Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ashley's First Trail Ride 4-22-17

My new riding buddy, Ashley, went with me on an organized trail ride at the new Palo Pinto Mountains State Park in Strawn. The park isn't officially open but they do allow some events through organized groups.

There were 3 different trail rides. One Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. We did the afternoon ride.

It was a cool start to the day as a front moved through. It did warm up some but was still a little on the cool side. It was actually perfect weather for riding.

This was Ashley's very first trail ride. This ride is limited to 60 riders but there were only 20 there. I suspect the cold front had something to do with that. I was actually glad it was a small group since this was Ashley's first time.

This area is planned to be developed as the equestrian area.

Gathering up to begin.

Most of the trails were very rocky!

We stopped for a few minutes while one of the trail leaders explained the planned development for this area

Pretty wild flowers!

Beautiful country side!

This picture cracks me up. I didn't realize until I got the pictures on the computer that Fancy had her ears pinned back which means "I don't like you and you better stay away from me" 😲 It was a horse that was riding along side of me behind Diamond.

The group veered off trail a short distance to ride under the railroad tressel and across a creek.

Going up. notice all those rocks in the trail?!

Single file!

Look at that view!

So pretty!

Very rugged but beautiful terrain.

Some more wildflowers.

Most of the wildflowers were along the highway we came to the ride on so as we were leaving I pulled over so Ashley and I could get some pictures of all these wonderful colors!

Primrose also known as "Buttercups".

Fire Wheels with some Primrose.

More Fire Wheels.

Although we are past our peak Bluebonnet season there are still a few around.

A carpet of wildflowers!

We had a great time. Our trail ride that was supposed to be 2 1/2 hours turned into 4! Ashley and I were both walking a little funny for a little while. We enjoyed our photography shoot with the wildflowers then finished our day with a good meal at Pasta Fina!

Have a good one!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Kisses From God 4-18-2017

Both horses were missing shoes and it was too pretty to not be outside so I decided to go for a hike at the State Park. I like to do that every once in a while as I can't carry my SLR camera with me on the horse and I usually get some great photo opportunities when I'm not on horseback. I feel most connected to God when I get out in His creation!

I ask at the gate where most of the wildflowers are and I am directed to Amphitheater area.
Look at these beautiful Wine Cups!

There are some wildflowers but not quite the assortment I had hoped to find.

A Firewheel with a bug.

Whenever I find a heart shape on my outings I feel as though God is just reminding me how much He loves me. It always makes me smile and yes....feel loved 😊

Now this was intriguing! I didn't know what this was. When I posted on Facebook I got some input!

This is created by a Spittle Bug. According to one of my Facebook friends "they blow these bubbles from there butt creating a bubble cocoon protecting them from predators supposedly they are tasty but the bubbles are sour and birds won't eat them."

I learned something 😉

I decide to drive to the other side of the park over by the equestrian trails.

This takes me across the spillway. As I drive I see these vultures. I found it interesting and humorous. I haven't seen them congregate like this at the spillway before.

I look out my other window toward the lake and see this Canadian goose.

Looking back to the spillway there are more vultures.

I wish I could have gotten closer but I liked the reflection in the water.

Look at these "Yellow Roses of Texas" (cactus blooms)

See the bee crawling out of the flower covered in pollen?

I find another heart 😊. This one reminds me that even when my heart is crummy, God still loves me!

More beautiful blooms!

Some of the trail is pretty treacherous. Very glad I had my lace up riding boots on!

Once I got to the top the view was great!

I didn't quite capture what I was seeing but I liked how the sun was shining on these tall green plants that will bloom in a few weeks.

I rested for a spell and when I did this little guy decided to land on my camera bag.

I loved how the sun light shown through the foliage.

Then I came upon a magical place. There is a tree next to the trail that had butterflies fluttering around this tree in abundance along with some wasps.

I was mesmerized by all the fluttering beauty! The tree was plain and didn't even have any leaves yet. I'm thinking to myself there has to be something sweet that is attracting them. I just couldn't quit watching them and enjoy feeling them land on me occasionally.

The first butterfly to land on me landed on my hand.

Here is a short video clip.

The butterflies landed on me several times. I loved it 😍

If you interested, go here to see a video of just the butterflies fluttering around the tree.

Found where another Spittle Bug had been.

More pretty flowers.

You don't see them often but occasionally there will be a white or albino Indian Paint Brush.

A bird to finish off my walk. Not sure what this is. I haven't looked it up yet. It will be a nice addition to the picture calendars I do for my bird friends.

I had a great hike with Papa and certainly enjoyed His tokens of love and His kisses 😍

Have a good one!