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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

San Antonio Riverwalk

A view of the San Antonio Riverwalk from street level. The river was dyed green in honor of Saint Patricks Day. Photo was taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55mm lens.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Proud To Be An American And A Texan!

These flags were flying at a rest stop outside of San Antonio. The flags flying, with the trees just beginning to sprout their leaves, and the beautiful blue skies made for a must have photo. Photo was taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55mm lens.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Wildflowers are becoming more abundant!

The drives to Brownsville have been more frequent in the month of March and much to my delight the wild flowers are popping up along my way, making my drive much more enjoyable!
I have to confess I stop several times both coming and going to take photos! These were taken with my NikonD5000 18-55mm lens.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Oakville


Who could resist taking photos of this old police car? Not me! I felt like I was stepping back in time to a different era. One more like Mayberry! Life was so much simpler then. We weren't bombarded by so many things, always rushing from here to there, attached to our electronics. I was reminded of the times when I was young and we were allowed to play outside (not as much danger of strangers and horrible things happening as today) till dark and then would hear my Mom calling my name and I knew it was time for supper (yes, supper...not dinner). Then we would sit outside with several of the neighbors and just talk or us kids would catch fireflies in a jar or play tag, till time to go in and maybe watch a little tv before bed. How many of us do this anymore? I can only speak for myself and my family and I know we don't do this often enough! Many of us don't even know anything about our neighbors. Children rarely play outside anymore, too many video games or computer games to keep them busy. Sorry, guess seeing one old car really brought back of a flood of memories!

On to a little history of Oakville.....Irish immigrants settled this area as part of the John McMullen and James McGloin Mexican Land Grant. It is located on the Sulphur Tributary of the Nueces River and also known as, "On the Sulphur". Live Oak County was organized in 1856 and Oakville was named County Seat. Thomas Wilson gave 640 acres for the townsite stipulating that separate squares be marked as public, graveyard, church, and school squares. Oakville grew as stores, two hotels, a livery stable, a school, and two churches were established.
The Oakville Post Office was established May 11, 1857. The mail came 4 times a week on stagecoaches traveling from San Antonio to Corpus Christi and then on to Brownsville. Stage travel became less popular with the arrival of the railroad. When the San Antonio, Uvalde & Gulf Railroad bypassed Oakville in 1913, the town began to decline. The County Seat was moved to
George West in 1919.

Photos were taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55mm lens.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sulphur Creek



We just couldn't resist stopping and walking back and taking photos of this area! Thank goodness there was very little traffic on this frontage road, it allowed us plenty of access, not to mention views of roadkill up close and personal. *lol* I had to do a little research to learn a bit about Sulphur Creek and found the following:

Sulphur Creek rises where Bean Creek and the East Fork of Sulphur Creek converge. This spring-fed stream (it was bone dry when we saw it on March 14, 2010) flows northeast, through sandy beds in its upper reaches, for twenty miles to its mouth on the Lampasas River, 2 1/2 miles east of Lampasas. Its course crosses an area of the Grand Prairies, characterized by relatively flat to steeply sloping terrain surfaced by shallow and stony sandy and clay loams that support grasses and open stands of oak, live oak, mesquite, and juniper. A number of springs
lie along the course of Sulphur Creek, including Gold Spring, Gooch Spring, and Hancock Springs. Many of these were originally used by the Indians as watering holes.

Photos were taken with a NikonD5000 18-55mm lens.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bluebonnets "State Flower of Texas"





These photos of bluebonnets were taken on a drive from Corpus Christi to San Antonio on March 14, 2010.
The drive was absolutely stunning with all the beautiful wild flowers in bloom! Instead of a 2 1/2 - 3 hour drive we made it last about 4 hours, stopping many times along the way to take photos! I even had my daughter and son-in-law taking some! It was a wonderful spent with family! Photos were taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55mm lens.

Bluebonnets are a hardy winter annual native to Texas. Adopted as the "State Flower of Texas", this is the most commonly seen variety along roadsides and in uncultivated pastures throughout the state. Flowers are densely arranged on a spike with a characteristic ice white terminal tip. Bluebonnets cannot tolerate poorly drained, clay based soils. Seed planted in poorly drained soils will germinate, but plants will never fully develop. Seedlings will become either stunted or turn yellow and soon die. The prefer a sloped area in light to gravelly, well-drained soil, and require full sun.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A Scent Unlike Any Other




Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, there were many more orchards then than now. It's a shame. There is no scent sweeter than the scent of an orange blossom! I stood in my daughter's backyard and just enjoyed the beautiful scent, reminiscing of my childhood and the fruit trees my Father grew in our backyard.

A few facts about the citrus industry are; it is almost totally located in the lower Rio Grande Valley, with about 85% of the acreage in Hidalgo County, 14% in Cameron County and only about 1% in Willacy County. Although hurricanes can cause considerable damage, the major limiting factor in Texas citrus production is the risk of severe freeze damage.

Photos were taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55mm lens.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Down to waters edge...

One of my favorite places to go here in Corpus Christi is Shoreline/Ocean Blvd. The views are amazing, parks are plentiful and it's just a perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon. I plan on capturing a sunrise from this location in the very near future. Photo was taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55mm lens.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Spring's on the way!

Spring is on the way! Just a little peek of what is to come! Soon, this tree will be covered in beautiful green leaves! Photo was taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55mm lens.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Texas Mountain Laurels


The Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) is an attractive spring-flowering small tree with glossy, evergreen leaves and beautiful purple wisteria-like blooms smelling of grape Kool-aid. Another name by which it is known is Mescal Bean.
Texas Mountain Laurels usually reach a height of six to twelve feet. They often produce multiple trunks, and over time grow into show-stopping specimens. They are native to the alkaline soils of the Texas Hill Country, and are often found growing among granite rocks.
Plant Texas Mountain Laurel in full sun or light shade. Young trees may be purchased at the nursery, or grown from seed. The seeds may not sprout for several years unless they are first nicked with a file to start the process of germination. An easier way is to collect unripe seed, when it is pinkish in color, in late June or early July before the seed coat has had a chance to harden. Plant them immediately, and they should sprout quickly.
Texas Mountain Laurels are not easily transplanted and may require a year or more to overcome the process. One way to overcome this obstacle is to plant the seeds where you want them in the landscape or to plant them in gallon containers. Container grown plants should be handled carefully to avoid disturbing the root ball.
Although these trees are planted in many neighborhoods in the warmer parts of Texas, children should be warned that the seeds contain a poison.Texas Mountain Laurels are an excellent source of evergreen foliage and beautiful flowers and require little, if any, irrigation once established. They thrive in the dryer areas of Texas.
These mountain laurels were found in Corpus Christi at a shopping mall and photos were taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55 mm lens

Monday, March 15, 2010

View of Houston Skyline

This is a view of some of the Houston Skyline taken from the Downtown Aquarium. For those of you who have not visited the Aquarium, it is a really beautiful place! It is definitely a must see while in Houston!

Photo was taken with a Sony A200 18-70mm lens.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

South Padre Island Surf

South Padre Island, is located on the tropical tip of Texas just 25 miles north of the Mexican border and is a fabulous place to vacation! Or at least take an afternoon drive and relax to the tranquil sound of the waves!

South Padre Island consists of a 34 mile long stretch of white sand. The conveniences and attractions of a modern resort plus miles of undeveloped island terrain is what draws thousands of visitors to the area each year.

South Padre Island is known throughout the United States and is ranked as one of America's top 10 beaches.

Photo was taken with a SonyA200 18-70mm lens.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Grunge Photography

This photo was taken in Gregory, just north of Portland. Some of you might be thinking what in the world? A photo of an abandoned, graffiti covered old gas station/convenience store? While to some this might be 'ugly', to others (me included) it tells a story that is worth capturing. I, for one can't wait to do some photo shoots here! What has come to be known as urban photography is increasing popular.

Photo was taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55 lens.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Seagull In Flight

If you find some free time and would like a nice drive, try driving north from Corpus Christi on Hwy 35 to the Rockport/Fulton area. There are some beautiful sites! The area is surrounded by the Copano and Aransas bay waters and the large windswept oaks along the waterfront are a beautiful feature of the area.

Photo was taken with a NikonD5000 18-55mm lens.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fulton Mansion


The Fulton Mansion State Historic Site is located in the resort area of Rockport-Fulton. The home which was built between 1874 and 1877 by George Ware Fulton, an engineer, was named "Oakhurst". The three-story French Second Empire Style home is made of plank wall construction, with a shell concrete basement, mansard roof, modern heating, ventilation, plumbing systems, and gas lighting. The Fulton family lived there until 1895.

Today, visitors can tour the restored home, getting a glimpse into the life of an affluent family in the late 1800s. Learn about George Fulton’s engineering skills, stroll through Harriet Fulton’s gardens and hear the stories of living in a grand Victorian villa.

Photo was taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55mm lens.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Harbor Bridge

A view of the Harbor Bridge, which joins Portland and Corpus Christi and allows large ships entrance into the Port of Corpus Christi. The bridge replaced a drawbridge and was built between 1956 and 1959. View is from the Texas State Aquarium. Photo was taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55mm lens.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Houston's Children's Museum

Houston's Children's Museum is the highest-attended youth museum in the country for its size and is dedicated to its mission of transforming communities through child-centered learning. The Museum is housed in a whimsical building designed by internationally acclaimed architect Robert Venturi. The Museum was founded in 1980 by a group of Houston parents who hoped to elevate early childhood development to a community-wide priority.

If you have not had an opportunity to visit, please put it on your list of must see sites in Houston, especially if you have children! Being a grandparent I wasn't sure I would enjoy, but I enjoyed it as much as the children!

Photo taken with a SonyA200 18-70mm lens.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Padre Island National Seashore

Padre Island National Seashore extends 113 miles along the Texas Gulf coast. Padre Island is comprised of stunning dunes of fine white sand, thriving grasslands, saltwater marshes, and many different types of wildlife. With 70 miles of natural beaches, 133,918 acres of which are protected in the National Seashore, Padre Island is one of the largest undeveloped barrier islands in the United States.

A visitor center, picnic area, and developed campground are available. Camping is allowed at no cost along the beach and selected areas along Laguna Madre.

Excellent opportunities exist for saltwater fishing, swimming, camping, hiking, boating, and other water sports.

Wildlife viewing and photo opportunities are numerous, including coyotes, white tail deer, peregrine falcons, kangaroo rats, and jackrabbits. Some endangered Kemp's Ridley and loggerhead sea turtles return to Padre Island to lay their egg during their nesting season mid-April to August. There are many species of birds that can be seen along the Gulf beach year-round.

Photo was taken with a Nikon D5000 18-55mm lens.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Solitary White Rose


Who could resist capturing this beautiful solitary white rose! Especially with the morning dew still clinging to the petals! Photo was taken with a Fuji finepix 12.2Mp J38 point and shoot.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Farm and windmill



A farm and windmill located on Hwy 70 leading to Chapman Ranch. Photo taken with a Fuji finepix 12.2 Mp J38 point and shoot.