Wednesday, July 6, 2011


The Houston area has been going through a severe drought and now our water is being rationed. I received a letter in the mail from our water district saying that we can only water our lawns on certain days (even numbered houses on even numbered days; odd numbered houses on odd days) and you can only do it with a hose that has a spray nozzle. No water sprinklers.  If you use a sprinkler you can be fined a big chunk of money.

There are huge cracks where the earth has separated from sidewalks and buildings. We passed by one lake yesterday that was closed to swimming and fishing because the swimming hole is dried up and there is no water at the boat launch. It's bad. And it's hot!

I took the kids out for one geocache yesterday at Stephen F. Austin State Park. When we got out of the car around 4pm the temp read 102*. But that's not enough to stand between me and the geocache challenge. (Rachel says I'm too competitive but I'm not sure I agree with that.)
 It's hot with almost no breeze but on we hike.
 Through a parched forest we walk. Seeking the elusive cache. The grass was yellow. We need rain so badly.
 Saw a bug flying and thought it was a dragonfly but it turns out to be an adult antlion!
 The kids pose for a picture on the dry savannah.
 As we hike closer to the Brazos River the tree cover becomes more dense. The trail was littered with cottonwood leaves. Cottonwood trees are a sure sign that this area floods. NEVER buy land with cottonwoods if you don't like flooding. I found that out with our second home purchase.

 My GPS shows that we're near the cache. But not close enough. We stop to see the mighty Brazos River.
 Back on the trail Rachel spot a large moth on the side of a tree. We've seen these before but I still don't have an ID on them. I spent the better part of this morning trying to find the name of this moth. No luck so far.
 Oh no! It must have gotten a nasty sunburn because it's peeling.
 After much sweating (I did wear a bandanna around my head to soak up the sweat.) the GPS shows that we are very near the cache. We head off into the woods off the path. We go down a ravine and up another. We're trekking through areas that have not seen human feet in decades. The ground is thick with leaf litter. Then my GPS gives up. No signal in no man's land.

We head back up and down the ravine before we get too far off route and get lost in the woods. I try to get my GPS working again by searching for clear access to the sky but no luck. Finally Rachel spots the well hidden cache. Do you see it?
 We stamp our passports for the challenge, sign the log, grab a couple of trade items and are on our way out of the forest.  Even when we finally make it back to the car a little after 6pm it says that it's 99* outside. Whew! AC never felt so good.
Eats for the day:
I was very good. I wasn't very hungry. I snacked on some leftover pieces of Quest bars that I heated in the microwave for 15 seconds. They taste like fresh backed goodies. I have a serious love for these. Charlie even bugs me each day for one. Below are fudge brownie and apple pie.
On the way home from hiking I picked up a ever nutritious healthy tasty fast dinner at McDonald's. I got the Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken salad. It really was pretty good.
Today, more of the same. And if you have any extra rain inn your parts, please send it our way. :)


  1. I REALLY REALLY wish we could send some of our rain your way. (we've had LOTS up here in Vancouver - and though today is lovely - apparently the rain will be back tomorrow). Lovely photos of the dry hike though. Have a great day.

  2. I've read about your lack of rain in the paper - we had so much rain this spring, wish I could have sent some your way!

    And our neighbor across the street has a cottonwood tree - drives us nuts when it sheds - its like its snowing!

  3. Sorry to hear about the drought, Kelly. I hope you get some rain soon. We have been dry here for a while too. Just and occasional thunderstorm with very little rain. Thanks for the heads up about the Quest bars. I just got mine and love them. :)

  4. Fun! We're parched up here in Ft. Worth, too. Thermometer on the back porch read 103 yesterday at 7:00 pm. So dry, so dry...we're getting a little nervous about grass fires now. I've scalped the lower field and pushed the brush pile as far away from the house as I possible can.

  5. I do feel bad for you Texans and am wishing some rain your way! The rain streak we were in has finally broken and summer has arrived although we may get a bit overnight. I told someone today the best of both worlds would be gorgeous clear blue sunny sky days with a bit of rain overnight. Oh, that would be the tropics, right?

  6. We wemt through a drought last summer and with the heat index isn't it TERRIBLE?? We are having very high temps and humidity, makes it hard to breathe sometimes. I like to see how your children hike with you. Wish my Jacob could...have a great day.

  7. P.S. I am having a really hard time with the low carb and I KNOW that is where I need to be. Just don't know how to jump back on the IR wagon.

  8. We had rain tonight but I kept it. Sorry. Next time!

    You guys are so adventurous - all the searching in this weather is so far beyond anything I would even think about attempting! Glad you have so much fun doing it. :)

  9. Tonight, I drove through what looked like it would be rain - was so excited to see the foggy-looking-weather on I35! - and then discovered that it was just a dust storm. Bah humbug! We got thunder, we got lightning, we got wind in the ATX....but the rain all went to Shelley and the crowd in CS. Bah.

  10. Can't really tell from the pic - a Death's Head Moth?
    Acherontia Styx - This one looks so different than the other Death's Head Moths... it's harder to name... The thing is, they are huge - for a moth...

    I don't know....

    Great hike! What fun!

  11. Wow didn't realize you're close to Houston! Me too! :) Gorsh, even with the rain - it's still so dry. No fireworks here this 4th. :(


I love comments. Tell me what's on your mind. :)