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Saturday, November 3, 2012

a walk on the wild side

This past week I had the privilege to hike and photograph on a private wildlife preserve in Washington County.  This is a place where not only the native animals own the place, but where native species of Texas flora have been allowed to grow and prosper. I saw so many kinds of grasses and "weeds" that I could not identify, that it made me realize how much I have missed of true Texas landscape,  having looked at cow pastures most of my career. I am looking forward to using these references in my landscape paintings to come.

Here are a few highlights that I am excited to share. Pay close attention! Mother Nature has many wonders, and not all are warm and fuzzy.

Autumn in Texas has so much more texture than any other time of year; all the things that have erupted and blossumed and dried in the sun make a spectacular display of prairie diversity.

 And although not as showy, there are numerous autumn wildflowers, gracing every nook and cranny.

Insects work at a feverish pace, preparing for hibernation or dormancy... look at these honeybees ravaging a ripe persimmon.

Wasps, yellow jackets, hornets, thousands of them, busily lick every acorn clean... especially the insides of the acorn cups, perhaps using the oak tissue to manufacture their paper nests...

Fabulous hues glow in the pastures...

YEOWWW! Watch your step! You should have seen me dancing to avoid putting my boot down on this guy...  approximately 30 inches of a Texas copperhead... yes, poisonous.

Still my heart! He got out of my way and then we stopped and stared at each other....

Still I hiked on... there were many more magical scenes beckoning me, like this lovely enclave... a place where fairies will be dancing... as soon as I leave...

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