Monday, April 26, 2010

Out and about - Part II

Enchanted Rock State Park. A "huge pink granite exfoliation dome" near Fredericksburg. I had thought the dogs and I could climb it before we met with Sandy for lunch - wrong!! It was way too sunny and hot for all three of us. But we did walk a little ways up before deciding to turn back...

And if you enlarge this photo, you can see little stick figures crawling around on the rock...

Later on, after giving up on The Rock, and after lunching and shopping with Sandy, our sunny day had vanished, replaced by huge clouds and cooler temps. So she and I called it a day, and I decided to take the doggies back to the Fancy Rock and give it another go. Here's the view on the return trip - the rock we'd climb is the furthest to the right.

It was much cooler and nicer, but because of the steep rock face, I left the doggies to wait in the car (they got their walk later). Here you are looking at the top of the rock! I was very surprised to find all these vernal pools, some with cactus and grass!

Talk about stick figures!!! Oh, if only! All those extra calories I've been gorging on don't show in photos like these - hmm, I like this one! This is on the way back down.

OK, now it's the doggies' turn! Back to point and shoot mode!

Getting a bit dark (and blurry!), but this walkway/mini-waterfall was cool - esp. with such good-looking dogs on it! It reminded me of a piano - I wouldn't have been surprised if I'd suddenly heard a tune - like in the movie, "Big."

Heading back towards the car.
It had been such a nice day. Unfortunately the next event was not so nice. As we walked through the parking lot, a guy (whom I had said Hello to earlier) opened his car door, allowing his extremely aggressive sheltie out!!! This nasty little dog came barreling straight for my dogs, snarling and snapping. I just couldn't believe it! I was so taken aback - it was one of those moments where you don't quite respond right at first because you're just in some sort of shock! I tried to pull my dogs away (impossible, because this guy's monster dog kept coming at them!). What I should've done is gone at the dog myself!!!! And then the stupid owner next!! But finally the dumb guy got ahold of his dog. Really pissed me off that all he could come up with is "gee, he never has done that before (yeah right!!!), sorry." I was so upset and mad, I just put my dogs away and drove off. But I drove right back a minute later to chew him out proper! To tell him he was damn lucky that my dogs were so nice and not the kind to just eat his dumb dog - AND that his dog was too little to do any damage to my dogs or he sure would've been sorry!!!!!!!!!! All I can say is that he was a sorry piece of northeastern trash in my opinion! What a lame guy!! I didn't hear anything that sounded real or like a sincere, heartfelt apology. Put a damper on the evening, but Ouray and Senny were more OK than I was, and it had been a nice day, so...onwards.

Stopped by the Llano courthouse again on the way back. Beautiful at night too!

Cool shadow branches.

And I loved this tree and the lighting! All handheld so had to go high ISO, etc., but still fun!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Out and about - Part I

On March 10th, the dogs and I got together with one of our new friends, Sandy (Kent's wife - he's the one who bought our R-22 and flew it to Florida! They ended up moving back to Texas, and that's where we found them on this trip!). Sandy and I met for lunch at a super Mexican restaurant in Burnet. A few of these photos were taken on this day, but most of them are from the 11th, on the way to meeting Sandy for lunch again! This time we met in Fredericksburg.
Enroute I just had to stop at the town on the map called "Oatmeal!" However, I'm not sure I ever found the town itself! Only a few houses and a recreation building that indicated its sole purpose was to celebrate the Oatmeal Festival! :)

And who wouldn't pull over for this cool mural?!! For more on the "Woodmen of the World," see here:

Whoever painted this, did a great job, don't you think?

And cool flowers and cool bug.

And here it is! What hill country's probably the most famous for - and if I tell you it's also the state flower of Texas, you'll know what it is, right?!! The bluebonnet, aka lupine! I only saw the merest scattering of these flowers, and only in one spot really. I was about 3 weeks too early for the big bloom (boo-hoo!!!!) - but more on that later...

And close to that bluebonnet was this sign, announcing my arrival at Llano (I took the long way to Fredericksburg, so I could stop at the Enchanted Rock SP - that's coming up next!). Neato sign, eh?

And I HAD to photograph these wonderful bottle trees! Although the photo doesn't do it justice - this was a drive-by shooting (you can do that sort of thing on the quieter roads! and no, I didn't see the "no photos sign" then!). I went back and parked to try and get better images and to do them justice, but a dog there barked and a woman ran out and told me "No photos!" I truly don't understand why people get so uppity about stuff like that! Her stuff is neat, but it's not like no one else has ever come up with this before or will do so in the future! And if she didn't want people to see it, she should've put it all in her house!!! Who knows, maybe she makes millions out of them and that's why she's so proud and protective!!! If she had nicely asked me not to take photos, I might have obliged and not posted this, but whenever someone acts sort of jerky about stuff, well, all bets are off!!

Great clouds! However they were forming back in the direction from where I'd just come! Which made me nervous about our RV and kitties!!! But no stormy weather had been forecast for our area, so I crossed my fingers and went on...

You know me and reflections...! I've got to stop for any and all of them, even if it's just a few leafless trees in a little puddle! Part of the photographic obsession.

Like Bill said when he saw this photo, "Wonder where that photo was taken?!" Hmmm, wonder what part gives it away??
The Llano courthouse. Awesome, isn't it (as are most TX courthouses!)?

Another view.
And then on to Fredericksburg!
And here she is - Sandy! Another kindred spirit I was so happy to meet and spend time with. We had a wonderful time eating and talking! Two of the most important girl things!!
And here's a sample of the eating part - yes, isn't it girlie?! Sandy knew all the best places to go - this was the Peach Tree Tea Room.
So this one's for the girls! Here's a "Howdy!" to all my tea party pardners out there!!
I loved their ceiling decor!

And the grounds outside were pretty too.

Leaving on a jet plane...

Hello again! Wow, it's been eons since I posted anything, I know! But that's what happens when you're in prettier places with more cool stuff to see and do and the weather's better for being outside! C'mon, I mean, which would you rather be doing?! So, anyways, let's see if we can catch up a little...
So way back on March 8th, the Bartons moved to the New Life RV Park on the outskirts of Georgetown, just a bit north of Austin. Still in hill country but new scenery and setting. On the 9th, Bill flew home for a few days to attend a board meeting, a dental, and a dermatologist, appt. In the meantime, I took dogs out to pee, walked cats, and did some sightseeing.
The first sight to see? McKinney Falls.

With two dogs in tow (or them towing me...!), this is a point & shoot outing!

I can see nine turtles sunning on the rock across the creek, but I'm sure there are more in the water (we scared them off)!

Cool rock/water forms.

Water-pocked rock.

One of the falls. Not too stunning in size but pretty nonetheless.

One of the few flowers to show up so early in the season.

Another early bloomer.

Ouray's not sure just how he feels about this miniature horse, or his candidate (not being familiar with Texas politicans). Both these poor critters were at a DIY dog wash in Austin.

Seneca went first, and Ouray suffered through second. Needless to say, he was thrilled once he was down those green steps!!! And Momma was thrilled to finally get all of Ouray's fluffy, downy fur off her nose, eyes, and mouth and see/breath freely once again!

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Best of Blanco

Blanco is the town just south of Johnson City and it has a lovely state park...

The kitties enjoyed walking on the X-Long concrete tables.

Yes, juggling the two dogs and a camera AND getting everyone in the picture is a challenge!!

Pretty scene.

Trees, trees, trees!


Pooped cat, energized dog!

One of the mini-dams along the Blanco River.

Another pretty, moody scene.

And look! Live entertainment!!!!!
The Blanco courthouse. The Texas courthouses are so cool - one of our Texan friends said he'd often thought he should put together a book of TX courthouse photos...and then found someone already had! Some of them are really ornate- I didn't get a chance to photograph some of the ones on our route to Corpus Christi, but they were extraordinary, to say the least!
Afterwards, we drove on to see New Braunfels and San Marcos, places Bill once considered small, pretty towns. I didn't take any photos there (other than this one of our cute critters sharing the back of the cab) - there may be pretty parts left, but there's only big city there now as far as I could see! Yuck!!!!!!!!! We're getting so spoiled, getting to spend so much time in small towns and beautiful back country!

And one more unspoiled view...