What an amazing world we live in! Yesterday I had an opportunity to photograph a chrysalis and watched a new life as it emerged into the sunlight. Today I was graced by a visit from a lovely new friend and shared a spectacular hike up an Enchanted Rock. There is so much beauty to be found in the world, but it can be easily overlooked as we try to navigate our challenging and changing times. I believe that in the face of these challenges, it is more important than ever to draw on the beauty and order of the natural world as a means to balance and strengthen our hearts. I encourage you to spend an hour or two each week in a place of natural beauty and see what a wonderfully positive impact it will have on your life! This morning started with a bit of rain so my friend Sandy and I decided it would be best to wait a while before heading out on our hike. I took advantage of these few hours to work on sewing the binding on a quilt I brought with me.
By mid-morning the rain was moving out so I jumped in my truck headed for Enchanted Rock, just north of Fredericksburg. Sandy was already on her way there from Driftwood, TX, just southwest of Austin. Sandy and her husband Don were the very first RV folks I met in the very first campground I stayed in with Wild Thing, all the way up north of Seattle, WA in a little town called Bothell. Now, what are the chances that I would meet such a great couple so far from home, and what are the chances that we would be able to meet up again so soon! Life is an exciting adventure and I am frequently in awe of its elegant unfolding. Sandy and I "clicked" right away and so I was happy when she offered to drive the hour and a half to meet me while I'm in the area so we could spend this time together! She suggested a hike at Enchanted Rock which is a massive pink granite dome that rises up out of the landscape of the hill country. The summit trail was 0.67 miles and was moderately challenging but the views were spectacular all along the trail. The dark clouds moved off shortly after we arrived and we were left with beautiful blue skies and puffy white clouds to augment the rugged landscape. We both enjoyed the hike and our visit.
Here's a link to a little video I took of the 360 degree view from the top!
This evening I downloaded the photos I took yesterday with my Nikon of the butterflies and chrysalis in the flower garden in Fredericksburg. I was completely enamored with the chrysalis. It is amazing to me that a butterfly as large as the monarch fits in something so small. I was also curious about the shimmering gold spots and found this article that helps explain the phenomenon.
As I was photographing the chrysalis, I looked down and saw a monarch crawling up a leaf directly below. When I looked closer, I saw that this butterfly had actually just emerged from his own chrysalis! Although I didn't capture the moment he emerged, it was pretty exciting snapping these pictures of him next to his empty chrysalis!
Tomorrow Dexter and I will hitch up and head north up I10 towards New Mexico. I plan to stop for the night in Van Horn, Texas, the little town I moved to when we left Vermont. The past few days in Texas has been quite a trip down memory lane. I have years of memories scattered all around this state and it has been good to travel back and touch some of them again.