Backyard Cooper’s Hawk

There was a Cooper’s Hawk sitting on the back fence today being photogenic.

He was there for quite some time around lunchtime. I took more than 200 photos of him, and these wound up being the best ones. It was a difficult shooting situation being inside the house behind a screen and dirty windows. I’d have loved to sneak out the front door and come around the house to get photos of it while I was outside, but with the privacy fence and the gate being heavy, that would have scared it away for sure.

Thesis Defense is Done!

If you’ve been following me, you’re aware I’ve been working on a master’s degree. This week I took a huge step towards moving on to the next phase of life. I had my thesis seminar, followed by the defense of my thesis. My committee chose to sign off on my work, so I’m that much closer to graduating. I do have some edits that need to be made to the thesis document itself, so I have about a month of work left to do. After that, I should be increasing my trip frequency and gear use, which should increase the frequency of my posts.

Tyler State Park 23 September 2012

I’ve been busting my tail on my thesis lately and not doing much else, so when a friend invited me out to Tyler SP on Sunday with the Morning Glory Yoga Run Club, I had to come. Most of the group was there to do a 16mi trail run in training for the Tyler Marathon. The longest run I’ve done has been just over 4mi (partially on trails, I might add) so I wasn’t up to that. But the time would give me the opportunity to do the whole ABCD loop.

May Pocket Prairie

My pocket prairie is coming alive this year. With more reliable rain and a little more time for things to establish, I’m getting a lot of neat flowers. Not even close to all of the ones I planted, though. The perennials pictured were planted as already mature plants, while the annuals were all planted from seed. I planted many perennials from seed last fall that will not flower until 2013 at minimum.

Mexican HatIndian Blanket

Pitcher Sage

Drummond Phlox

IMG_5276

Clasping Coneflower and Lemon Mint

Giant Coneflower

Partridge Pea

Annual Sunflower

Annual Sunflower

Caterpillar on Gayfeather

Nosara, Costa Rica March 2012

This trip has been in the planning stages for quite some time. The wife and I paid a visit to the Costa Rica Yoga Spa in Nosara, on the Nicoya Peninsula. It’s an outstanding resort, and the food was incredible. The retreat was organized and taught by one of my local yoga instructors, so I knew most of the people in attendance. There were a couple people there I had not met before, however, and enjoyed spending time with them.

One-One Pompetamine (Road Bike Commuter Project #5 – Finished)

This post has been a few weeks in the making, but please forgive me. I’ve been riding my new bike when I haven’t been working. It’s nice that even though my workload has increased, my riding miles have also increased because of this new bike.

On-One Pompetamine CommuterThe great thing about this bike is that it doesn’t matter where I take it. It can handle trails OR roads. Now I’m not doing Scooby at the SFA Rec Trails on this thing, but I can get a dose of dirt on it when I need one.

San Francisco and the Nike Women’s Marathon

Last weekend my wife competed in the half marathon in the Nike Women’s Marathon. Some regular readers might recall the fundraising links I posted and some of my readers actually donated (yay!). I thought I’d provide a bit of a trip report.

It was a great trip. My first visit to CA. Not my wife’s, though. Being a military kid, she spent some time in Monterrey growing up. San Francisco is a pretty cool city. In spite of all the recycling bins, though, there was an inordinate amount of trash which was a bit disappointing. But still, the bike culture there is just awesome. Bikes everywhere, even guys in business suits were riding around the city. Plus, more bike rental options than I expected.

Upland Island Wilderness

I’ve been planning to visit the Upland Island Wilderness for awhile.  I ordered a map from MyTopo for this area last summer and I’ve been trying to get out here since.  On the 4th, with the wife out of town, I figured I’d go hike in the Upland Island Wilderness. I wanted to see the longleaf pine savannas and the spring-fed bogs at the exposures of the Catahoula Formation and photograph some of the carnivorous plants.

The trip didn’t work out how I had hoped. The trailhead area was pretty dilapidated. Something public isn’t available, but I don’t know what.

Angelina River Canoe Trip – February 2011

The SFA Outdoor Pursuits planned this trip for the stretch of the Angelina River between Highway 63 and Martin Dies Jr. State Park. I was stoked to do this trip. I’ve done a decent bit of paddling, but I’ve never camped out of my canoe before. My wife and I signed ourselves up and hoped for the best.

We had a full roster, but had a few last minute cancellations. A couple of those spots got filled, so thankfully we didn’t wind up with a small group. It was a good group of folks. The group dynamic worked pretty well, and I never saw any conflicts. Unfortunately, I’m absolutely terrible with names so I only remember a couple of the folks who attended. My lack of short term memory in general doesn’t help here.

A Fall Ride

Just some geotagged pictures from my ride today embedded into a map. And a good ride it was. It was a little bit warm today for mid-late November (80F, I was told), but it was breezy. The trails were surprisingly empty. I got a good ride in…about 15 miles all told (of course, I edited out the portion that shows where I live).