While searching through fragments of earlier travels, I came across the following:
In an effort to explore more of Houston and the surrounding area, we headed east to a spot we've never been to before: J.J. Mayes Wildlife Trace and the Trinity River Trail.
It was a beautiful day - bogs, boardwalks, feral pig tracks, marshland, fan palms, songbirds, lots of sunshine, and a cool breeze.
The area is named after Joshua Jackson Mayes, who owned one of the largest cattle ranches in the country during his lifetime, and the trail is an old cattle road that follows the river. As soon as you enter the park there is a picnic area with a dozen or so tables dotted along a winding path, shaded by some very old, moss-covered oak trees that were probably planted around 1850, when Mayes built his home there.
The trail is further down the road on the left, after you enter the trace. Wide, flat, muddy, and very exposed, this trail was perfect on the breezy January day that we went, but I imagine it would not be as enjoyable during the summer. My favorite part of the trail was the boardwalk and observation deck - I loved walking directly over the marsh grasses and gazing at the minnows in the water. Our feet were only inches above the marsh at times and it felt wonderful.
After wandering around and getting lost for a while we got back in the car and took some backroads along the coast, eventually winding up in Baytown. Craving an oyster poboy and some beer, we drove around the town in hopes of finding something that would suffice - to no avail. We did, however, find some interesting buildings and hand painted signs, some plywood sculptures, and a few antique/junk shops to come back to!
We all need to explore more often, I think.
Some shapes, textures, and colors from the Texas Renaissance Festival.
The weather here in Houston is not always conducive to spending a few hours walking around the city, but this Sunday it was perfect. Sunny, cool enough to wear jeans and a sweater, a slight breeze - it was the perfect day to wander around in Houston's Third Ward.
Starting at Rosewood, we walked down Almeda, turned right on Alabama, crossed over 59, went under 288, took a left on Dowling, and ended up at Nu Waters Co-op and Project Row Houses.
We stopped in front of the
house to take a few photos and look around. The house itself is not open to the public and is in pretty bad shape (water damage, mold, rats) but work is being done to save a handful of his artworks and restore them.
Even though the property is overgrown with plants and covered with detritus, the whole scene was remarkable. The colors, textures, objects, and arrangements all come together to make this a place of uncommon beauty. There is nothing else like this in Houston.
While the Flower Man's house was most certainly the highlight of the afternoon, there was also an abundance of pecans to be foraged, iced green teas to drink, and a tiny cupcake shop to visit. Oh, and pattern/quilt inspiration all over the place.
After spending the entire summer working on a sort of exhibition/performance/residency we desperately needed to get away for awhile. We needed to get away from our heads, from our art, our messy apartment, our jobs, our to-do lists, our computers, our responsibilities, etc. We just needed the time and space to relax.
And I needed to put on my swimsuit.
So we went to
We listened to Woody Guthrie in the car and rolled down our windows as we drove through some tiny towns in the Texas Hill Country. We lounged on a rock in the shade at Jacob's Well and swam and sunbathed and listened and relaxed. Kids were playing, a few ducks swam by, and I felt like I could finally breathe.
We had a picnic under a tree: watermelon, cucumbers, tomatoes, prosciutto, mozzarella. And then decided to stop by Jester King Brewery for a couple wild fermented farmhouse brews (and pizza!)
With full bellies we continued on to Austin, our main destination for the weekend.
We stayed in a cute little studio loft in Eastwood that was bright, airy, very clean, and owned by the sweetest couple. They also had a dog named Snack, whose name I find hilarious for some reason.
We spent the rest of the weekend lounging around the studio, going to book stores and record shops, drinking kombuchas and beers, devouring fancy chocolate bars, eating delicious food (including some shoyu ramen!), walking, hiking, and enjoying the nice weather. A dip in Barton Springs completed the adventure and then we got back in the car and headed home.
An excellent way to end summer and relax/recharge/renew.
This was a pretty good summer for green things. Lots of showers and sprinkles and storms.
Fairy circles, pecans, & heavy trash day. Or, the evening before heavy trash day.
I am thankful for my bike rides to and from work and for walks around the neighborhood. It makes a difference in my mood and my energy levels and is both grounding and connecting.
People wave and shout HELLO! Babies point and their parents smile. In the spring I smelled the jasmine and honeysuckle. And now I smell the ozone and the asphalt and sometimes the sewers and garbage. I see birds and dogs and cats and squirrels and raccoons. And the flowers! Oh my.
Feeling the sun and the wind and sometimes the rain is pretty lovely as well.
Walking/biking allows me the freedom to stop and take a photo or investigate a pile of trash or just stop and LOOK for awhile. It is a conscious slowing down and really connecting with the environment you are in.
I'm not too good at identifying trees, but I have noticed quite a few pecan trees in our neighborhood simply because they have pecans growing on them at the moment! They are plump and green right now, so it shouldn't be too much longer. I will eat them! And in a few days
I will take a walk to collect fallen unripe pecans to use as a
Taking time is important.
We've been taking our walks in the evening lately.