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Yesterday T and I went to the Market Days in Gruene, south of Austin and pronounced as ‘Green”. The weather was mild and the market was colorful.
T, R and I spent some time at the Dripping Springs Founders Day Festival last night. I enjoyed the light versus darkness.
One of the first photos I took was of the sign below, at the Knights of Columbus stand, where they sold raffles. The sign shows what you could win. Needless to say, I didn’t buy a raffle ticket. Other than that it was a wonderful time. Continue reading
This is not the sharpest of photos, because I took it with my cell phone at a traffic light here in downtown Austin. At dusk, the grackles congregate on the power lines, preferably along the roads and above parking lots. The sound is indescribable–loud but pleasant, like the sound of the shower in the morning. On hot days it almost makes it feel cooler.
Time for another bridge post. And no, this one isn’t about the Mopac bridge. For the first time ever, I present to you the bottom of a different bridge. The Lamar Boulevard Bridge, the one east of the Mopac Bridge across Town Lake in Austin, Texas, the United States of America. Continue reading
It feels a bit weird to write to you in English, and I don’t think I can call you Dad instead of Pappie, but here goes. Continue reading
I really, really, really appreciate living in Austin. Even though we live on the edge of the Hill Country, we have an Austin address. We literally have the best of both worlds. I drive all the way into town every day, so I go from seeing deer graze behind our house Continue reading
I think I’ll do a few posts abut what I’m thankful for, on our way to Thanksgiving. I’m thankful for all the green around me, here in the Texas Hill Country.
Those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while know by now of my weird fascination with the underbelly of Austin’s Mopac Bridge. Every now and then I just have to spend an entire post on this butt-ugly structure that I somehow cannot get enough of. Continue reading
The lava flow of the Valley of Fires in New Mexico was formed about 5,000 years ago; it’s one of the youngest lava flows in America. The vegetation still looks like it started popping up rather recently. And in geological time it has.
Click here for a short but informative video about the Valley of Fire.
Another beautiful spot only 30 minutes from our house is Hamilton Pool. It’s a small park, with a path going along a small stream to the Pedernales River in one direction, and in the other direction it goes to the actual pool. Continue reading
I thought you might like something nice, after the last post. This morning, after dropping the kids off at school early (their math teacher has office hours at 7:30 am), I went on a brief walk around Town Lake here in Austin. The sun was only just up when I started, and it was slightly misty. I only had my phone with me, but I’m always amazed that the pictures aren’t half bad. Continue reading
My then boyfriend T in our canoe in Algonquin Provincial Park in Canada, 1991. I actually took this picture in broad daylight, so it’s technically a pathetic failure but I love the result. Continue reading
This is the last Pedernales Falls post. Well, the last one about this spot in the state park, anyway.
Toward the left of the main stretch of rocky falls is one of my favorite spots:
It doesn’t look like the water is very forceful, but people kept drowning around here. The water has formed big holes in the rock under water, and there are treacherous currents. So since the end of the seventies, swimming is no longer allowed. Continue reading
When you get down the rocky kind-of-stairs, you come to a sandy beach. This part was a setting in the movie Sharkboy and Lavagirl by Robert Rodriguez. And that’s the only interesting titbit of information you’re going to get. Time to explore.
The Pedernales River winds across the Texas Hill Country, and at Pedernales Falls State Park it has a wide stretch of rock falls. The word “falls” suggests water falling from a height, but it’s actually a gradual sloping stretch of rock about a mile long, that the water runs over, or slips over. So it’s not as vertically spectacular as, say, Niagara Falls, but it’s still pretty grand, in that low-key Texas Hill Country way. In short, I’m building it up, but I don’t want to set you up for disappointment, either. Because then you might voice that disappointment, and I don’t know if I could handle that, since I’m really rather fond of Pedernales Falls. Continue reading
After driving to the parking lot nearest the falls, you have a three minute walk through a cedar forest. On an overcast day it’s always slightly claustrophobic. When the kids were younger, I insisted they stay close, because I was worried about mountain lions. T thinks that’s very funny. But just the other day a mountain lion attacked a horse closer into town than Pedernales Falls. You just never know in woods like these… Continue reading
I’m going to be very busy with translations this coming week, and I took about 100 photos yesterday when B and I went to Pedernales Falls, so I’m going to spread them out.
During and after library school, in the Netherlands, I had several dreams. Like working as a jillaroo on an Australian sheep station (which I dropped when I realized how much I’d be sweating). And the one I had with my room mate, where we would move to London after graduation and share an apartment, living off the money we would make being maids in hotels and such (so glad my parents talked me out of that one). Or the last one, when I had already been working as a librarian for several years, which was taking a group of Aussie and Kiwi guys up on their invitation to join them driving a jeep across Africa for a year (which I wouldn’t have dared by then, in fear of never getting a library job again if I was out of the market for that long). Continue reading
On our trip through the Rockies, we stopped in Silverton. On one of the back roads I came across several old, rusty trucks, with their tires half sunk in the ground.
I loved taking pictures of all the rust and the different paint layers becoming exposed.
So we saw bison and elk, and two wolves at the river’s edge. They were playing and taking their time, and people were taking pictures from the other side, but just when I was finally almost close enough to start taking killer photos, they decided to leave. Aaaarrrghhh! The photos of the elk in the previous post were my photography high point of the vacation, and these wolves were my biggest photography frustration. Continue reading
The other animal that we saw a lot of in Yellowstone was elk. Apart from when you’re in the car, it’s not a good idea to get too close to bison, but I got pretty close to a beautiful male elk. I think I was about eight feet away at some point. That’s also not recommended; the grammatically annoying signs everywhere say that “all wildlife are dangerous”. Continue reading
Apart from the mud volcano and the mud pots and a few fumaroles at the beginning of our day, we mainly saw animals. So many that we never got to the next geothermal feature. And mostly we saw bison. Continue reading
The next day we woke up to find ourselves in a wonderful campground, with lots of trees and little trails going off behind our site. Not that we spent any time there. We left after breakfast and didn’t come back until well after dark. Continue reading
So the last three posts were all about one day, and it still wasn’t over. We got to Jackson Hole in the evening. You can tell by the gas station that it’s a prosperous town.
This series of posts wouldn’t be complete without me complaining at least once. So here goes.
I didn’t fully appreciate how clean Colorado is until we crossed the border into Utah. And Wyoming is worse. Every roadside and every rest stop is trashed. When we got down from the RV, we immediately had to watch where we walked, to avoid all the broken glass, and I regularly picked up trash that was in the way of a good picture. And all this despite the steep fines for littering. Continue reading
I drove after the stop at Big Sandy Reservoir, and being in control of the breaks meant that I could pull over a lot to take pictures.
After that reservoir we drove through the endless plains of western Wyoming. You can drive for tens of miles and not see a single structure, other than the barbed wire fencing along the road.
After our afternoon and night in Rock Springs, Utah, we drove on up to Jackson and then east to Yellowstone. B was no longer nauseous. He was drinking water and holding it in, and eating some jello at my insistence. He still didn’t feel all that great, but that was understandable after the day before. He got to lie on the couch while we drove, strapped in, of course. Continue reading
We backtracked slightly the next morning to squeeze in Dinosaur National Monument before going on the Yellowstone national Park, or at least Jackson, Wyoming. Continue reading
Okay, where were we? After State Forest State Park we drove clear across northern Colorado to Utah. Not so many spectacular mountains, more rolling landscapes of the high desert. Continue reading
We took the smaller scenic route to Rocky Mountain National Park from the Black Canyon (highway 50 east to just before Salida, and then north on 24 through Leadville to the last bit of Interstate 70, but honestly, I think going straight up to Interstate 70 from Montrose would have been more scenic. Except for Blue Mesa Reservoir, the biggest body of water in Colorado. It goes on and on as you drive east on 50 from the Black Canyon, and it’s worth seeing. Especially if you’re used to lakes always being surrounded by trees. Here the desert comes right down to the water’s edge. Continue reading
The next day T had to work, so he stayed in the RV while the kids and I went along the rim trail that ran from just outside the campground to the visitors center. The walk was about one mile along the rim of the canyon, but it took us an hour and a half, because there was so much beauty to take in, and so much breath to catch, since we weren’t used to the altitude. Here are some of the many, many pictures I took during that walk. Continue reading
We spent all of the second day driving from Durango to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. We had driven the road from Durango to Silverton before, and we had taken the old train as well, but it’s spectacular every time. Continue reading
For the next two weeks I’m having a photo blog of our trip to the Rocky Mountains.
The first day we left Austin in the evening and drove to Fort Stockton, in west Texas. I didn’t count that first day. But the next morning in Fort Stockton, I was the first one up, so I took a walk around the campsite. It was just an ugly campsite in the middle of nowhere, for people on their way from somewhere to somewhere else, but there was a very short trail into the desert. The sun wasn’t up yet, so I was hoping to see some critters. Continue reading
We live on the very western edge of Austin, and our kids have after-school and summer-camp activities all over, including east Austin. So if they are there for a few hours, whichever one of us (T or I) takes them, often tries to hang out in the area and work until it’s pick-up time. Continue reading
Well, it’s the Fourth of July, Independence Day here in the States. I just saw a post by an American blogger friend in the Netherlands, who posted some beautiful landscape photos of Tennessee for the 4th. I’ll do the same. Not of Tennessee, because it’s one of the few states I haven’t visited yet, but just from all over.
Click on the first picture to see them bigger. Enjoy. Happy 4th. Continue reading
Yesterday we went to Natural Bridge Caverns, in the hill country between Austin and San Antonio. The natural bridge was formed when a sinkhole appeared, leaving the natural bridge on this photo, and the entrance to the caves. Continue reading
Well, I’ll wait with the scathing post. I was cleaning up the slides I’d scanned a while ago. I used to have slides instead of photos. So I saw them even less than photos. That’s one of the things I love about a blog. I can see my favorite pictures and share them with whoever is interested.
Anyway, I didn’t clean my slides very well before scanning them, so I was doing that in Photoshop last night. Amazing!
On this, the first day of summer vacation, we went to Blanco, a little town along the Blanco River, where they hold the Blanco Lavender Fest every year. As usual, it was hot, but nice. A real taste of Hill Country. You can click on a photo to make it bigger. Continue reading
I’m in a coffeeshop here in Austin, not feeling like translating, because my kids have their final exams today and then they’re off, so I can’t concentrate. What better time to download Instagram and start experimenting with all the graffiti on a wall right across the street? Continue reading
Because of the rain we’ve been having, we had a beautiful spring with lots of wildflowers. Right now the second round is just as amazing, if not more so. Let me take you on a little 20-minute drive starting from our subdivision and heading south and back. I took these photos yesterday, and with all the stopping and walking back and forth it took me two hours. It was hot, windy, and I sprained my ankle in a ditch, but the pictures are worth it, I think. Continue reading
I am absolutely crazy about Austin. One of my favorite things, which I don’t do nearly enough, is walking a big oval around Town Lake, the wide part of the Colorado River that runs along downtown.
I take the kids to school, going north on Mopac and then into town. After Continue reading
Texas was in a serious drought for over two years. Really serious. Ranchers had to sell off their cattle because there was no grass for them, and buying food was getting too expensive. Lake Travis, the source of most of Austin’s drinking water, was scarily low.
But it’s over, it seems. We’re not out of the woods yet, because Lake Travis still Continue reading