Monday, November 14, 2011

Nature in November

I definitely fell behind this Fall with the blog, but hopefully you'll notice there are four new entries for the month of  Although we do not have the changing of colours anywhere close to what the North has, we do have this sense of coming alive after the heat of the summer and this gratitude that it's come to an end.  I love the autumn in Texas, the weather is wonder.

Our poke plant, which we found growing down by our large pond and is also called poke sallet and although toxic, there is a method to cooking the new leafs earlier in year that is suppose to be similar to spinach - we're researching using what grows native and hope to try this next year.

the leaves turn these beautiful colours in the fall - the berries are definitely not for eating
the berries were used long ago for dying things - we had some fun with them the other day, we're going to pick more and try to paint with them.

moss everywhere - I walked through the woods after the rain and saw green everywhere on the huge rocks

 I did note that when I went back with the children for a walk and it was no longer as fresh looking - so definitely something I need to capture while wet to see it looking so beautiful and velvety. 

we found a little seat in one of the many large rocks laying around
favourite large rock at the big pond

children canoeing on Sunday - trying to give perspective to how large the rocks

pencil cactus with berries

amazing bird to capture - red shouldered hawk in one of our mesquite trees

People often comment about how much our children seem to love being around each other and they really do get along almost all the time.  Although I pick and choose what photos I share, they are probably the sweetest brother and sister  and we're so blessed to have the joy they bring to our lives.

One of our favourite trees ('big huge' cedar oak) the children love climbing on
Audrey & Jack
November 2011

The Gift That Will Keep On Giving....

Turning the Big 40!

the foundation for our little house
So last year for my birthday we decided to start our venture to build our little house on our 72 acres.  Robert ordered the supplies and they were delivered for my birthday.  This photo was posted last year, but I thought it would be fun to show you how far we've come in a year.  This year was a big birthday for some, not such a big one to me, but I turned 40.  Robert and I have tried to stay practical with our lifestyle while we are trying to sell our house in Weatherford. (which is finally listed)  He came up with the perfect present, which was to start building our wrap around porch.  The wood was delivered by, The Home Depot on my birthday.

chili relleno from our favourite place, Mi Familia 

the porch is 8 feet deep, adding over 1,000 sqft

the silly guineas visit the front door - they think there are birds in our house

Audrey's been practicing her cartwheels.
anyone that knows me well, knows I'm a martini gal - perfect place to drink one!
The porch floor is almost done.  Like every project, it takes a lot more work and many more hours than you'd like.  Robert's doing a great job.  It will add more than 1,000 extra square feet for us to enjoy and eventually we hope to cover it with the same copper metal roofing, stain the floor a warm brown.

Thanks, Bud for building me a little more of our dream!

I also want to say a very special thanks to my sister, Suan and her husband John who are currently living their own adventure in Ethiopia, while working in places like South Africa.  She wasn't able to come visit me for my birthday and wanted to give me somethings special being my 40th.  As many of you notice our blog is filled with more photos then writing.  I was fortunate to have a Nikon D60 when I first started taking photos and she generously gave me one of the most amazing new camera bodies, a Nikon D7000.  Thanks, Suan and John, I hope I can live up to the camera with improving myself in photography.

Falling Rain Brings Flowers in the Fall

Butterflies, Wildflowers and Nature around us...

We did not have many wildflowers this year after May, which was very disheartening.  However in the Autumn we got a burst of colour from these lovely purple gayfeathers.

There was a huge concern with the drought that there would be nothing for the monarchs that migrate through Texas, but thankfully some of the gayfeather and the rain in October helped.

Narrow Leaf Four O'clock - morning dew - these little beauties bloom late in the night and the flower closes early in the morning - I was fortunate to learn from one of my Texas Wildflower friends when to capture the bloom.

Asters everywhere after the rain.

rock daisies which bloom in the spring and fall

some false garlic - which are part of the lily family

Falling Behind in the Fall...

October brought RAIN!

As I've blogged our happenings this year, this summer in Texas we suffered the worst drought in history and the temperatures were brutally hot, many places having record highs over 100 degrees for more than 70 days in a row.  We survived!

Audrey and I taking a walk the morning after it rained almost 6 inches.  
we got to see the water everywhere the creek beds were flowing
running & dancing through the wet woods!
This photo was taken at the end of September - here's a deer feeder and our sad little kayak on the dried up bank.

Robert trying to figure out what to do with the deer feeder 

When Audrey and I got down to the pond, we had no idea what we'd see..... we were so SURPRISED to see the pond that was 8 feet down was now completely full.  Our area got around six inches of rain on October 8th, which was my birthday.  I will say, it probably will be one of my most memorable birthdays because we'd been praying for rain and it was by far the best gift I could haven gotten. 

Nature had a burst of energy all around us from the rain, here are some blue darner dragonflies mating.

I guess in the Fall, all the damselflies and dragonflies are feeling the 'love'

Audrey convinced Jack to go swimming on October 16th!  It was warm out, maybe the low 90's that weekend.  They were so excited to be able to canoe and kayak around the pond and although our pond didn't completely dry up, we did not do a lot of swimming this summer.

one crazy and happy girl...

one very happy pond full of water (an acre in size)