Thursday, July 16, 2009

Road trip (last post, I promise)

After we went through the Alamo, we walked a few blocks over and descended the steps into another world: the Riverwalk.

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It really is like a cool(er) oasis down there... great shops and restaurants, a fun boat ride, beautiful flora and even a few fauna.

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Poison Bulb (Crinum asiaticum)

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Some kind of Poinciana, perhaps? I still haven't positively identified this lovely flower, but I *think* it might be a "flamboyant", also known as a Flame-Tree or a Royal Poinciana.

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A tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica)! There are gazillions of them there. I love tamarind-flavored stuff.

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WTF? It's a funky heron that migrates in and out of the Riverwalk. It's called a Yellow-Crowned Night Heron, I believe.

The river is full of mallard ducks as well... and while we were noshing on some ice cream after our riverboat tour, we were even treated to some duck porn. No, I did NOT photograph THAT.

On Wednesday morning we got out on the road and took Highway 16 to Kerrville. It was marked on the map as a Scenic Route, and they weren't kidding.

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This flower is called Skeleton Weed (Lygodesmia taxana). No clue why, but it was pretty, and the honeybees were after it pretty thickly.

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I swear, this really IS in Texas... a river lined with cypress trees! I KNOW! But it's true. The water is (I'm pretty sure) spring-fed, because it was crystal-clear and gorgeous. This is the Medina River near Bandera, Texas.

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This little critter is an epiphytic plant called a Ball Moss (Tillandsia recurvata). It isn't really a moss at all, but is a bromeliad. A lot of people think it's killing all the trees, but everything I have been reading about it says it really doesn't kill the trees at all, it just piggybacks on the parts of trees that are already dead anyway. It sure does LOOK like it's killing trees, though:

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Actually, it resembles nothing so much as Tribbles.

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My mom, coaxing a doodlebug (Glenurus gratus) out of its lair.

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Let's go to Luckenbach, Texas... Willie and Waylon and the boys... (everybody sing along, now)

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It was a very pleasant trip. I don't mind heat; I'd rather be hot than cold any day. And I got to see stuff I've never seen before. I can now cross a few more items off my "Bucket List" like seeing the bats, touring the Hill Country, and watching duck porn on the Riverwalk in San Antonio. Life's good, ain't it?

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