Friday, October 28, 2011

Hamilton Pool Preserve...

So...yesterday was my birthday.  Mr P asked what I'd like to do.  I surprised him and said I'd like to go on a nature hike.
Even though we've been coming to the Hill Country for years, and years....and, we've lived here for three years...we'd never been to Hamilton Pool.  

It's just about four miles from our son's home.   He goes there so often to hike that he has a car pass.
So, we recruited him to be our guide.  Our daughter-in-law came along, too.

The trail down is pretty natural in most spots....but, well defined.

There are natural steps, and some man-made ones.

When you get to the creek side, the trail is even marked with some stepping stones.

The walking here is easy.

River fern...I think
Woodland plants grow alongside the trail.

Maidenhair fern

The creek is lined with age old cypress trees.

The colors are changing with the season.

Hamilton Pool is a collapsed grotto, with limestone walls, eaten away from years of wear by the flowing waters of Hamilton Creek.

In the 1860s the land was owned by Morgan Hamilton.  In the 1880s he sold the land to the Reimer family, who raised sheep and cattle.  The Reimers rediscovered the pool and opened it to the public around the turn of the century.  By the 1960s it was a very popular place for Austinites to go to swim.
The cattle and humans did a lot of damage to the natural landscape.
In the 1980s, Travis County bought 232 acres from the Reimers and began to work to bring the area back to its natural state.

When you finally arrive at the pool, you see why it's been so popular for so many years.
Still open to swimmers, but watched carefully to preserve wild things here.
The water level is a bit low because of the drought.

Tree growing upside down from the roof.

Stalactites, formed by water dripping down the limestone, cling to the roof.

Moss covered rocks.

The roof is peppered with swallow's nests.

Fascinating little mud huts.

Looking out from inside...kind of like looking out from inside a Jack-o-lantern.

The trail gets a bit narrow in the back.

Looking across the pool.  See Mr P and son on the other side?  Those two bright spots.
Shows just how large this is.

Pretty fall reflections.

Not a lot of water coming over the falls.  But, with so little rain lately, any water is amazing.

Handrails for safety

So much plant life along the trail.

Is this palm grass growing out of this stump?


Turk's Cap

Beauty Berry


Something unknown

Another unknown

And, this beauty...

Does anyone know what this is?

Fall color of Virginia Creeper

We walked past the trail back up, and a little way down the river trail.  The creek and trail go down and meet up with the
Pedernales River.

Piles of big rocks have peep holes to the creek.

It was a nice nature hike, to a beautiful place on a cool fall day.

What a nice way to celebrate.

Arriving back home...more natural beauty in an arrangement sent by my daughter and her family.

Mexican food for dinner.....a great day all round.

Another busy weekend coming up.  Family weekend guests...the Longhorn game...

Life is Good.

Have a great weekend, too.

Happy Gardening...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Support Your Independent Nursery Month: King Feed Garden and Hardware

October has been deemed Support Your Independent Nursery Month by Pam at Digging.
Nothing like showing up at the last minute.

Here in Wimberley, our main place for all things garden is
King Feed Garden and Hardware.

This place has been here for a long time.  Back in the 1950s, this site was a cedar yard and sawmill, with a small store that sold hardware, feed and ranching supplies.

It's changed hands over the years, but still carries a large line of different feeds...from food for dogs and cats, to those deer creatures we all love.

They are also a True Value Hardware store.

But, my main interest is for the garden.
They carry veggie transplants...

and herbs.

They carry a nice variety of native succulents and bedding plants.


Trees and shrubs.

They have a nice supply of bagged soils and composts.  They carry the popular Lady Bug brands.

Their bedding plants are healthy.  And, they have an assortment of the colorful Mexican pottery that I like.

Their supply right now is lower than usual.  Maybe a sign of the times.

There are other garden accessories.  Windchimes and birdhouses, and feeders.

A focal point of the nursery is the ruins of the fireplace left from the home of the original owners.

All dressed up for the Halloween season.

They did a good job of black and orange arrangements.

There's a nice greenhouse, for tropicals and houseplants.

We've had some cold mornings, here in Wimberley Valley.  So, the cold tender plants are safe inside.

Hmmm....I just might have to have some of these colorful tomato cages and shepherds hooks.

Inside, you'll find a nice array of natural plant foods and pest control.  You'll find the other kind, too.
But, they seem to focus more on the natural products.

There's a small, but good variety of seeds.

You can find garden tools, irrigation supplies, gloves....almost anything you need for the garden.
Plus other tools, paint, plumbing needs, etc.

Outside again, they have a new addition of these little guys.
They didn't have any baby chickens, but there are usually some inside by the cashier stand.
And, don't forget that feed for whatever critter you might be feeding.

King's is a nice place to visit, whether you need something or not.  I don't usually leave empty handed.
It helps that's it's only a couple miles from my front door.  On the other hand...maybe not for the budget.

So, when in Wimberley, drop by King's.  It has that old fashioned, small town feel.

They're friendly and knowledgeable...they answer questions about what might or might not work for certain spots and they usually point out that 'deer resistant' doesn't necessarily mean MY neighborhood.
(Did I mention we have LOTS of deer in my neighborhood?)

Wimberley is worth the trip.

Be sure to visit Pam at Digging to see some other great independent nurseries.

'til next time..

Happy Gardening...