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.
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.
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.
Be careful walking around any lawn areas in Texas. Certainly don't walk around barefooted. Fire Ants are a big problem in Texas (well not just Texas). Their mounds look like just a clump of earth and not necessarily big. The ants are tiny but with one hell of a bit that can itch for up to 2 weeks. You sure don't want to disturb them. If you do get bitten, a cortizone cream will help, but really what I found really helpful (found it on a website), is running hot water (as hot as you can take it) over the bite for a few minutes. The histamine from the ant bite will apparently rise to the surface of the bite and get washed away. It sure helps with the itch and when it starts to itch again, just repeat. The itch will eventually disappear.
N.B. I had a bad allergic reaction to several bites, I began itching all over, turned red, had some swelling and light headedness. Had I not had someone on hand to react and treat me, I could have ended up in a very bad way. Not to be taken lightly.
If driving behind a school bus or if one is approaching and stops, you are required by law to stop until the bus retracts its stopping sign and moves on. This is to protect the safety of children disembarking. Beware of required speed in school zones during the 'signed' times.
"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.
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.
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 probably applies to most anybody...however, Texans really despise liar's. Part of the history of our culture is trusting someone on their word, shaking on it, etc. From a business sense those good old fashioned truths are not reliable however the modern-day Texan may still request things in writing however in their heart they still like to believe in the good of mankind.
Here is a brief comic account for all the liars out there.
At Duke University, there were four sophomores taking Organic Chemistry.
They were doing so well on all the quizzes, midterms and labs, etc.,that
each had an A so far for the semester. These four friends were so
confident that the weekend before finals, they decided to go up to the
University of Virginia and party with some friends there. They had a
great time, but after all the hearty partying, they slept all day Sunday
and didn't make it back to Duke until early Monday morning.
Rather than taking the final then, they decided to find their professor
after the final and explain to him why they missed it. They explained
that they had gone to UVA for the weekend with the plan to come back in
time to study, but, unfortunately, they had a flat tire on the way back,
didn't have a spare, and couldn't get help for a long time. As a result,
they missed the final.
The professor thought it over and then agreed they could make up the
final the following day. The guys were elated and relieved. They studied
that night and went in the next day at the time the professor had told
He placed them in separate rooms and handed each of them a test booklet,
and told them to begin.
They looked at the first problem, worth five points. It was something
simple about free radical formation. Cool, they thought! All at the
same time, each one in his separate room, thought, this is going to be
Each finished the lengthy problem and then turned the page. On the second
page was written:
For 95 points: Which tire?
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!
if traveling a road east of interstate 45 or near it and you have car trouble like a flat tire or a broken hose. do not stop to fix it yourself. there is a possibility of being attack by a wild animal. yes wild animal. in parts of texas . there is what many people call the little wild elephants of texas. what these are is the decendants of tame pigs that some how got out of there pens and where not caught. they had mated with the wild bor pigs of texas and an animal that looks like a pig but people say is not really one. so now we had all kinds of mean and different looking pigs running around in texas. if a bunch of them decide to have a meal in your garden or where you have crops growing they will do major damage. millions of dollars each year is done by the wild elephants of texas. that is what it looks like after they have been in your garden or where you grow crops. like a bunch of little elephants have been there. when these little elephants travel in family groups they will attack any living thing they come across. also if you stop you may be near a ditch with water that may have gators in it. many part of texas are farm country with canel to carry water for irrigation. it is very common for there to be gators in them. much of the land in and near what are now cities in texas still have these canels and many still have gators in them.
gators have been known to attack dogs sitting in the back of a pickup truck. also climb what is called a link fence to get to small dogs. and been know to run through a glass door a full speed to get to something.
so take a cell phone when you travel and keep track of the road number you are on and the number of miles to the next town that you can give to the road service person.
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 thinking of driving, in Texas major cities especially, - DON'T... the freeways are horrendous especially at peak times. Large Semi's and kamikaze drivers are let loose in this fast flowing (or NOT, at times) playground. Forget indicators, even if they are signalling, it maybe showing the wrong way to which they want to go and quite often the indicators are red lights, making it difficult to see against the brake lights. Unfortunately In Dallas, you pretty much have to have a car to get around - so good luck.
The hotel was nice and so was the staff. They fixed a problem with our door within 5 minutes and...more
From the moment I arrived at the hotel from IAH, people and staff couldnt be friendly enough. I was...more
The hotel is nicely situated near a little lake where you can walk a bit, and it's not far from...more