In about April, the Oak and Willow pollen is everywhere, at least it is in the Austin area. Have lots of allergy medicine and eye drops with you!
The Photos show a yellow-green dusting of pollen all over our van in the morning.
into Mexico, do the US inspectors a favor and have proof that you're American with you for when you come back. I mean, think about it, do you really think that a driver's licence proves you're American? And go into Mexico without any ID? Only if you don't want to come back, or get excited by being pat down by a guy with a badge....
When I was driving around the Hill Region of South Central Texas I passed so many beautiful hills, valleys, streams, forests...
I kept looking for somewhere to park the car and start hiking and explore the scenery, but everywhere was privately owned, part of some ranch.
The only place where hiking was possible were the State Parks.
The park ranger at Lost Maples State Park informed me that 97% of the huge territory of Texas are private property; and Texas is certainly not the place you want to be caught trespassing!!!
If you're driving through or around Texas, please be sure to have with you at all times: a fully-charged cell phone, water, spare tire, a map, and, preferrably, a companion.
Texas is HUGE. It's hard to believe just how large it is until you actually are in the middle of it, lost, and no one else is around. It can be scary. The interstates and larger highways are usually pretty safe and have terrific rest stops (see my transportation tip) but on the smaller roads you can drive for hours without ever seeing another human being. Seriously. In certain parts of the state, towns are few and very far between and if you get stuck out there without vital necessities you can quickly get into very serious trouble.
Texas can get unbearably hot. It can also rain harder than you thought possible (the loudest noise that has ever rattled my head? Thunder in Texas.) The fangs of a snake can flatten your tire and they do so love to sun themselves in the middle of the road. So when driving in Texas remember four words, "Be careful out there."
Most of Texas is relatively warm and dry. Exceptions are the Panhandle, which can get cold in winter, and east Texas and the Gulf Coast, which are often humid and wet. Tornado season runs from March through May in the north Texas plains. Hurricanes are most common in August and September along the Gulf Coast
Find more information at www.mobiltravelguide.com
I'm adding this based on keeweechic's warning about fire ants in Texas. Yes, they are everywhere, and yes, bites definitely burn and keep burning. However, she recommends hot water, which may or may not work (she said you may have to repeat).
My cousin-in-law's sister (is that redneck enough for ya?) told him to soak his feet (or whatever part of you that's been bitten) in regular household bleach. Sure enough, I was visiting that same cousin-in-law and my cousin this summer, and he and I both got a lot of bites. We soaked our feet in bleach a couple of minutes and voila! No more burning and no "pimples" the next day. (FYI: The day after being bitten, you'll know for sure if it was fire ants because of the small white spots that appear and can be popped like pimples.)
I've lived in Texas my whole life and just found out that tip this summer. Thanks Jamie!
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.......you know, once you think you have seen it all, you've seen NOTHING yet! I thought that I-81 through Pennsylvania was bad....
If you are driving from Amarillo to Dallas-Fort Worth, and you decide to take US 287, be prepared. LLLLOOOONNNNGGGGGG, flat, and ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to see. Sure, there are small towns like Vernon and Childress, but it is SSOOOOOO boring. I found myself fighting sleep it was so bad. For real. There are 2 nice "Safety Rest Areas" along the road, and they have a mimi-museum in each. One is designed like a train station, and there are kiosks where you can get free maps.
US 287. I would recommend it just once, but no more than that. If you find yourself getting drowsy, pull over and sleep. The road is long and dark, so be prepared.
Ok (YAWN) back to....ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...........
This species of insect pest is believed to have arrived here aboard some merchant ship. And what a tragedy that is. They are voracious, aggressive, and capable of inflicting a painful bite. In sufficient numbers, they can even kill. Beware--and watch your step!
If you like big hairy spiders, then you will love the tarantula's that we have here in Texas.
They really won't bite you unless seriously intimidated.
The closer to Mexico you get, the bigger the spiders seem to get also.
I saw this little baby in our garage, the other morning. He was small but he already knew how to jump. So I stood back while taking this picture.
As you are driving along the highways you may see some of these critters lying dead along side the road. They can move faster than you think but I guess not fast enough.
I happened to see something move out in the neighbors yard this spring. I got my bins and sure enough it was a small Armadillo. He looked so cute. I just had to run out and get his picture. I am hoping no one else saw it because they would probably shoot it for digging up there lawn.
Heatstroke is a very serious situation. Heatstroke occurs when the body is unable to cool itself properly, efficiently, or not at all. Symptoms of heat exhaustion may include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness, headache, muscle cramps, aches, and dizziness.
For more information on heatstroke, click on the link below.
Be sure you keep yourself cool at all times and drink plenty of water while in Texas...it is not uncommon for temperatures to reach over 100 degrees F on a weekly basis.
"Don't Mess with Texas" is a slogan you will see and hear often while in the Lone Star State. I have seen it on bumber stickers, highway signs, T-shirts, refrigerator magnets, and many other places. The slogan, while usually said with a grin, reflects the intense loyalty many Texans feel for their state. In fact, I doubt there is another state anywhere in America, unless it would be Alaska, where the residents have such a strong sense of identity and pride in their state - er, or is that "republic."
The Texas Highway Department has adopted the slogan, and those who mess with Texas by littering along the highways can face a fine of up to $500. Since they began using the slogan about 10 years ago, litter along the highways has been reduced by 52 percent.
Of the many Prickly Pear Cacti in Texas, the "Texas Prickly Pear" probably has the prettiest flowers blossoms.
Texas prickly pear often grows to 5' and may be erect or spreading. The pads of the cacti are green or blue green, and round to oval shaped and 4-10" long. Spines are yellow, distinguishing the Texas prickly from other varieties, and occasionally thre are no spines.
Flowers grow 2-5" across, often crowded on the pad. Petal colors vary from masses of yellow to orange flowers, and often an entire range of colors appears on one plant. The fruit is purple when mature and a true prickly pear. Blooms April-May.
They may look pretty but no not touch or you will get your fingers full of pricklys.
Jellyfish stings are a common beach injury. Portuguese men-of-war are the most injurious jellyfish common to Coastal Bend waters. Their ‘‘blue bags” may look pretty, but they sting. Watch your step. Between 30 percent and 40 percent of all jellyfish stings occur after the sea animal has washed up dead. If you find a jellyfish washed up on shore, leave it alone and help out by warning others
There are also American Alligators in south Texas
American alligators normally avoid humans, but they can become a nuisance when they establish territories around people. As human populations in Texas continue to expand, there have been an increased number of encounters between people and alligators. Alligators have been known to prey on pets and must be treated with caution. Alligators can be surprisingly quick on land and are capable of running quickly over short distances.
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