Foto Friday

The ocean is a desert with its life underground
And a perfect disguise above…
— America: A Horse With No Name

That snippet of lyric from 1971 came to my mind as I contemplated our weather last Tuesday. If you replace “ocean” with “Horseshoe Bay” and “desert” with “wooded area” and “underground” with “under the fog,” you have a perfect simile (or is it a metaphor?) for…well, I’ve lost my train of thought here. Never mind.

Here’s the sunrise on Monday:

Photo: Brilliantly colored sunrise over Horseshoe Bay, Texas
Brilliant colors preceded a clear sky

And here’s what it looked like the next morning:

Photo: Sunrise as seen by a drone flying above the fog at about 400' altitude
Drones-eye view of sunrise above the fog

I’m a sucker for a foggy morning, so when I saw on the Austin news that visibility in Horseshoe Bay was a fraction of a mile, I crawled out of bed, launched my drone, and recorded the event.

The preceding photo obviously is a view to the east (for the locals in the audience, the steam from the Ferguson Power Plant is faintly evident in the upper left portion of the image). Here’s a view above the fog (around 380′ in altitude) looking more to the north:

Lake LBJ is on the horizon, but the fog looks like a snowy field.

Dropping down into the fog, the drone’s view of Pecan Creek from our back yard is somewhat dramatic:

Visibility from this vantage point is about a quarter mile.

The fog didn’t prevent us from heading out for a pre-breakfast run:

Photo: Debbie walking toward a dense fog bank
Now visibility has dropped to just a couple of blocks.

The street going out from our neighborhood appeared to end in the clouds:

Photo: City street disappears into the fog
Photo: Wildflowers in the fog
Photo: Dimly shining sun behind the thick fog
The sun took on an eerie countenance behind the heavy fog.
Photo: Four whitetail deer in a wooded area backed by fog
The deer were wary of our presence, but didn’t bolt.
Photo: Grayscale image of paved trail curving and disappearing into the fog
That’s our house, straight ahead. You can see it, right? It’s only two blocks away.
The fog began to lift as we ended our run at Pecan Creek.

I realize that you’re mesmerized by fog photos, but that wasn’t all that I deemed picture worthy this week. Take this ant bed, for example:

Photo: Ant bed formed in an almost perfect circle
Above: A tiny circular ant bed as seen on Tuesday, 4/11
Below: The same ant bed on Friday, 4/14
Photo: Tiny ant bed formed in an almost perfect circle

I’ve heard it said that there are no perfectly straight lines in nature, but I submit to you that perfect circles, while not impossible, are certainly rare. But try telling that to the ants that constructed this barrier wall around the entrance to their nest. I’m not sure what happened to it between Tuesday and this morning; the heavy morning dews may have contributed to some collapse.

Then there was this snail, creeping across our sidewalk:

How slow is this snail? This is actually a video…you can see it moving, right?

The bluebonnets in our neighborhood are beginning the next phase of their short life cycle, going from flowers to seeds that will become next year’s crop (although more likely two or three years down the road). Unfortunately, not everything bluebonnet colored fades:

Photo: A Bud Light can among bluebonnets
It sorta matches. Perhaps a designer placed it thoughtfully by the side of the road.
Derpy snake clipart

We’re now well into snake season in the Hill Country. Yesterday, Debbie and I watched a very pretty non-venomous Western coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum testaceus) flash by and disappear into a hole under our house’s foundation. It’s difficult to accurately estimate the length of such a fast moving snake (and practically impossible to photograph one), but I’m guessing this one was 3-4′ long. In any event, it was much longer than this tiny (~8″) non-venomous DeKay’s brown snake (Storeria dekayi) that was struggling to get moving across our walking trail on a cool morning. I moved it to the other side, into the grass, to protect it from less tolerant humans and more curious dogs.

Photo: DeKay's brownsnake
DeKay’s brown snakes eat snails…where was he when I need him?


    1. It’s quite a change from West Texas, isn’t it? The Trans Pecos & the Llano Estacado have their own amazing attractions, but after 50 years in those locations, I’m really enjoying the change of scenery.

  1. Trust all is well? You appear to be sucking life out of your retirement hours, yay! I continue to intercede for you in the background. Blessings my brother and friend.

    1. Well, howdy, Cerise…it always brightens my day when you drop by! Yes, we’re doing great and I don’t doubt that much of that praise is due to sweet prayer partners like you. I very much appreciate your thinking of me. And I hope and trust that you, too, are enjoying life and feeling blessed, dear one!

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