Go West, Young Ad and Alison!

Last weekend, Ad and I spent a glorious three days with his aunt, uncle, and cousin at their West Texas home. They live outside of a tiny little town in the pretty part of Texas, past the swamps of Houston, but before the desert and sage brush. Ahhhh, the prairie.

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The number of wild flowers was just stunning. They’ve had a lot of rain this year, so the flowers were better than usual.

Prickly Pear Cactus…

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Horsemint…

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Indian Blanket, or Firewheel…

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Western Horse Nettle, which is in the Nightshade family…

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Prickly Poppy…

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Basket Flower…

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Wild Carrot…

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…and loads of other flowers and cacti that I didn’t get pictures of.

Ad’s family lives on a ranch, so we spent a lot of time driving around to see different parts of the ranch and all it’s inhabitants. Horses, cattle, an adorable dog that I think Skelly bonded with (despite his horrible social skills), a turtle, a black widow spider, and some wild hogs! I also added three new birds to my sightings list; red tailed hawk, bull bat, and scissor tailed fly catcher.

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Ad’s uncle does some flint knapping as a hobby. Not only did he send us home with some arrowheads that he made, he also showed us a site on the ranch where Native Americans used to flint knap. See the waste flint chips on the ground? Interestingly, the flint chips shown here are not native to this area. It’s a superior flint, and was easier to shape than the local stuff, so I imagine it was worth traveling for.

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Another of the highlights was a ride in the back of Walt’s (Ad’s Uncle’s Father-in-law) old car. I just love that minty color. Walt shared some of his home made prickly pear jam with us, so we’re excited to try it. Apparently it’s very sweet, and a bit of an acquired tasted.

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On the evening before we left, we were treated to an impressive storm. Since it was so flat, you could really watch the storms roll through, even if they were miles away. I could so get used to views like this.

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Ad and I are already looking forward to going back. The thing that bothers both of us about living in Houston, is that it doesn’t actually feel like you’re living in Texas. Almost no one in Houston is a Texas native. This could be any large city, anywhere. If I have to spend time here, I’d at least like to experience what most of Texas is really like, and I feel like we got a good taste of that this past weekend.

And we have to go back because there’s so much left to do! The ranch was muddy and the mosquitoes were vicious, so we didn’t get to ride horses or go fishing. We’ll save that for next time.

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7 thoughts on “Go West, Young Ad and Alison!

  1. Well now….. thats really no different then here in the Fens, as flat as a pancake, although of course we have no cactus, but we do get stunning sunsets. Like you, I love the colour of the car, lovely photos. See you soon x

  2. One of the things Gary and I did when we traveled was to keep track of all the beautiful wildflowers in the west., when and where we saw them and the birds. I loved trying to see a new bird or birds that his 2 sisters had not seen. HA HA
    Now that was a car to talk about.

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