Backyard Beauties

Why is it that we never deeply explore our own ‘backyard’ adventures as much as the visitors and tourists do? As we travel, I am always looking for green tracts on the maps. Because of the dog, we are identifying places to stop and let him run and sniff a bit. That is how I found Fabis – 10 minutes from Brownwood, TX. The only sign says, “Public Boat Ramp”, which really does not prepare you for the enchantment.

It was winter when we first found the hidden jewel that very few local people have visited. It is a small track of land with a long paved road bordered by grazing cows on private land and graced with huge trees. When you get to the little piece of heaven, it is city owned and maintained containing a 100 year old pecan orchard with magnificent trees. Huge rows of towering untamed nature shedding pecans.

The birds love this area along the Pecan Bayou as well. Cardinals, blue and white herons, warblers, woodpeckers, and maybe we caught sight of a Painted Bunting as well. When the trees are not leafed, it is much easier to spot the noisemakers and follow their songs in the high branches. A telephoto lens is helpful as well.

As spring came, the lime green of the fuzzy mesquite leaves and late leafing Pecan began to obscure the view of the birds, but provide shade as needed in the warm Texas months. In early May, it was full blown SUMMER green with dazzling blue skies and an orchestra to greet us. There is hardly anyone who visits this oasis during the week. We went there for a “sabbath” morning of prayer, silence and solitude.

I found this quote – but cannot source it. I asked a friend, Priscilla to draw it on a paper and decorate it in her enviable style. ” I’m not sure what the secret to happiness is…but I’m pretty sure it all starts with going outside.” So true. May your outside adventures begin in your own ‘backyard’ this summer.

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