Crook February

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Exploring the Hill Country 

My mom and stepdad have a house located in Leander so for my February blog I decided to. They house overlooks the hill country and sits directly on top of one of the highest hills, giving them the vantage point of nearly every curve of the hill range. I sat down and once I was able to tune out the neighbor’s son’s band practicing, I could hear very distinct bird calls echo through the valley. I fortunately able to see two deer who wandered by, as seen in the final photo below; I first noticed them coming by from the crunch of leaves as they came into view.

“Some paintings become famous because, being durable, they are viewed by successive generations, in each of which are likely to be found a few appreciative eyes. I know a painting so evanescent that it is seldom viewed at all, except by some wandering deer. It is a river who wields the brush, and it is the same river who, before I can bring my friends to view his work, erases it forever” (“August: The Green Pasture,” page 51).

I chose to use this particular quote namely because of the reference to deer since I encountered them during my observation period.

  • Location: The Hill Country 
  • Start Time:  5:30 p.m.
  • End Time: 6:30 p.m.
  • Forecast: Sunny/Clear skies but gradually became partly cloudy
  • Temperature: 76 degrees Fahrenheit

It was really lovely being able to explore as great of a backyard as my parents have now. The sunset itself was probably the high point of the experience solely because it was so beautiful to witness, the pictures don’t even do it justice. It was very cool being able to see different kinds of birds flutter in and out of the trees. I even witnessed a frog, or maybe a toad, in the salt water pool in the backyard. I suppose with the drought the poor little guys don’t have many water sources; I hope the chemicals like chlorine that clean the poor don’t hurt the little guy.

Moreover, it was the first time in awhile that I ventured past our fence so it was neat being able to see the slight changes that have taken place. For instance, I noticed a lot of leaves on the ground that I hadn’t seen before because of the time of year. Additionally, it was just nice getting outside, experiencing the fresh air, in such a private and remote location where it was really just me and the hills around me. It was very relaxing as well as stress relieving to spend my time not only looking at nature, but also being engulfed inside of it. Aside from the bothersome allergies that heightened, I’d say it’s safe to say that it was a really great experience observing the hill country.


Being from Chicago, Illinois, my family and I are still becoming accustomed to the native plants that grow here. Even though we’ve lived in Texas for 3 years, cacti still strike me as overly aggressive plants.



I caught kind of a cool picture of the sun peaking between a few trees atop the hill with the valley behind it.


More greenery.


A photo depicting the hills that again verify the area’s namesake, “the hill country.”


The sun set.


My new deer friends who so kindly posed for the camera.


-Emily Crook


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