Bluebonnet Endurance Race

Saturday was a beautiful day in the LBJ Grasslands for the Bluebonnet Endurance Race sponsored by the Texas Arabian Distance Riders Association. Full of riders, volunteers, support team members and horses (mostly Arabians), TADRA Point had a circus-like feel when we arrived just as the 50-mile riders were checking in after their first 25 miles on the Orange Trail. The 25-mile riders were also coming in at the half-way point with a Quarter Horse in the lead. They kept Pam and Dan busy recording race numbers and check-in times on their way to a mandatory rest period and vet check.

I went out to the Blue Trail to get a few action shots of the 50-mile horses and riders still going strong with 20 miles to go. If you are interested in equestrian endurance sports, check out TADRA for more information.

On the last day of a three day visit, Eldon, Snoopy and April were enjoying a water break at the edge of the race festivities.

 

Butterflies and Birds

Near mile 14 on the White Trail, a Painted Lady was one of many butterflies, bees and wasps we saw visiting the blooms of a Kalmia Latifolia (mountain laurel or calico bush) on our Easter walk in the LBJ Grasslands.

The Hummingbirds are back in force this spring, we counted 16 vying for feeder dominance at one time. A female Black-chinned hovers as she waits for her turn.

I was surprised to see a female Yellow Warbler visiting our bird bath today, the first sighting we have had in 14 years. I just got this photo when it took off with a yellow flash to the pine tree, where she was hidden from my sight amongst the pollen.

 

Boy Scouts in the LBJ Grasslands

I saw this group from a distance and knew Jay would find them scary. Sure enough as we rounded the corner he came to a complete halt, certain that they were bears, not people with packs on their backs. By the time we got organized for this line up shot, he was OK with them, but not completely. The hikers represent three different troops from the Northwest Texas Council training for a trip to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.

Images of the LBJ Grasslands

A monarch butterfly showing signs of a rough migration. Monarch Butterfly-Journey North has great information on the monarch’s migration path.

Painted Lady on a Texas Blue Stem.

The rocks made of ancient sea creatures on the dry plateau in the LBJ Grasslands look like fancy landscaping along the Red/White trail close to the Texas Gate.

Closeup of mollusk rocks.

 Crown Vetch

Walk in the Yard

Bee on the Redbud

Southern Dogface

I was hanging out on the patio hoping to get a shot of a hummingbird feeding on the henbit, but I witnessed a hummingbird battle instead. These two were engaged in arial combat, crashing into one another, flying breast to breast with wings slapping, sounding like of playing cards striking bicycle spokes at full speed. The fight ended on the driveway with the victor looking poised to administer the death blow. However, just after this photo, the vanquished was released to fly away, the winner celebrating with a victory lap around his feeder.

The Window View

The storm on the last day of march only added a trace of precipitation to our drought, but it created some rich colors and a little moisture for the rescue grass. Our closest neighbors, who we call the girls, have been enjoying the fresh growth.

Eastern Phoebe