Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Flowers and hills and food and rain

The heading pretty much sums up our time here in Fredericksburg, although not necessarily in that order.    We found we really love this area and will look forward to returning next time.

We had one beautiful sunny day and, since it was our first day here AND a Saturday we just did a quick look around the area, planning to do more after the hordes of people went back home.

Best laid plans.   The weather closed in with SEVERE THUNDERSTORM and FLASH FLOOD warnings running across the television screen constantly.   We didn't want to leave Beluga and our precious Lewis alone if the dire warnings came to pass, nor did we want to be out and about if they did.  

 So, we hung around the campground most of the time, darting out between the raindrops to sustain ourselves with hearty German food.   And Texas bbq.

Smoked turkey and brisket with a couple Texas wines

One night we just got take out but Dave couldn't wait til dinner time
to try his sausage plate.....

Today, our last day here, we abandoned hope of having a beautiful day and set out to see what was left of the fabled spring wildflowers.   We weren't hoping for much, we were sure that the heavy wind and rain had battered and ruined them.

I don't know what they may have looked like last week, but they were certainly stunning today!  And....the weekend hordes were all working or going to school or whatever they do so we were able to drive the iconic Texas Hill Country drive, the Willow City Loop, virtually alone.

The 13 mile slow drive along a rural Ranch road took us from gently rolling, oak studded pastures and meadows, across meandering streams filled with resting butterflies, through rugged canyons, past large gated ranches and to the heights offering panoramic views.     

a Red Admiral sunning himself by the stream

a tiny Pied-billed Grebe 

a single snow goose
We saw an enormous flock of white pelicans flying high overhead and a few snow geese near one of the streams.

We rode along with the windows down, listening to the birdsong.   It was frustrating to hear and not see them but the foliage was so very lush their calls and songs were all we had.   This roadrunner showed himself when we stopped along the road.    He clacked his beak at me as I took his picture.

 At another spot two Scissor-tailed Flycatchers took turns looking down at us from the roadside wire.

the blossom is larger than the cactus!

One rancher had a sense of humor, putting upside down cowboy boots on his fence posts!

The pasture held some interesting animals.   At first I thought they were all Pronghorn until I saw this guy beginning to run away....I wonder what he is?

Water seeped down through boulders in some of the rocky areas, making a perfect spot for ferns, tiny succulents and lichen to take hold.

I suppose you're quite tired of flower pictures by now.    Here is a cutie we noticed quietly watching me take posy pictures.


  1. That TX hill country in the spring is something else, isn't it? It's a shame you had such rough least you got a beautiful taste (literally and figuratively) of the place!

  2. So glad you got to enjoy the beautiful wildflowers and birds, even if for a brief time. We love the Texas Hill Country, and even after a couple of visits, would happily return. Wonderful photos of the Scissor-tailed Flycatcher!

  3. That animal you are curious about, that is a Black Buck Antelope. They are prevalent in the Texas Hill country. The does' do not grow antlers.

  4. Beautiful! The variety of blooms is wonderful. I'm so glad you had at least a day to catch all the color. Grebes are so darn cute :-) That butterfly against the white rock is so pretty. Never get tired of flower pics, but that little guy sure is a cutie!!!

  5. Sorry your weather wasn't the best, but you sure made wonderful use of the days you had:) The flowers are beautiful. I love the black buck antelope, especially those wavy antlers. I've never heard of them either. The German food sounds awesome:) We've been doing the chicken noodle soup and fry bread thing here in Bluff:) Just can't get enough.

  6. The flower are beautiful and the food sounds so yummy! We've never spent any time in Texas Hill country. Your pictures and descriptions sure make it sound like a stop we need to make. I would love to see the blue bonnets! I love the picture of the first cottage!

  7. With the only day you've got you certainly was able to get a taste of what the area is known for, wildflowers and beautiful scenery. I would like to experience the Texas Hill Country one day soon, but for now Im happy with your pictures especially the last bloom, perfect capture.