We are fortunate to live near the Big Thicket. This happens to be part of the swamp land extending to Florida. At one time and probably still does, people wishing to avoid the consequences of illegal activities hid out in this thickety swampy area. Early missionaries, soldiers, explorers, and ‘the law’ frequently gave up on penetrating this area.
Today, though, large sections are blocked off with boardwalks and trails throughout.
After attending a Christmas party in the country and eating far too much, we decided to take a walk on one of the nearby trails….the Sundew.
We may have spied one sundew plant but there were absolutely no bugs out–a delight for us–but no dinner for the sundews or the pitcher plants.
Walking in the woods is a very peaceful relaxing enterprise, particularly after a whirlwind week of activity. Big Thicket is just north of Beaumont TX and has several different sections. Today we opted to walk through the original trail, it has recovered fairly nicely after the hurricanes and ice storms that laid waste to many trees. Mosquitoes kept us moving. This is a view from the bridge connecting to Turkey Trail. We’ve never walked the entire trail but maybe sometime.
And then there were the slime molds–name does not do the colors justice.
one of many slime molds
another slime mold
first Mother's Day as a Grandmother
It must have been a special Greek holiday last weekend. St.
Michael’s in Beaumont put on a full day of dancing, music and of course—FOOD!
Weather was perfect although the dancers were sweating at the end of their
numbers; the accordion player was fabulous and the tour of the church interior
most interesting. For a congregation of just 125 members, it was a remarkable
feat and I think every single member was there. http://www.stmichaeltx.org/ Here are lovely photographs of the interior–it was spectacular!
Two consecutive days in Houston rather wore me
out—Thursday was visit the dermatologist day for my semi-annual skin check
for basal cell cancers—a mark of my hat-less, sunscreen-less, outside from
sun-up to sun-down childhood in Northern Climes. I managed to get in a visit to
three museums—the CAM or Contemporary Art Museum—they were setting up for a new
exhibit but the book shop was open and I chatted for some time about Texas
Sculptor Jim Love—AND bought the last copy of his book! On to the
Contemporary Craft Museum—this was not so remarkable. Paper cranes were nesting
on the window ledges and the reception desk; a new exhibit was in the entry to
the Gold Standard Exhibit. The new work was made from banana pulp squished into
paper circles and then dyed or stained or painted—and arranged in concentric
circles. The artist thought of them as viruses—I thought they looked a lot
like knock-offs of Chiluly’s glass works.
The Museum of Fine Arts was crowded with Third graders and
Sixth graders all on field trips from assorted schools in the area. Café Express
was buzzing and the lines were long—but I enjoyed the Carlos Cruz-Diaz exhibit—which
is about poly-chromatics and how the eye sees color. His work began very humbly
with strips of colored cardboard and wooden pegs and shapes—that looked
suspiciously like the building blocks one of my brothers had as a child. His
later work is dazzling with strips of aluminum that reflect colors.
http://www.houstonmuseumdistrict.org/default/museumpages/museumpage.asp?MID=12 Here is website for many of Houston’s fine Museums.
Rain—oceans of rain hampered my planned time in the Cullen
Sculpture Garden and I got rather soaked on my way back to my truck.
Friday was Texas Medical Association meeting day at the
George R Brown. It seemed that we all just rattled about that huge place—compared
to the Quilt Fest. A fire alarm—false—sent some of us scrambling down the
escalators—and I went home.
Today, Saturday, is Election day—for City Mayor and School
I balanced my checkbook, did a load of laundry, washed the dishes,
written thank-you notes, and now I’m heading upstairs to my sewing room and
listen to a book on tape and work!
And as always, here is the smugmug site for some of the photos of the past two weeks. http://ysr612.smugmug.com/Family/Sylvias-pictures/Two-weekends-in-May/17051066_zwGbJX#1291059485_2tHX44B
The past week or so has been incredibly dreary with rain and temps dropping down into the upper twenties necessitating a hunt for wooly underwears in the back of the closet and ice scrapers and moving all the tender outdoor plants inside. While other parts of the country are dealing with mountains of snow, I am shivering in my house meant for temperatures in the upper nineties.
Yesterday the sun came out for a short time while my ‘bestest’ friend and I took advantage of a pre-inventory sale at a fun quilt shop named ‘Jean’s Corner’. Housed in an old feed store, there are murals on the outside wall—it was too grim outside for good photos—and inside a wonderfully warm and welcoming sales staff. I really didn’t need any fabric but I managed to find some ‘must have’ fabulous fabric. We toured an antique store and then had a tasty soup and sandwich lunch at the Courthouse Café –or was it the Whistle Stop?– right across from the Polk County Court House. A short stroll through Big Thicket Days in Kountze yielded a fistful of envelopes from World War One days. Poor husband had a much less successful day spending hours hunting the right fuel filter for his truck.
The sun went back into hiding today but that did not deter us from a walk through the Sundew Trail and the Turkey Creek Trail in the Big Thicket. In centuries past, the Big Thicket was a refuge for assorted scoundrels with a few brave settlers attempting to penetrate the dense undergrowth. Now there are designated pathways through the forest and savannahs. Sundews were not out but pitcher plants were in abundance. One other couple braved the weather to walk the trail and so we were pleased to have the trails to ourselves. Several tiny birds flew about the pines—we think they were wrens from the cheerful twitching of their tail while several vultures cruised over head. Our lunch was squashed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches consumed while sitting on the end gate of my truck.
Home to battle the spaghetti bowl of computer and telephone lines and power cords ( a small house organization project) and then a DVD of the BBC series of LIFE while consuming nachos. How could life be better?
More photos from the Big Thicket are on smugmug here: