Tree Panoramas

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I recently took an online photography class with Creative Live and learned some wonderful mobile tricks and tricks on my Sony-NEC5. I had not expected there being a mobile photography nod, well, well because “real” photographers do not like to bother with the mobile phones, but c’mon, we all know that our smartphones have the capacity to shoot some great images.

These are my tree panoramas shot with my iPhone 5; there are some truly amazing trees in Texas and now I want to get a reference books for them, in addition to the wildflower book. First up, Blanco Proper, then a lavender farm just outside of Blanco.

tree_blanco_rStand & pan up!

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Hot Lavender Festival

If there’s one thing yesterday’s wild, wicked storm did, it officially ushered in the hot and sweaty Austin heat; the morning started out so nice and fresh but soon turned to sweltering.  Much like a Midwest winter, now is the time all good Texans head indoors or out of State.  In the mean time, I hit up the Blanco Lavender Festival today, before the weekend crowds swarmed in. Lovely! Lot’s of fairy hits! I smell great right now = )

 

The Strawberry Full Moon

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Last night there were all sorts of wicked, wild storms in the area; super-high winds, plenty of tornados and downed trees to usher in this month’s Strawberry Full Moon, that was in full glory this morning of Friday the 13th. I’m a few hours late for my Public Learning Challenge, but I think we’ll all survive — because we all survived!

Here’s more info on today’s full moon, which is a Strawberry Moon in Sagittarius.

One of my favorite Facebook pages is The Crafty Kitchen Witch, because it’s all about growing herbs, paying attention to Moon Cycles, invoking the power of stones and minerals, ETC., but what it is NOT ABOUT is love spells and scary-hocus-pocus trickery. I like the nature-wisdom aspect of it all.

Some photos from the day at the ranch:

 

Keep on Drippin’ in Dripping Springs

So I find myself back in Dripping Springs, Texas; a town I honestly never thought I’d return to — nor wanted to because I never felt I was on the “same page” as this town or its people. It was full of bugs, critters, snakes, Republicans and I was bored to tears.  I never looked back when I left it years ago, so it was a complete surprise to me when I had no resistance to moving back to this Texas town earlier this year.

Downtown Dripping Springs:
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It’s a hum-dinger of a tiny town and now there are things to do! Places to go, people to see! There was nothing here in 2005 except a tiny (gross) grocery store, and a newly minted liquor store because Hays County had been the “dry county” for…. well I think forever and it had recently been declared NOT DRY, so yes, there was a liquor store too.  The feed store was about the only business that had wifi and people would line up their trucks out front with their laptops to steal the internet.  It has only been very recently that we’ve been able to get internet service out on the ranch; and even so it’s satellite service, which means we have to pay for each and every little kilobyte of internets.

Where to start?! There is great, local coffee (no Starbucks hooray!!), a big ol’H-E-B, a Home Depot, Mercer Street Dance Hall, a weekly farmer’s market, a gorgeous YMCA, restaurants WITH full bars and not just wine and beer, and even some food that is NOT barbeque! There are festivals with more to come… big news is that the Songwriters’ festival is going to be here this October; I think this could bring some even more awesome talent to the neighborhood.

I do believe, however, that Dripping Springs is just an idea, as there is not much to it (yet), but it’s a place where people want to escape to. It’s motto is the “Gateway to the Hill Country” and many people trapped in Austin and other cities, dream of getting away to the Hill Country and enjoying the Texas countryside, but few have access to it because there are so few parks and wildlife areas.  I am totally grateful for the land that I am living on, with my ex-husband, because it is essentially our own National Park.  I’m know this will change in the coming years, as there’s a mad dash to conquer the Hill Country. For now, I love the small town feel to it, I hear the schools are the best in Texas and aside from the sweltering heat and fiery fireant bites, it sure is purdy.

There is a libation renaissance going on here as well; the laws have been changed recently and now you can find craft beer makers, wineries and spirit makers.  You can schedule a bus or limo to take you on a winery tour that includes sampling Texas olive oil or listen to live groovy music out on the ranch while eating wood-burning-oven-roasted pizza and drinking locally made beer, gin, this vodka or that vodka.

The booze-hounds have CRUSHED Hays County! And I concur it is all very interesting indeed.

This is my slice of Dripping, although I should probably mention that I live in Driftwood, an unincorporated community and even smaller than Dripping with nothing but a wonderful Italian restaurant, a legendary bbq joynt, a post office, a church and a few wineries.  I am totally thrilled and grateful to call this funky part of the world my home for now.

Y’all come back now, and be sure to keep Drippin’ Dripping! (conserve that water dagnabbit!)

Howdy Texas Wildflowers!

How well do you know your Texas Wildflowers?

When I lived in the Hill Country in the mid-2000’s, I barely noticed the colorful array of wildflowers that blew up the Texas roadways come each Springtime, but that wasn’t the case this year. As soon as the State’s prized first bluebonnet showed up in late March, I was all over them with my new Sony-NEC camera, and I have since taken quite a fancy on all the wildflowers I am being assaulted by.

Reed came home one day with a book for me, to help me easily identify the flowers I was exploring with my camera, called very simply, “Wildflowers of TEXAS” by Geyata Ajilvsgi.  

Wildflowers of TEXASMs. Ajilvsgi (no clue!) is a native plant expert on all things Texas, and the book is broken down by colors, because that’s the first obvious way to describe a flower you’re trying to identify, as I’ve not heard anyone ask the question, “well it’s a low, upright, rough-hairy perennial, almost shrub-like, standing about 9 inches high…” 

Botanist humor, how’d I do?

I’ve learned quite a bit with this informative and easy-to-figure-out wildflower directory, but I’ve got nothing on the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Aficionados of the Central Texas Area just yet. I do keep this book handy, however, because everytime the wind changes or there’s a spot more moisture in the air, a new flower seems to pop up, and then *poof*, gone in a blink.

I’ve totally been having fun running around shooting the Texas Wildflowers, that is until the fireants took me down a notch and all five bites on my feet got infected and I was out of the game for a few days. I’ve been told I need to carry an epi-pen now….. it’s that serious.

Now I get to wear my cowboy boots all hot sweaty summer because my bare feet should never come in contact with the Texas soil ever again in my life. Why is this State so dramatic?

Sure is purdy though; here’s a few of my shots that I was able to identify & tag on Instagram: