of trees.

Cheating just a little, I e-mailed the pictures to Little Sister, 
my own personal Fern Lady, who promptly identified the ferns as
Southern Maidenhair Ferns,
also known as Venus'-hair Fern
or Black Maidenhair Fern (for the shiny black stems).

Mostly found in the lower half of the United States,
Southern Maidenhair Fern has a fluffy, lacy foliage.

Because moisture is always present at this site,
it is attached directly on the rock
and lends graceful character
to an otherwise harsh environment.

"Maidenhair fern is the source of a pleasantly aromatic volatile oil long used as a rinse or shampoo that rendered black hair very shiny, hence the name Maidenhair." 

"The Maidenhair Fern is so named because its roots have fine and delicate hairs, like the hair of Venus."

However it actually became named,
the Maidenhair Fern is delicate and elegant
and delightful to happen upon. 
Simply put, it was
 'eye-candy' during the brown months of winter!