Our New Backyard

Hello, my friends! This is a major two-month throwback, but the pictures were so gorgeous I just had to share with you.

One of the things I love most about where I live in Austin is the gorgeous outdoor surroundings of my apartment complex. It’s unique in that it was originally the site of a horse ranch, and the developers left a lot of woods, creeks, and trails intact! YAY!

I lovingly call these areas my “backyard,” because I don’t have to walk more than five minutes from my doorstep to reach each of them.

It’s a rainy, cold, and gloomy December in Austin so far, so this glimpse of fall sun should brighten your day if it’s looking anything like mine! Enjoy.

Just outside the dog park area of my apartment complex runs a half-mile trail, which I absolutely love to walk and bike with Leben in the mornings. It runs through woods, beside a creek, and usually in the path of the many deer that live in our woods.

There’s nothing like biking through a curve and hearing the crash of deer pelting away from you through the forest.


This photo documents that there are, indeed, wildflowers that return to Austin after the big summer heat. The wildflowers were just astounding when I first moved here in June, but the mid-summer heat wave soon took care of them all. Leben and I were both extremely excited when the flowers returned in September. (He loves to run through them. I love to look at them.)


This little area is where we will explore next, and it’s what I like to call “The Clearing.” It’s a little, out of the way spot just outside the back of my apartment building, and I honestly think Leben and I are the only ones who use it!

If you turn your back to the clearing entrance and face the way this photo displays, you can almost pretend the apartments aren’t there at all. There’s a creek running up the left side of the clearing, and the deer love to hang out here at  dusk.


For a short while at least, the clearing was home to some beautiful wild lantana. Lantana apparently has a brief blooming season here in Austin, but it was definitely lovely while it lasted. This plant always reminds me of my mom, who grows lantana beside our mailbox back home.

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Another quirky Austin staple is, of course, cacti! I can’t say I’m a true fan, but when I saw these specimens in the clearing with their heart-shaped joy I just had to snap a picture or two. The cactus loves you!


If you choose to turn around and head back home to civilization, you’d face this direction. I’ve excluded my apartment building from peeking through on the left. This is a rare place where I love to let Leben roam off-leash at our apartment complex, and he loves it.


Last but not least are these strange little plants that are frequently seen on every tree in the Austin area. I have NO idea what these things are called, but I lovingly refer to them as “Dr. Seuss parasites.”

I’m not sure if you can tell from these pictures, but they look like spindly Christmas ornaments stuck on the trees– and when they fall on the ground they just look like little bundles of grass. They are so strange to me, they almost seem like they belong more underwater in a coral reef than in Austin, TX. I’ve really grown to love seeing them around.

Well, friends, that’s my backyard! I hope you’ve enjoyed this foray into our daily life here in Austin. If you’re interested in seeing more of our Austin hiking adventures, stay tuned (for better weather, of course!)

“Anyone can take an adventure even if it’s only in your own backyard. Let your imagination be your adventure and see where it takes you.” ― Carmela Dutra


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