Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Pilgrimage 2017 is on the road

Hello, everyone.

We are departing today for the Camino del Norte.

El paisano! Who we will certainly not be able to see until we return to Texas.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Time is rushing up at us

Hello, everyone.

I had promised to say something about the socks that are going with me on the Camino del Norte.

Here they are.

A blue, a white, and a pink pair.

As y'all can see, they are all toe socks. (Injinji socks, actually)

Not everyone is suited to these socks. In my case, in 2014 I walked in regular hiking socks. Even aside from the boots being about a half-size too small for the job, the socks were wrong for me. My toes were all over each other and there were loads of blisters.

In 2015 I took some regular socks and Injinji liner socks--with the same boots. (New insoles though!) The shoes did not accomodate double socks. They did go well with just the liner socks. They weren't too thick, I had almost no blisters, and my feet were happy campers.

Now it's 2017 and I  have new, larger boots. Thus the new, regular-thickness Injinji socks.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A small break from routine

Hello, everyone.

The blog has been somewhat inactive because we had someplace special to be for a couple of days.
 This might have been obvious from the color scheme (red and black) of the elephant block,

They had commencement (this was one of four ceremonies!) in their basketball arena. As y'all can see. this allowed them to use the "Jumbotron" to give everyone in the place a really good look at their family members crossing in the front. It also meant that there was plenty of seating. This may have been the best organized commencement ever, and because it was in the basketball arena there were concessions selling coffee.

The visit to Lubbock, for us, requires 2 days driving each way. (For my European readers, this is because Texas is huge.) We just like to have a more pleasant experience, so we split the 12 hour drive in two. This also allows us to stop over in either San Antonio or Kerrville en route. (Second link is for the geographic area called the Texas Hill Country.)

The elephant quilt is progressing...meaning that a design is in progress for the rest of the quilt. (The elephant is the center of a three foot by three foot block right now.) Expected final size is 5 feet by 6 feet. (approx. 1.5 m by 2 m) It is not expected to be finished until after we complete our pilgrimage.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Pilgrimage preparations

Hello, everyone.

We are getting ready to go on pilgrimage again.

One of our preparations is to spray the packs with permethrin  to fend off assorted bugs that might be around.

The clothes line is good for holding the pack while spray is applied.

The brown grass, by the way, is because there hasn't been much rain lately.

In a future post I will show the socks that are going with me. I need to take a picture of them still.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Because she's sweet

Hello, everyone.

It's been hectic lately and I see that there hasn't been a post in the last few days. Sorry!

Cuddles checking out the volunteer shrub. (Manzanilla, also called Barbadoes Cherry, a native shrub.)

Being a dog, she's not often in a photogenic pose. This week she cooperated when I had my phone.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Volunteer flower

Hello, everyone.

The garden was blessed with a very striking volunteer flower this spring.

This is the annual Prickly Poppy. (It's not really a poppy, those are perennials that won't grow at all in this climate.) The leaves are unbelievably prickery, and the sap is smelly and yellow. But the flower is gorgeous.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Nature on the porch!

Hello, everyone.

The pecan trees finally leafed out, and there are enough bright green leaves open to put the hanging baskets of orchids back up. (The table top just doesn't agree with them as well.) In the process of picking up the plastic plant-pot bases, the clear cheapies from the store of course, I found something unexpected.

This is the nest of the leaf-cutting bee. Typically she puts it into a hole in wood--this time she mistook the raised line on the bottom of the plant pot holder for a safe hole in wood. (To be fair, the clear plastic was covered and shaded by the potted plant. And it didn't get moved for a few days.)

She goes around to broad-leafed plants, and also some flower blossoms, and cuts out little round "parasols" and carries them back to the nest. She lines the nest with them, as seen here.

I'm unsure whether the larvae eat the leaves or something else that she tucks in with them.

The leaf-cutting bees in our area appear to have light-gray stripes on their back end, not the bright yellow of the more aggressive flying bugs. The back end also is not sharply pointed like a wasp back end is.

I moved the nest into a potted plant where it will be shaded; possibly the larvae will survive. It couldn't stay on the table, as all the flower pots have been moved, and it's not out of the question that the wood will get a new coat of varnish sometime this summer anyway.

Thanx to DH for reminding me to take the picture!

Monday, May 1, 2017

A pretty flower

Hello, everyone.

We walked over to the park this morning and on the way encountered this small tree poking its flower over a fence:

overall view with bonus honeybee

close-up of one of the blossoms
The leaves, as y'all can almost see, are basically oval with the narrow part of the oval at the stem end.

I'd really love to know what it is.