Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Alien brains

On Saturday, we were out running errands and drove by the waterfall and noticed the bright red color. Of course, we had to go home and get the camera! Usually when the river is muddy, they turn off the waterfall. (It's a man-made waterfall to replace the waterfall that used to be around here before it was washed out a really long time ago!) The dirt/clay is red here, and when it rains, the red sediment rushes into the river... coloring it red, not just murky brown. (Hence the reason the Red River is called the Red River... it's red!) It's really gorgeous!
Anyways, Hal posted a whole bunch of pictures about the day on his photo site, and it seems silly to repeat all the photos, so I'm going to focus on my favorite parts of our walk by the river!

First of all, I was walking out to a bank on the river while Hal was taking pictures of a spider web, spider included, with dew on it. It was a really pretty web! As I was walking out, this little brown leaf in front of me started fluttering along the ground. And then I realized it wasn't a leaf. It was a little tiny frog! He lept over the edge and landed down below. I thought he'd went in the water, but I still looked and looked for him on the river bank. I finally found him and Hal took a picture of him. Can you see him?
I wanted so bad to climb on down there to try to catch him. But Hal pointed out it was probably a bad idea. Slick river mud, gross water... bad combination! So I didn't get to try to catch him.

A little later, I was checking out the river (again) and I saw the most wonderful thing! This green brain!
And then I climbed out (onto the rocks) and fished it out of the river. Isn't it cute?

I'd never seen anything so green alien-like and lovely! So, of course, being me, I wanted to do two things with it. (1) Take it home and (2) break it open and get out the dinosaur egg or alien baby or whatever was in it!

Hal said he'd really rather I didn't take it home. And he didn't really want to break it open with me.

So, I conceeded. I didn't take it home and I broke it open myself, right there on the river walk. My wonderful husband took pictures of the whole occassion.

Sadly, there was no dinosaur egg. And there was no alien baby in it. Bummer, huh?
But it did look kind of like an alien brain!
I totally looked like it should be edible! It had this pineapple-like texture and I think it smelled really good! Faintly familiar...like I'd smelled it before!And I'm kind of embarrased to admit this... but if it hadn't been soaking in the river, I might have tried to taste it! It looked totally edible! (Even if slightly brain-like.)
I had a blast tearing it apart! It was super fun! And it made my hands smell totally yummy!

The only draw back was that it made my hands sticky! I was so confused by that! The outside wasn't sticky before I started tearing it apart. And the inside wasn't very sticky, either! Hmmm... My hands felt kind sticky like I'd been trying to climb a very pine-gummy pine tree. (Done that before!) At least this stuff washed off! Unlike pine gum...

When we got back to the car, I was just standing there minding my own business, smelling my hands, when Hal decided to take a self-portrait, reflected in the car windows. Hence, this: Here we are all distorted by the reflection with me sniffing my fingers. Hal laughed really hard after he took this one. (Here's a picture of both of us Nickie! Your wish has been granted! ...probably not quite what you had in mind, but...)

After we got home, I researched what in the world this green brain fruit was (I googled "green fruits" and immediately came up with a picture of it! Weird, huh?! I never have such good searching luck!)

"Whether it is known locally as Osage orange, mock orange, Osage apple, hedge, hedge apple, naranjo chino, bois d'arc, bodark or bow wood, it is the same distinctive tree." - Jim W. Grace

Wikipedia (love that wikipedia!) says: "The fruit... is roughly spherical, but bumpy, and 7-15 cm in diameter, and it is filled with a sticky white latex sap. In fall, its color turns a bright yellow-green and it has a faint odor similar to that of oranges." Hmmm... fruit! And filled with latex sap! That's why I was all sticky! And it has an odor similar to oranges! That's why it was so familiar!

"The fruits have a pleasant and mild odor, but are inedible for the most part. Although not strongly poisonous, eating it may cause vomiting." Good thing I didn't eat it, huh? My inclination to taste something that smells good is probably one best repressed.

I'm totally fascinated by this tree! Apparently, they come in male and female trees (weird, huh?) and only the female trees can bear fruit.

And I'm sure the squirrels in that area, who apparently love the seeds from this hedge apple/osage orange fruit thingy, are very grateful to me for breaking it open and leaving it on the sidewalk for them! Yes, I left it smack in the middle of the sidewalk. So everyone else could see it, too!

Look at all this information gleaned just because I found an alien brain in the river! And now all of you get to hear it, too! Lucky people!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I just have to share...
It's so incredibly cold outside today! 55 degrees! Holy Moo!! (He he he! That cracks me up every time! Moo!) & I know some of you are going to look at that and go, "so what are you complaining about?" But it's just downright cold feeling! I feel like I should bust out my coat! (Just FYI, it's colder here in Wichita Falls right now than it is in Victor, Blackfoot, or Pocatello. According to Wunderground, we're all in the 50's but we're colder than all ya'll! Does that make us the winner or the looser?)

On the bright side, it's warm in my office today, so that's good!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Pictures and more pictures!

Now that it's cooled off a bit (you know, 85, not 105) we've started going outside during the day again. And we got Hal (well, us, but Hal's the photographer) a new camera, so we have to try it out!

Here's some of the fun things we've done:
By the way, these are just some of the tons of pictures Hal's taken. More of them are posted on his photo blog. These are just some of my favorites out of the bunch! He's so good! I'm always so impressed! If you have time, I'd recommend clicking the pictures to view them large size, there's lots more detail that way!

1. Visited our friends the camels. They weren't quite as happy to see us as last time. Only one came to the "door" to greet us.
(Nice teeth, huh? I think he needs a dentist!)

2. Drove up to Lawton to visit the buffalo on the Wichita Wildlife Reserve. We successfully spotted 2. But we saw some prairie dogs...
(They're so cute! I want one! Hal said if I can catch one, I could have one. 2 problems: 1. That would be illegal. 2. I can't really catch them. They're too sneaky!)
And we went up Mt. Scott (tallest point around! 2,464 ft.) and took some pictures off of that.
(There were so many birds circling! It was kinda creepy!)

3. Drove up to the Wildlife Reserve again, to try to see more buffalo. First we stopped in Medicine Park (a little town outside of the park, Oklahoma's first Cobblestone community). We saw Bathlake and lots of other fun stuffs!
(Both pictures of the "lake", but in the bottom one see the cute squirrel? He was trying to run away from Hal, and found me on the other side of the grass. Poor guy! )
(Cute praying mantis, huh? I had some of these once.)

(These three statues were all in and around Medicine Park. We loved them!)

(This top one is only important to show you where this bottom one is... It's some sort of water treatment dam thing. BUT I found the perfect place to go sliding! Look! (below) You could just slide on the moss! You would have to lower yourself over the guard rail down like 20 feet and slam into the junk at the bottom, but, hey! I've known people who would do it!)Then we headed into the park, where we spent hours trying to find some wildlife! We saw prairie dogs,
(Awwww! Below: He's eating some bread that some kind family was feeding them. Cute, huh? It's what drew the coyotes, too.)
some longhorn cows (not pictured), and finally on the way out, a buffalo.
If you haven't noticed, we go to the park to see buffalo, and end up seeing... well, not buffalo. Lots and lots of prairie dogs, though!

4. Went to a couple of parks and picked a few pecans (for bringing up at Christmas for show and tell) and hunted for some "huge" acorns one of the ladies I work with said are there. I didn't have luck with the big acorns, but I found some "regular" sized ones. I love acorns! They're so cute! I've got a whole collection, but I'm not sure what to do with them now...
(Above: This was actually taken up by Medicine Park, but it fits better here. These particular acorns are small ones and have STRIPES! Cute! And I'm in a picture Nickie! Tee hee...)

And we saw more animals and such!
(Aren't they just too cute? I love that both of them have the same foot off the ground.)

(What is it? I think it's some sort of cross between a goose and a turkey. We've seen him before, or one like him. Eeeewww, huh?)

(Don't look now, but he's in goose territory. Notice how he's very leery? All the trees right around there have tons of nuts on the ground around them, and the rest of the trees in the park have zero to be found. Coincidence? I think not!)
(How many pictures do you have to take to get a squirrel blinking? Lots! But isn't he cute?)

5. Trips to other parks at other times to take random pictures. One of my favorite is this:
(It's a bunny! In the dark! Cool, huh?!)

All in all, we've been enjoying the slightly cooler weather!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hal's new photo blog

This is Hal posting. I just finished putting up a new blog website. The link is also over on the right hand column.

Also, I plan to upload .zip files with photo collections, and flash applets that aren't compatible with Blogger, so the photoblog is going up on this website:


I will be trying to implement comments, subscriptions, RSS-feed and other components so that I can blend in with all the Blogger accounts.

Friday, October 3, 2008


Hi, everyone! This is Hal today. Dani never posts new pictures, so I've got a couple for you. This is the rubber chicken that she was so excited about:
And this is poor Cocoa's stump where she lost her fingernail: