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Tuesday - March 31, 2009

Butterfly

'Took this photo at McKinney Falls State Park on August 23rd:

[Butterfly and red flower]

The colors on those wings look kinda dull, eh? I guess that's life for some butterflies. Oh well.

While visiting my folks in NM last summer, I had a great time walking around the Gila and Catwalk parks. And, I realized that I knew very little about parks in the Central Texas area. I resolved to rectify that situation when I got home. Jennie and I started going on weekly hikes. We've kind of slacked off lately. It's been cold and baseball season has started up. Hopefully, we'll get back to it soon. Regardless, now that I've finished posting my vacation photos, I'm gonna start posting photos from our hikes.

Posted by Joanna at 10:26 PM | Permalink

Monday - March 30, 2009

Sunset storm clouds along FM 652, part 2

So, I was driving and stopping and driving and stopping. And, about 5 minutes after the last photo in my previous post, I noticed something new:

[Storm clouds]

Need a close-up? Okay, see it now?

[Storm clouds]

What kind of luck is that? Storm clouds? Check. Sunset? Check. Full moon? Check. No way. You've got to be kidding me. Nope. Not kidding. Way cool.

Another shot, a couple of minutes later:

[Storm clouds]

Okay. One last photo from this set, another minute or two later:

[Storm clouds]

And, with that, I think I'm done with photos from my trip last summer. I took a few photos the next day...on my way back into Austin. But nothing special. If you want to go back to the beginning of this set, see the on the road post and go forward from there. There are a few photos interspersed that aren't part of the vacation set. But, most of 'em were taken on the trip.

Posted by Joanna at 11:05 PM | Permalink

Sunday - March 29, 2009

Sunset storm clouds along FM 652

As I drove away from the Guadalupe Mountains toward Ft. Stockton, I couldn't help but admire the thunderheads before me. The clouds were huge. And, the sun setting behind me cast beautiful colors on them. It made my journey last that much longer as I had to keep stopping to take yet another photo. Here's one of the first ones I took:

[Storm clouds]

Ten minutes later:

[Storm clouds]

About 5 minutes later...another section of the clouds:

[Storm clouds]

And, then back to the other part of the cloud bank:

[Storm clouds]

Cool, eh?

Posted by Joanna at 10:40 PM | Permalink

Saturday - March 28, 2009

Guadalupe Mountains

So, as I mentioned (way back when) I did my best to avoid the Interstate Highway system on my trip to New Mexico last summer. When I got to El Paso, I decided to take State Highway 180 east. It runs (mostly) parallel to (and south of) the New Mexico border until it skirts around the Guadalupe Mountains National Park. I'd, frankly, never heard of the Guadalupe Mountains. But, as I was driving along, I couldn't help but be in awe. Here was my first real glimpse of them:

[Guadalupe Mountains]

About 15 or 20 minutes later, they really stood out as a backdrop to some sand flats on the north side of the road:

[Guadalupe Mountains]

And, after another 15 minutes:

[Guadalupe Mountains]

What a difference, eh?

And, after another couple of minutes:

[Guadalupe Mountains]

I just couldn't get over how quickly it changed and seemed to be a different mountain after just a few minutes. Very cool.

And, look at this...about 10 minutes further down the road:

[Guadalupe Mountains]

Almost impossible to recognize it as the same mountain, doncha think?

A close-up of that southern peak (the Guadalupe Peak):

[Guadalupe Mountains]

Very cool. I wanted to wander around once I got to the park headquarters but it was too late in the day. They'd closed at least 30 minutes before I got there. And, I still had to make my way to Ft. Stockton. So, I moseyed on. But, I do want to go back someday and hike around.

Oh. And, about an hour later...in my rear-view mirror:

[Guadalupe Mountains]

Posted by Joanna at 11:56 PM | Permalink

Friday - March 27, 2009

Rock stacks

Remember my road runner photo? I wrote about the stacks (piles?) of rocks I spied along Highway 9 as I drove toward home. They really caught my eye. I stopped when I saw the 2nd or 3rd stack and took photos. Then, I took more photos. Then, I noticed that there were a lot of 'em. And, once I spotted the road runner, I stopped.

In my unending...nay, valiant!...attempt to get my summer vacation photos online, I came across that set of photos. And, decided there was really no point in posting photos of rocks stacked on top of each other. My thinking was that nobody would really care. I mentioned as much to Katie and she demurred, saying that she wanted to see some. So, here you go...photos of stacks of rocks.

The first one's a bit short and squat:

[Rock stack]

A couple of taller stacks:

[Rock stack]

This one's rather complex:

[Rock stack]

Here's one that made me laugh:

[Rock stack]

UPDATE (March 29). I kept trying to remember what that reminded me of. As I was talking to Katie on the phone yesterday, I remembered: it looks a bit like the Lombardi Trophy, doncha think?

A couple of flat rocks on an old fence post:

[Rock stack]

And, last...but not least:

[Rock stack]

The questions: what? and, why? I guess they were used as markers of some sort back in the day. But, now there are so many of them that they don't really seem to be anything more than decorative. I suspect a number of them were stacked by "kids" in the not too distant past. They're driving along and see the stacks and can't help themselves. "Let's make our own!!" Doncha think? I can't see that there's really any way to tell how long they've been stacked. Oh well. If you have a problem with me posting photos of stacks of rocks, feel free to take the matter up with Katie.

UPDATE #2 (later on March 29). Katie informs me that archaeologists call these rock cairns. Not stacks or piles. You can read all about cairns at Wikipedia.

Posted by Joanna at 11:42 PM | Permalink

Thursday - March 26, 2009

Red streamers

What do you make of this?

[Yellow flower with red streamers]

I spotted this thing blooming at the City of Rocks last summer. Anyone have any idea what it might be? Those red streamers aren't fake. They are part of the flower. Bizarre, eh? I tried looking around for a name but had no luck.

UPDATE. Mom called saying it was a bird of paradise. Which makes no sense. I mean, here's a bird of paradise. I took that photo in the spring of 2007. But, look at this. That's definitely it. A yellow bird of paradise. Official name? Caesalpinia gilliesii. As opposed to the Strelitzia reginae which goes with what we generally think of as birds of paradise flowers. So, there you have it. Thanks, Mom.

Posted by Joanna at 10:42 PM | Permalink

Wednesday - March 25, 2009

Squirrel

Another encounter with "wildlife" at the City of Rocks last summer. I was walking around and kept hearing a very loud chirping noise. It sounded kind of like a bird. But, it was awfully shrill. I kept looking for the source of the chirping but couldn't find it. It was echoing around the rocks. And, finally, after about 10 minutes, I spotted this:

[Squirrel]

Here's a close-up:

[Squirrel]

I watched and, sure enough, the source of the sound I'd been hearing turned out to be that squirrel. I've since noticed other squirrels making the same noise. I'd heard that noise before but had always attributed to an unseen bird. Which makes a lot of sense when there are trees everywhere. But, once you get out in the middle of nowhere, it's easier to spot the chirping culprit.

Posted by Joanna at 11:57 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - March 24, 2009

Rabbit

So. Remember my trip to the City of Rocks? Well, one of the things I came across was a rabbit:

[Rabbit]

He (she?) didn't seem very concerned that I was there. He even went so far as to scratch his big ol' ear:

[Rabbit]

I'd guess I was about 15 feet away from him when I took these photos.

Posted by Joanna at 11:36 PM | Permalink

Monday - March 23, 2009

Silver City sky

Yep...it's another shot from my summer vacation.

[Silver City]

That's Silver City where my parents spent a good bit of the summer last year. 'Love that sky.

Posted by Joanna at 11:16 PM | Permalink

Tuesday - March 10, 2009

Gila tree and sky

Another shot taken last August. 'Took this one on our way to Pinos Altos from the Gila Cliff Dwellings:

[Gila tree and sky]

Ahhhh...pretty.

I'm sorry I haven't posted lately. My computer actually died, round about the 15th or so of February. The logic board decided it was time to quit being logical. Or something like that. So, I only had my laptop for a couple of weeks. Then, the new computer came in (I really like it, by the way) and it took some time to get things fixed up on the new guy. So, hopefully, I'm back on track again. We'll see. It is baseball season after all. And, I have a tough time maintaining this page when I spend so much time doing my baseball thing.

Posted by Joanna at 10:34 PM | Permalink


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